For Nicole McClure, her upcoming trip to France with Jamaica’s women’s national soccer team is a dream come true.
A former member of the East Meadow Shooting Stars, McClure was officially named to the Caribbean island nation’s roster for the 2019 World Cup. She currently plays club ball with the Sion Swifts of the North Ireland Football League (NIFL) Women’s Premier League
“When I received the news about making the final cut, I felt an even deeper sense of honor,” the goalkeeper told SleterFC.com. “I’m incredibly proud to wear the black, green and gold and represent Jamaica on the football field.”
In October 2018, McClure became a national hero in Jamaica’s win over Panama in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament.
After playing to a 2-2 draw the teams went to penalties. In an unusual move, McClure was brought into the match to replace Sydney Schneider and made two saves as the Reggae Girlz defeated Panama 4-2 on penalties to earn a trip to France.
Jamaica sits in Group C with Australia, Brazil and Italy. They open play on June 9 against Brazil, meet Italy on June 14 and then play Australia on June 18.
Growing up in Queens with parents of Jamaican descent, McClure is one of several players with local connections who are headed to the World Cup. The United States national team includes Crystal Dunn of Rockville Centre and Allie Long of Northport. Also, St. John’s alumnae Rachel Daly is on the England World Cup roster.
Jamaica’s qualification is historic in that it is the first Caribbean team to reach the Women’s World Cup. McClure also noted the positive impact qualifying will have on future generations of the island nation’s female soccer players.
“This means more than fulfilling our personal dreams,” he said. “We have inspired the next generation of young footballers in Jamaica by showing them this is possible. They, too, can represent our nation by playing the beautiful game.”