METUCHEN, N.J. – New Jersey Copa FC captain Jackie Bruno has signed to return to the United Women’s Soccer club for the 2018 season, the team announced Monday.

Bruno, a Staten Island native who has played for NJCFC since it’s inaugural season in 2016, started her Pro-Am career with Copa by leading the team to the first UWS National Championship, where the team finished as finalists.

“I’m so excited to be returning to play for Copa,” Bruno said in a statement. “These past two seasons have been an amazing experience, and I’m looking forward to another competitive and successful season.”

Bruno’s 2016 season earned her a spot on the All-UWS first team. During their sophomore campaign in 2017, Bruno, often playing through a nagging ankle injury, led NJCFC to a Eastern Conference regular season championship and conference finalist finish. Many of her performances Bruno several player of the week honors.

“Jackie is one of those players that every coach would do anything to have on their team,” NJCFC head coach Roberto Aguas said. “Not only is her play fantastic, but her leadership and ability to bring together and inspire her teammates is unmatched. Behind her, the team truly feels like there is no obstacle that they can’t get past together.”

A captain at UMass, Bruno had an impressive collegiate career for the Minutemen before launching her coaching career upon graduation. She has coached for the Red Bulls, CSA Staten Island and is on the coaching staff at Wagner College.

“Jackie’s ability to scan the field and find the right passes for the right moments, combined with her confidence on the ball, makes her a tremendous presence in the midfield for us,” Aguas said. “She’s very physical, and super technical, but her true strength is her ability to make everyone around her better. We could not be more excited to have Jackie back for the 2018 season, and look forward to another great season.”

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