Chelsea Women have signed USA forward Catarina Macario from Lyon Women on a three-year deal.
The 23-year-old will officially join the club on July 1, having spent the past two seasons in the Division 1 Feminine in France.
Macario became the first American to score in a Women’s Champions League final with her goal against Barcelona in the 2022 final helping Lyon win another European title. She was also crucial in helping the side to the league title in the same season, scoring 23 goals in 33 games.
However, she spent the 2022/23 campaign recovering from an ACL injury, which will also see her miss the Women’s World Cup this summer.
It comes after the departure of Pernille Harder this summer, who has joined Bayern Munich, along with Magda Eriksson.
Macario told the club’s official website after her move: “I can’t wait to get started here. 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 No 9 and I’m looking forward to linking up with some 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.”
Born in Brazil, Macario moved to the USA at the age of 12. She played college football at Stanford University, winning two National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships and twice receiving the MAC Hermann Trophy on two occasions, which recognises top men’s and women’s college soccer players in the United States.
Internationally, Macario represented the USA at youth level before making her debut for the senior debut in January 2021, having earned 17 caps since.
Head coach Emma Hayes added: “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.”
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