ACL tear will sideline Catarina Macario for six months

Olympique Lyonnais' Catarina Macario and Lindsey Horan lift Champions League trophy (Photo by ANP via Getty Images)
Olympique Lyonnais' Catarina Macario and Lindsey Horan lift Champions League trophy (Photo by ANP via Getty Images) /
Catarina Macario
Olympique Lyonnais’ Catarina Macario (right) and Lindsey Horan show off the UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy after the French club shocked Barcelona 3-1 on May 21.  (Photo by ANP via Getty Images) /

One day Catarina Macario is lifting a Champions League trophy and wiping champagne spray off her face and the next she’s watching her teammates carry on without her from the sideline.

Twenty-two year old Catarina Macario has had nothing short of a brilliant 2021-2022 season. When Macario signed with Lyon in 2021, the team had seven Champions League titles and 14 league titles to their name.

Macario led Lyon this season with a team-high 23 goals in 35 matches securing them their eighth UEFA Women’s Champions League title and their 15th league title, becoming the first American to score in a Champions League final along the way. Any one of these achievements would have made for a triumphant season. Together, they border on unprecedented.

With both titles already secured and one final match of the season against Issy to play, Macario’s season would end quite differently from her smiling teammates. A torn ACL means Macario faces roughly six months of rehab before returning to play.

Catarina Macario will miss World Cup qualifiers

While this will certainly affect her participation in the beginning of Lyon’s 2022-2023 campaign, perhaps more devastating is her absence from the USWNT’s World Cup and Olympic qualifying matches.

In the last year, the USWNT has made a somewhat dramatic shift in favor of youth and Catarina Macario has been a vital part of that transition. She has been a starter and consistent goal scorer in 2022 and would have no doubt continued to be an instrumental part of the team through the qualifiers.

The Concacaf Women’s Championship will begin July 4 in Mexico and will double as both World Cup and Olympic qualifiers. The USWNT has an abundance of talent but they’ll have to make it through qualifying without their rising star.

With just over a year before the World Cup kicks off, Macario will have plenty of time to work her way back to match fitness and shed any rust prior to roster selection. She will however miss valuable matches and lose the momentum she built this season.

dark. Next. USWNT's wait for equal pay is over

The USWNT has the players to qualify without her and Macario has the resilience of youth and the talent to work her way back without much incident, but this is undeniably a setback at an unwelcome time and one the star midfielder and her teammates would have much rather done without.