Chelsea is thrilled to confirm the signing of highly sought-after American forward Catarina Macario, with the player joining the Blues from Olympique Lyonnais on 1 July 2023.
The 23-year-old has signed a three-year deal with Chelsea until the summer of 2026. Macario makes the switch to London after the conclusion of the Division 1 Feminine season in France, where she has represented Lyon for the past two years.
‘I can’t wait to get started here!’ Catarina said after completing her move. ‘I’m really happy to sign for Chelsea and I hope to represent the jersey well over the next few years.
‘I can play either as a No.10 or a more traditional number nine and I’m looking forward to linking up with so many good forward players such as Sam [Kerr], Lauren James and Guro [Reiten]. It will be good to play with Kadeisha [Buchanan] again also.
‘I’ve been fortunate to have some great experiences in Europe already with Lyon, playing with many top players and of course winning the Champions League also.
‘I hope to carry on those experiences here and bring home the trophy for Chelsea as well!’
Head coach Emma Hayes said: 'Cat is one of the most intelligent, creative attacking players in the world who I think will blossom in this Chelsea team. She brings a great deal of flair, European experience, and an unbelievable winning mentality. I think our fans will really love her.'
General manager Paul Green commented: ‘We’re really excited that Cat has signed for the club. She’s one of the best players in the world and will add a lot of power, pace and dynamism to our frontline. We feel that she will be a big success at Chelsea.'
An explosive and versatile player, Macario is comfortable playing as a central striker or an attacking midfielder. The Brazilian-born talent moved to the United States at just 12 years of age and has developed into one of the most exciting young prospects on the world stage.
Macario spent her college career with Stanford University helping them win two National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships with 63 goals in 69 games. She received the MAC Hermann Trophy on two occasions which recognises top men’s and women’s college soccer players in the United States.
She signed her first professional contract with Lyon in January 2021, playing a crucial role in helping the French outfit to the 2021/22 French title and UEFA Women’s Champions League, scoring 23 goals in 33 games and becoming the first American to score in a Women’s Champions League final.
On the international stage, Macario represented her country at youth level before making her debut for the senior United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) in January 2021, where she has since earned 17 caps.
At the end of the 2021/22 campaign, Macario suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury which has sidelined her for the entirety of the 2022/23 season. She continues to make good progress with her rehabilitation ahead of her first season with the Blues.
Everyone at Chelsea is delighted to welcome Catarina to the club, and we are excited to see her wearing blue in the years ahead.