United States women’s national team midfielder Catarina Macario has joined powerhouse Chelsea on a free transfer. The 23-year-old versatile player played for French side Lyon over the last few years. Prior to turning professional, Macario was a standout star for the Sanford Cardinal in college. She joins Chelsea on a three-year contract.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Macario proclaimed after signing the deal with the Blues. “Chelsea is a very big club, and I can’t wait to join and get started. Being given the number nine shirt is a huge honor, and I hope I can represent the jersey well during my time here!”

Macario also addressed her versatility. She said she can work in various positions. “I can play either as a number 10 or a more trad traditional number nine, and I think I can offer plenty to the team, which is already full of top players,” continued the American.

Catarina Macario joins four-time reigning Women’s Super League champs in Chelsea

Chelsea is regularly one of the top women’s teams in all of Europe. In fact, they have just recently collected their fourth consecutive Women’s Super League title. Chelsea picked up the trophy in dramatic fashion, edging rivals Manchester United by just two points. The Blues also previously won the Champions League title in 2021.

Blues boss Emma Hayes praised the club’s move by adding Macario to an already potent squad. “Cat is one of the most intelligent, creative attacking players in the world who I think will blossom in this Chelsea team,” stated Hayes. “She brings a great deal of flair, European experience, and an unbelievable winning mentality. I think our fans will really love her.”

ACL injury forced midfielder to miss all of 22/23 campaign

Macario previously missed all of the 2022/23 season due to suffering a serious ACL injury. Nevertheless, the American is progressing well and is currently rehabbing the setback ahead of her freshman campaign in west London. It remains to be seen if Macario will be in the USWNT squad for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The official roster comes out in the weeks before the tournament.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Le Pictorium