Charlotte, NC – As the 2019 FIFA World Cup gets underway in France, several former NJCAA players dot the 23-woman rosters of competing nations.
Eastern Florida State, Iowa Western, Monroe, Navarro, and Phoenix all have alumni that will be playing this month.
Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw | Eastern Florida State | Jamaica
Khadija Shaw is one of the two most recent NJCAA players at the World Cup – playing for Eastern Florida State in 2015 and 2016. After helping guide the Titans to the 2015 NJCAA DI Women's Soccer championship, Shaw returned for her sophomore season and earned NJCAA First Team All-America honors after producing 13 goals and five assists.
Shaw continued on her collegiate career at Tennessee. There, Shaw continued to accumulate the accolades: winning 2018 SEC Offensive Player of the Year before guiding the Lady Vols to their first-ever NCAA Division I quarterfinal appearance. Shaw also recently won The Guardian's 2018 Footballer of the Year award, following Juan Mata, the 2017 recipient of the honor.
Kathellen Sousa | Monroe (NY) | Brazil
Kathellen Sousa also comes from an NJCAA program rich in success. Playing for Monroe in 2014 and 2015, Sousa helped the Mustangs win the first NJCAA women's soccer title in program history her freshman year before returning her team to the semifinal round the following season.
Sousa would split the remaining two years of her collegiate eligibility at Louisville and UCF: appearing in 15 games her junior year for the Cardinals before closing her career by winning American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year with the Knights.
Jessica McDonald | Phoenix (AZ) | United States
Defying the odds, time and time again, Jessica McDonald will add another notch to her resume this June. McDonald is the first-ever NJCAA alumni to be named to a Women's World Cup roster for the United States.
A three-sport athlete for Phoenix, McDonald went on to play for in North Carolina after earning 2006 NJCAA First Team All-America honors via 18 goals and 10 assists in her final year with the Bears. McDonald made an immediate impact for the Tar Heels – leading the eventual national champions in assists her first season in Chapel Hill. Finishing her career with a final tally of 44 points, McDonald quickly moved on to play professionally and represent the United States on the development teams.
It wouldn't be until November 2016 when McDonald got her first call up to the senior national team. The last two years, McDonald has really risen into the spotlight: highlighted by McDonald's two goals in the 2018 NWSL Championship game as the Courage and was named Most Valuable Player of the Match.
Celia Jiménez Delgado | Iowa Western | Spain
Celia Jiménez Delgado is a prime case study that you can be a world-class athlete and scientist, too. The former Iowa Western player collected First Team All-American honors after a freshman campaign that produced 21 goals and 11 assists en route to an NJCAA DI Women's Soccer championship. Delgado would guide her team back to the title game in 2015 and scored the opening goal in back-to-back NJCAA championship games.
Moving on to Alabama, Jimenez Delgado would also have a prolific career with the Crimson Tide while earning a degree in aerospace engineering. After collecting All-SEC First Team honors her final year in Tuscaloosa, Jimenez is now with [Seattle] Reign FC.
Jiménez Delgado started all three games as a member of Spain's first World Cup appearance in 2015.
Deneisha Blackwood | Navarro (TX) | Jamaica
Deneisha Blackwood was a two-time All-American for Navarro. In her two seasons in Corsicana, Blackwood scorched the nets for an NJCAA career tally of 36 goals and 20 assists. Blackwood recently finished her collegiate career with West Florida where she helped the Argonauts to a perfect 17-0 regular season and a Gulf Sun Conference championship.
Most recently, Blackwood scored three goals in CONCACAF qualification in helping Jamaica become the first-ever Carribean team to play at the FIFA Women's World Cup.
Trudi Carter | Navarro (TX) | Jamaica
Trudi Carter joins Blackwood as Navarro alumni competing in France this summer.
Carter preceded Blackwood's time at Navarro by a year. That didn't stop the dynamic player from making an impact for the Bulldogs. Carter was a two-time NJCAA Soccer First Team All-American; first as a midfielder in 2013, then as a forward the following season. In 42 career starts for the Bulldogs, Carter recorded 54 goals and 16 assists while leading the team to the 2013 NJCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship game. Carter would go on to play for the University of South Florida where she would record 23 points in 40 games played.
Sashana Campbell | Darton State (GA) | Jamaica
Sashana Campbell played for former NJCAA program Darton State and rounds out the tremendous group of former NJCAA players competing in France this summer.
Just a few years before Darton State consolidated its athletic program with NCAA Division II Albany State University, Campbell was a big-time performer for the Cavaliers. Campbell led the team to two NJCAA national tournament appearances, including the 2011 NJCAA Division I national championship game where the Cavaliers fell to Tyler by a 1-0 scoreline.
Like Blackwood, Campbell continued her career at the University of West Florida, finishing with a stellar career capped with earning Gulf South All-Conference honors in both her years with the Argonauts.
The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup started Friday with host France defeating South Korea, 4-0. Spain opens up Saturday afternoon with a group fixture against South Africa at 12:00 PM ET. Brazil and Jamaica square off Sunday in both countries first game of the tournament – and Jamaica's first World Cup game ever – at 9:30 AM ET. Jessica McDonald's United States team opens its tournament run on Tuesday at 3:00 PM ET. All games in the United States will be shown live on either Fox or Fox Sports 1 (FS1).