USWNT star Catarina Macario ruled out of 2023 World Cup

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Catarina Macario announced Tuesday that she will not be “physically ready” to play for the U.S. women’s national team at this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The star attacking midfielder broke the news on Instagram.

“While I am excited and super optimistic about my future as a soccer player, I am saddened to share that I will not be physically ready for selection to our U.S. World Cup team,” Macario wrote.

“The desire to play for my club and country again has driven my training and fueled my everyday life. However, the most important thing right now is my health and being fit and preparing for my next club season. I am eternally grateful to Aspetar Orthopedic. and the Sports Medicine Hospital for supporting and guiding me in my rehabilitation, and to US Soccer and Vlatko Andonovski for prioritizing my long-term health over any individual and collective ambition.

“I’ll be really cheering on my teammates at the World Cup, and I look forward to working hard to earn a spot for what I hope will be a long future on the U.S. national team.”

Macario, 23, has not played since tearing his ACL during a match with Olympique Lyonnais last June. He has worked hard to rehabilitate himself and get fit and healthy – he has been working at Aspetar in Doha, Qatar for months. His absence this summer was always a possibility, but earlier this year American coach Vlatko Andonovski expected him to return to training with Lyon in March. Then it was April. He has now confirmed that he will not fully recover in time to play in his first World Cup, which starts on July 20.

She led Lyon with 23 goals during the 2021-22 season and also became the first American player to score in a UEFA Women’s Champions League final in Lyon’s 3-1 win against Barcelona l ‘last year. She has 17 caps and eight goals for the USWNT, and was on the 2020 Olympic team. She was expected to be a regular starter for the USWNT before her injury, and Andonvoski has described her as a player world class

Macario was also in the news recently when it was reported that Chelsea would sign her after her Lyon contract expires this summer (and once she is medically cleared).

So what does this mean for the U.S. at the World Cup? Not too much. The squad learned last year to play without Macario, so Andonovski’s plan should not change. Also, if there’s one area where the USWNT stacks up, it’s on offense.

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. He previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of “Strong Like a Woman,” published in the spring of 2022 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.

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