Catarina Macario: Lyon signs the best hope of the USWNT, star of Stanford
Catarina Macario’s legendary collegiate career is over and she begins the professional chapter of her career abroad at the most prestigious club in the world.
The U.S. Women’s National Team prospect and Stanford star announced on Friday that she was giving up her final year with the Cardinal to turn pro, and on Tuesday it was confirmed that she would join elite French club Lyon. for a deal until June 2023. Lyon have won the last five UEFA Women’s Champions League titles and the last 14 top French titles and are home to a number of the world’s best players, including Ada Hegerberg, Eugenie Le Sommer, Wendie Renard, Dzsenifer Marozsán and many others.
Macario won the Hermann Trophy as the nation’s top college player in 2018 and 2019 and has 63 goals and 47 assists in 68 NCAA games. She teamed up with Sophia Smith, the current U.S. forward and the talented rising Portland Timbers, to lead the Cardinal to the 2017 and 2019 national championships.
The 21-year-old, born in Brazil, recently became a U.S. citizen, paving the way for her to become eligible to represent the USWNT. While that process is not yet complete, US Soccer has said it is in its final stages after including her in a second senior national team camp in four months.
With the Pac-12 among those moving his women’s football season to the spring, Macario could have played at Stanford, but chose to pursue a professional career instead.
“It was not an easy decision by any means because, even after fulfilling my graduation requirements, I wanted to compete for another championship with my teammates and represent Stanford as a senior. This program means the world. for me; I wouldn’t be the person or player I am today without him and I will be eternally grateful to the coaches, teammates, fans, medics, equipment and media for making my time at The Farm so unforgettable, ”Macario wrote in a statement.
Macario chose to go abroad instead of joining the NWSL, whose draft is scheduled for Wednesday night. If she had entered the league, she would have been a shoo-in to be taken first overall. League commissioner Lisa Baird confirmed on Tuesday that her rights may not be drafted now that she has officially signed a contract with another professional club.
She is the second Stanford player to pursue a career in France above the NWSL in recent years, following in the footsteps of USWNT defender Alana Cook, currently registered with PSG. Macario has also reportedly been courted by Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.