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Professional Jan 12, 2021

Stanford’s Catarina Macario signs with French club Lyon on eve of NWSL Draft

After announcing her decision to forgo her senior NCAA season, Stanford University women’s soccer standout Catarina Macario has signed a professional contract with French club Olympique Lyonnais.

The 21-year-old Brazilian-born forward would have been the presumed No. 1 overall pick in the NWSL Draft, but she instead opted to pursue the European route, where players are able to command higher salaries. Her contract will keep her with Lyon until June 2023.

Macario, who earned her first call-up to the senior U.S. Women’s National Team in October 2020, is widely considered as one of the world’s top young prospects. She scored a remarkable 63 goals over the course of just 68 games during her college career at Stanford. She helped lead the Cardinal to NCAA Division I National Championship victories in both 2017 and 2019.

See below for the official announcement from Lyon:

“Olympique Lyonnais are very happy to announce the arrival of USA international midfielder Catarina Macario, formerly of the Stanford varsity team, on a two and a half season contract until June 30, 2023.
A native of Sao Luis in the Nordeste region of Brazil and only 21 years old, Catarina played on two NCAA title teams in 2017 and 2019. She scored 63 goals and made 47 assists in 68 matches with Stanford, and she has also distinguished herself by winning the last two MAC Hermann Trophies for the best female University footballer of the year. Since this trophy was created in 1988, only four players, including former OL player Morgan Brian, have achieved this feat.

Catarina has since obtained US citizenship and was called up for the first time by national team coach Vlatko Andonovski to train last October with the A team, which won the 2019 Women’s World Cup at Groupama Stadium.

With her impressive individual record, Catarina was highly sought after in Europe and the United States; she chose to join Olympique Lyonnais to advance and grow alongside the world’s best players.

Olympique Lyonnais are delighted to welcome Catarina, who thus becomes the 11th American player to join the seven-time Women’s Champions League winners and current title holders. Her arrival confirms OL’s attractiveness in the United States.”

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