United States women’s national team and Lyon star Catarina Macario has a torn ACL, she announced on Sunday. Macario, fresh off winning the Women’s Champions League with the French club, posted the announcement to Twitter. The injury came during Lyon’s season-ending 4-0 win over Issy on June 1, with Macario coming off after just 13 minutes. She will now miss the USWNT’s World Cup qualifying campaign.
“Unfortunately, injuries are a natural part of football. Tearing an ACL is never easy, and although I am devastated to be away from the field and my teammates for a few months, I could not be more proud of my first year as a professional footballer and to have helped the team reconquer two big titles this season,” she wrote.
“As challenging as the recovery process may be, I believe that God is in control of everything, so I have no doubt that with the right support system, patience, and hard work, I will be back better and hungrier than ever before.”
What does this mean for Lyon?
Macario is Lyon’s leading goalscorer this season with 23 goals in 35 matches this campaign. After winning Champions League with Lyon, the Brazil-born star participated in Lyon’s final match — a midweek fixture against Issy. The loss of Macario is significant as Lyon had already clinched the league title ahead of the season finale and held an eight-point atop table ahead of the match.
While the season has ended, next season will begin in August, and Macario’s estimated recovery time is six months. Her recovery will likely run well through the 2022-2023 season. Macario’s initial contract signed with Lyon is slated to run through June 30, 2023.
What does this mean for the USWNT
The USWNT have a busy summer ahead with two friendlies later this month against Colombia before playing in the Concacaf Women’s Championship, which determines which teams from the region will make the 2023 World Cup.
In the lead-up to the World Cup qualifying event, Macario has become a featured player at USWNT camps, tournaments, and international friendlies. Despite only playing seven minutes during the USWNT’s bronze medal finish at the Tokyo Olympics, Macario has since been a regular starter for head caoch Vlatko Andonovski.
Macario has played in and started all five games for the USWNT this year, scoring five goals and recording one assist. Her early chemistry alongside Rose Lavelle, Sophia Smith, and Mallory Pugh will be put on pause now as the team prepares to move forward into World Cup qualifiers without her.