Immediately after the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated the Netherlands to win the World Cup on Sunday, team forward Jessica McDonald took the time to have a special celebration with her 7-year-old son, Jeremiah.
As the only mom on the 23-player team, McDonald, 31, has shared her entire World Cup journey with Jeremiah, who accompanied the Phoenix native to Lyon, France.
"He doesn’t fully understand, but at least he’s an age right now where he’s actually going to remember this," McDonald told the Associated Press. "He’s going to look back and be like, 'Wow, I was there. Wow, my mom is actually cool – like she said.'”
After McDonald took a moment to celebrate their historic victory with her team, the star forward was photographed getting showered with confetti by Jeremiah. Later on, McDonald shared the image on Instagram with the caption, “we did it bud.”
When the team was a little over a week from playing the finals, Jeremiah flew out to France for a special reunion with his mother.
Of course, a camera captured the adorable embrace between the mother and son.
McDonald’s abilities as a mother have been celebrated just as much as her skills on the field. Her fellow teammates have often spoke of how inspired they are by McDonald’s ability to do it all.
"She’s always talking about how early she has to wake up to make sure Jeremiah is taken care of," USNWT teammate Crystal Dunn said. “I wake 10 minutes before training and I’m annoyed training gets pushed up earlier and earlier."
Dunn also said she hopes more women follow in McDonald’s footsteps and choose to have both a family and successful athletic career.
"Hopefully, going forward, more women choose her route and not feel like they have to choose their career over having a family. I think the new generation is going to feel like they have the option of doing both."
As one of only seven moms in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), McDonald has also been a strong advocate for changes when it comes to childcare for working parents.
"Childcare is not cheap. And if you look at our paychecks and you look at childcare, there goes our paycheck. How are we going to eat? [It] needs to change. We need to do something about it, being helped financially at least,” she told the Associated Press .
(Photo: Maja Hitij/Getty Images)