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Jessica McDonald is a FIFA World Cup champion with the U.S. women’s national soccer team, a three-time National Women’s Soccer League champion, and a two-time NCAA champion.
She’s also a single mom and a side hustler. Since becoming a pro soccer player in 2010, McDonald needed to take on odd jobs to supplement her athletic earnings, from packing Amazon boxes for 10 hours straight to training younger girls for soccer.
Some might wonder why one of the best female players in the sport would also be working side hustles along the way. McDonald’s reasons are as simple as they are relatable: to make ends meet for her and her son Jeremiah, now nine years old.
“There were training sessions where my kid would just be sitting in a stroller by himself, and I just didn’t know if I was doing things right as a parent,” says McDonald, 33. “I was broke, working these side hustles for long hours, training. I was exhausted and about to break mentally.”
McDonald’s commitment — to her soccer career, motherhood, and pay equality — eventually paid off, culminating in a 2019 appearance on the ultimate stage for women’s soccer: the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The U.S. women’s national team brought home a trophy that year,…