Whether or not Catarina Macario will feature on the World Cup roster for the U.S. women’s national team is a question mark for everyone, up to and including Macario herself.
The road back from an ACL tear last June has been a long one for the 23-year-old, though recently told The Athletic her recovery is “going well.”
“I obviously wish I could be with the team. With injuries, it’s always just a matter of time, you know? I’m just having a lot of patience,” she said. “Right now, I’m working my way back to fitness and doing everything that I can control in order to try to be ready as fast as possible. There are some things that are out of my control, but it is what it is.”
Macario was expected to return to training with Lyon last week, one month later than she was expected to make her comeback with her club team.
As a result of the delay, Macario was not named to the roster for the USWNT’s April friendlies – which will serve as the final preparation for the USWNT ahead of the World Cup. But while time in camp is certainly a factor as coach Vlatko Andonovski decides on the roster, so is club play.
“It’s interesting because that’s a tricky thing in terms of timelines and things like that. Obviously, he and I have talked a lot, especially with this being the last camp when the team will be together,” she told The Athletic.” It’s not necessarily when I’d like to be back. I’m leaving that up to the experts.
“But he’s always said, ‘We want to see you play and we want to see you back in training and playing competitive games.’”
Lyon’s season is set to end in June, which leaves a limited number of games in which Macario could make her return to the field. So if club play ranks near the top of Andonovski’s list, that could make it more difficult for Macario to have a seat on the plane to the World Cup.
For her part, she recognizes that her shot at the roster depends on the timeline of her recovery, and on the decision of Andonovski. The final rosters for the World Cup must be submitted to FIFA by July 10.
“We’ll have to see in regard to the World Cup. My season with Lyon will end soon (in June), so I hope that he trusts me enough,” she said. “Whatever decision he may make, that’s on him. First of all, I just have to be healthy.”
For now, Macario is focusing on what she can control. Still, she would love to feature in her first-ever World Cup for the USWNT.
“I mean, the World Cup is literally my home screen — the World Cup trophy,” she said. “That’s what I want. I just have to be patient. I know I have a long career ahead of me. I have faith, knowing that if it’s meant to be it will be. The most important thing is my overall health really, so I can represent the U.S. and Team Visa very well for many years to come.”