01/13/2016 11:17 AM
Forward Jessica McDonald led the Houston Dash in goals last year, as well as Portland Thorns FC in 2014.
The Western New York Flash have acquired forward Jessica McDonald, a 2016 and 2017 international roster spot and a second-round pick in the 2017 NWSL Draft from FC Kansas City, it was announced today. In return, Kansas City has received forward Sydney Leroux.
"Jess has been on our radar for a while now," said Rich Randall, General Manager of the Flash. "She's a proven goal scorer and should make an immediate impact for us. We see her in our plans for many seasons to come."
McDonald, 27, was recently acquired by FC Kansas City in a trade deal with the Houston Dash. In 2015, McDonald played in all 20 games, starting all but one. In her 1,675 minutes, she totaled a team-leading seven goals and added an assist.
A year earlier, McDonald was a key offensive piece for Portland Thorns FC, where she burst into the 2014 season, ultimately ending the year with 11 goals, ranking third-most in the league. The six-foot forward was signed in 2013 by the Chicago Red Stars and was later picked up by Seattle Reign FC that same year.
Outside of the NWSL, McDonald spent time playing in Australia’s Westfield W-League and with German club SC Herford.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina, McDonald played her first two collegiate seasons at Phoenix College, where she also excelled in basketball and track. In her first year at Phoenix, McDonald was named Junior College Player of the Year and left as the school’s single-season record holder in goals and assists.
After transferring to Chapel Hill in her junior year, she made an immediate impact and helped lead the Tar Heels to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2008 and 2009, including the game-winning goal in the 2009 final. Over her two years at UNC, McDonald scored 14 goals and tallied 16 assists.
Leroux, 25, played in the first three games of the 2015 season for Western New York before joining the U.S. Women’s National Team for the World Cup. Following the tournament, the forward saw the remainder of the season cut short after undergoing ankle surgery. She scored one goal on May 2, helping lead the Flash to a 3-1 win in its home opener against Boston.
"Although we didn't have much time with Syd last season, it was still great seeing her in the Flash colors," Randall said. "We truly wish her the best in Kansas City and know that it will be a great fit for her."
Date of Birth: February 28, 1988
Birthplace: Phoenix, AZ
Previous club: Houston Dash