A striker with a poacher’s instinct around the penalty area and a deadly finish. Small in height but with a stocky build McDonald expertly uses his frame to shield the ball, a skill honed after many years in the Scottish Premier League.
McDonald represented his country with distinction at all three youth levels, first coming to notice as Josh Kennedy’s strike partner in the team which became the first Australian side to reach a world final, which they did at the FIFA U-17 World Cup New Zealand 1999. There followed two appearances at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, including as captain at United Arab Emirates 2003. He made his Socceroo debut against Bahrain in an AFC Asian Cup qualifier in February 2006 but missed the cut for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™.
After a fleeting appearance as a teenager for Southampton in the Premier League, McDonald played in the English lower leagues before eventually finding his feet with Scottish Premier Leaue club Motherwell in 2004. A prolific scoring rate saw McDonald then snapped up by his former manager at Southampton, Gordon Strachan and a move to Celtic. The goal tally with the Glasgow giants was even more impressive and culminated with McDonald claiming the league’s top goalscorer title with 25 league goals in 2008. In this year's January transfer window he was again recruited by Strachan, this time for English Championship side Middlesbrough. McDonald is yet to transfer his club form to the international stage, and though he featured in seven FIFA World Cup qualifiers, many appearances were as a substitute.