The North Carolina Courage have signed 17-year-old midfielder Riley Jackson. The Courage announced Friday that the U.S. youth national team standout has forfeited her NCAA eligibility, and previous commitment to Duke University, to play professionally with North Carolina.
Jackson is from Roswell, Ga., and played club soccer for Concorde Fire SC in the ECNL, where she was named the ECNL Player of the Year in 2022. Jackson was also the 2021-22 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year as a sophomore after scoring 14 goals and adding 18 assists at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School. Altogether, Jackson netted 36 goals and contributed 48 assists in her high school career.
Having much experience at the youth international level, Jackson was most recently nominated for U.S. Soccer’s Young Female Player of the Year in 2022. She was one of the co-captains of the U.S. U-17 WYNT in 2022, and led the team to the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship as well as a quarterfinal appearance at the 2022 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup. Jackson was awarded the Golden Ball at the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship after scoring two goals and adding three assists from the midfield.
This is North Carolina’s first under-18 signing, joining the list of NWSL clubs that are finally embracing the opportunity to sign teenage players to their rosters.
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