Injuries and extended absences have taken a toll on the U.S. women’s national team as the reigning world champions prepare for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
As head coach Vlatko Andonovski continues to evaluate players before naming a final roster, we take a look at recent USWNT mainstays on the outside looking in and where they stand in the run-up to the biggest tournament in women’s soccer.
Total caps: 17
Most recent USWNT appearance: April 12, 2022 vs. Uzbekistan (Friendly)
Macario played her first match with the national team in January 2021, and the quick-footed midfielder wasted no time in establishing herself on the roster.
She scored a goal in her second appearance (and first start) for the USWNT in a friendly against Colombia on Jan. 22, 2021. While she took a back seat at the Tokyo Olympics, appearing in just one group-stage match, she emerged as a regular starter after that, and has made the starting lineup in 11 of her 17 appearances.
And she really found her scoring touch in 2022, totaling five goals in her three most recent matches with the squad.
Macario tore her ACL last June during a league match with French club Olympique Lyonnais. To add to the sting of the injury, the match held no stakes, as Lyon already had clinched the Division 1 Féminine title.
The 23-year-old is well into her recovery, but her timeline could affect her chance at a World Cup roster spot.
Her return was expected in February, then March, and now April has arrived without a glimpse of her, though she was on track to return to training with Lyon in the first week of the month.
Andonovski wants to see her “play professional games” as he evaluates her readiness for the World Cup, he said during the USWNT’s April camp. For Macario’s part, she knows that her shot at the roster depends on the timeline of her recovery and on the decision of the coach.
“We’ll have to see in regard to the World Cup,” she told The Athletic in April. “My season with Lyon will end soon (in June), so I hope that he trusts me enough. Whatever decision he may make, that’s on him. First of all, I just have to be healthy.”