Q&A: Thorns FC's Jessica McDonald

Team’s leading scorer talks confidence, influences, family and favorite thing about Portland

Jessica McDonald portrait

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Editor’s note: Excerpts of this Q&A with Jessica McDonald were taken from the Thorns FC match-day program. For each home match, one Thorns FC player is featured in a Q&A. See who the next featured player is as Thorns FC play host to FC Kansas City on Sunday, July 13, at Providence Park (4:00pm PT, TICKETS, Webstream).

You set the team's single-season goal-scoring record on July 4. With nine goals on the season, how would you describe the confidence you have in your game at the moment?
“My confidence has been increasing more and more by the day. The women who I am surrounded by on the field and the coaching staff, who all believe in me, play a big role as well. I have set some goals for this season and I won't stop until I get there. I give all the glory to the man upstairs. I wear a short sleeve Nike top that says, ‘Jesus paid it all’ every game. That's definitely my biggest factor on and off the field.”

How much influence has your brother, Brandon, had on your soccer career? (Note: Brandon McDonald played six seasons in MLS, making 140 career appearances. He played for Ljungskile SK in Sweden last season)
“We talk to each other as often as we can. He’s always been a huge influence in life and on the soccer field. He’s my older sibling and one of those people that I’ve always looked up to in general. He’s definitely been a huge influence for me.”

What is it like for you being a mother and a professional athlete?
“It’s absolutely phenomenal because it’s one of those situations where you want to make your child proud in the future. I want Jeremiah, my son, to tell everybody,  ‘Hey, my Mother was a professional soccer player. She was able to do it.’ That is a lot of motivation for me and, obviously, the support of my husband as well. It’s been absolutely great. Living the life and having a family at the same time, it’s been absolutely phenomenal.”

Is there something in particular you love about the Pacific Northwest and Portland?
“The food. The whole culture in general, but I have to say I’ve enjoyed pretty much every meal I’ve had so far. I recently went to Dick’s Kitchen on NW 21st and it was absolutely phenomenal. That might be my favorite place so far.”

Follow Jessica on Twitter at @Jess_Mac14