Catarina Macario bags first Chelsea assist as she eyes USWNT return and Olympic roster spot

Chelsea and United States women’s national team forward Catarina Macario returned from an ACL injury this month and has already bagged two goals and an assist for her club.

Macario, who had been out injured since summer 2022, made her long-awaited Chelsea debut on March 3 in the FA Women’s Super League, scoring a late goal. She then found the back of the net again with the winner vs. Everton on March 10.

On Tuesday she provided her first assist for her new club as Chelsea defeated Ajax 3-0 in the Women’s Champions League.

All four of Macario’s appearances for Chelsea so far have come from the bench as she returns to fitness and breaks her way into Emma Hayes’ squad.

Catarina Macario assist vs. Ajax

Macario has become a bit of a forgotten figure for the USWNT as the ACL injury has kept her from the national team for nearly two years. Her last appearance for the USWNT was on April 12, 2022, when she scored two goals in a friendly against Uzbekistan.

Macario made 17 appearances for the USWNT from her debut in 2021 until her injury in 2022, scoring eight goals in the process. The Brazil-born 24-year-old will be hoping to get her 18th appearance in the coming months. She was part of the 2020 Olympic squad but only played a few minutes. 

The clock is ticking for Macario and her chances of being selected as one of the 18 players on the 2024 USWNT Olympic roster. There are only a few USWNT games left before the Summer Games begin.

USWNT upcoming games:

  • April 6: SheBelieves Cup semifinal vs. Japan
  • April 9: SheBelieves Cup final or third-place game vs. Canada/Brazil
  • June 1: Friendly vs. South Korea
  • June 4: Friendly vs. South Korea
  • July: Two more friendlies vs. TBD

The one big advantage Macario has is playing for Hayes now. The Chelsea boss will take over as the new USWNT head coach after the Blues’ season concludes. Her first game in charge for the national team will be the June 1 friendly.

Hayes recently said that Macario has joked with her about an Olympic call-up.

“Cat is one of the most popular people in our dressing room, she’s so likeable, she’s so charming and charismatic. She’s actually getting a little cheekier, I’ve noticed in the last few days,” Hayes said. 

“She had to fill out this form to be included in an Olympic roster and she said, ‘Now all you have to do is pick me!’ But Cat is someone who is not 100% yet, but she’s not far away from starting a game.”

As of now the chances of Macario’s name being on the 2024 Olympic roster are slim, but we’ll have a better idea in the coming months. If Macario is included in the upcoming USWNT rosters for the SheBelieves Cup or the friendlies vs. South Korea, then she’ll be in the mix for an Olympic spot.

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