Caterina, Chelsea and Kerr: What Macario will bring to The Blues

By Genevieve Henry 20/5/23

Above: Catarina Macario for action for Olympique Lyon. Photo: OL Feminin.

With USWNT starlet Catarina Macario set to join Chelsea, here’s a look at what she could bring to the Blues.

Catarina Macario is a superstar. Anyone with eyes can see that. A prototype of an attacking midfielder, the Brazilian-born player brings pace, strength, vision, and control. Watching her is like watching poetry in motion. She is unpredictable and incredibly smart with the ball, making her link-up play one of her best attributes.

Macario has been hailed as one of the best prospects in women’s football for years now. She first came on the radar of the football community while playing for Stanford University, where she scored 63 goals in 69 appearances. That is an impressive record for anyone, but it means more considering that Macario is a midfielder. Among her many accolades there were the prestigious Mac Hermann Trophy in 2018 and 2019, EPSNW Player of the Year in both 2017 and 2018, as well as’s Freshman of the Year in 2017 and Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019. Along with these, Macario was frequently named to all-district and all-American first teams. 

After feeling that she couldn’t get much more out of her illustrious college career, Macario forwent her senior season and earned herself a two-and-a-half-year contract with arguably the best club in the world, Olympique Lyonnaise. The French powerhouse became a great new home for the midfielder, providing her with top-quality facilities, experiences, and competition at the highest level.

In 44 appearances across Division One Féminine, UEFA Women’s Champions League, and French Cup games, she scored 28 goals. Unfortunately, her time was cut short at Lyon. However, even with this injury-shortened stretch, Macario made a huge impact that cannot be done justice by statistics. She helped lead Lyon to a record eighth UEFA Champion’s League title, assisting and scoring throughout the tournament, and even sealing the deal by scoring a lucrative goal in the final. She brings that experience in winning the trophy that Chelsea so badly desires.

Macario could be the key to bringing Chelsea to that next level, hoping to be not only an English powerhouse, but a European one. Although stacked with talent in the midfield, she is a certainty to walk straight into their starting 11, especially given Pernille Harder’s departure. Not only will Macario fill the important gap that Harder will leave, but the way she combines with forwards will be crucial to Chelsea’s success. Chelsea manager Emma Hayes values a versatile front line, which Macario will slot into nicely. She can create chances that ordinary players would not be able to see. Enter Sam Kerr.

Macario and Kerr are deceptively similar players who will surely thrive together. Macario makes frequent forward runs, which will complement Kerr’s style of play of dropping back to assist those around her. Macario has previously said her favorite position to play is a false nine, where she can occupy that space up top yet still focus more on creativity.

The two of them could have a flexible relationship with one another, one dropping back to create and the other finishing the chance. Both of them can pull off almost ridiculous plays, no-look passes, backheels, and the like. With Macario, Kerr could reach new levels with Chelsea. With the number of chances Macario creates, Kerr will have more opportunities to finish. This could be a symbiotic relationship. Macario is known for being a high-scoring midfielder, but with Kerr’s ability to see even the slightest of chances, she could score even higher than anyone expects.

Macario has spent the entirety of the season on the sidelines, recovering from a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament last June. Her journey to the World Cup is not an easy one, but she is optimistic that she will be there. Although this seems risky for Chelsea to put so much faith in an uncertain thing, this injury will only make her more determined to prove herself.

With her position on the USWNT being a highly contentious one, due to the competition from other players, Macario will want to show US head coach Vlatko Andonovski what she is made of. As long as Chelsea manages her rehabilitation well, they could be gaining the key to making all their dreams come true. 

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