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NWSL Jul 28, 2023

North Carolina Courage sign 17-year-old USYNT star Riley Jackson to NWSL contract

CARY, N.C. – The North Carolina Courage announced the signing of 17-year-old U.S. Youth National Team star midfielder, Riley Jackson, to a multiyear, guaranteed contract through the 2025 NWSL season with an option for 2026.

Jackson, who turns 18 this coming December, will forgo her NCAA eligibility and signs her first professional contract via the NWSL’s U18 entry mechanism. She chose the path to select the professional training environment that best fits her goals of becoming a top player in the world. Jackson participated in training sessions with the Courage in the summer of 2022 and 2023 before opting to sign full time with the club.

Jackson was co-captain for the U.S.A. team at the U-17 World Cup in 2022 and has continuously participated in U-18/19 camps throughout 2023. The Roswell, Georgia native played club soccer for Concorde Fire SC (ECNL) and was named the 2021-22 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year as a sophomore at Blessed Trinity High School.

The Courage have a proven track record of preparing athletes to compete on the international stage and improve their mental and physical fitness and tactical abilities. This summer, the Courage sent six players to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The team is also performing at a high level on the field, sitting atop the NWSL regular season table and leading the division in UKG Challenge Cup play in their title defense season.

Fans can get their first glimpse of Jackson this Saturday, July 29, when she is introduced to the crowd at halftime of the Courage Challenge Cup match with the Orlando Pride. The match kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET at WakeMed Soccer Park. Jackson will join the team full time in the coming weeks as she ramps up to match fitness.

The Courage now have 26 active players on their roster, matching the NWSL limit. Four of those active players are on National Team Replacement Contracts and the Courage also have three players on the season-ending injury list and six on international duty.