Less than a week after receiving FIFA approval to represent the U.S. in international competition, senior forward Catarina Macario earned her first United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) cap as she entered the match against Colombia in the 45th minute.
Although Macario was not originally going to play that game, fellow Stanford alum and forward Sophia Smith ’19 was injured in warmups, forcing a change of plans.
“I thought she did great,” USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski said in the post-game press conference when asked about Macario’s debut. “She was very comfortable. She did very good in possession — just floating around, finding the space. [She was] very good in the buildup.”
Andonovski also noted that they feel fortunate to have Macario as an asset, as Macario’s journey to play for the USWNT has not been a simple one. The Brazilian-born star finally became a U.S. citizen in October and only just received FIFA approval to play for the U.S. on Jan. 13.
After the long wait, Andonovski and teammates alike are elated to have Macario on the team.
“I think she’s already so good and so fun to play with. She’s creative. She’s powerful. She’s really clever on the ball and has such a good shot,” midfielder Sam Mewis said in a post-game interview. Mewis was the main story of the game, as her hat trick amounted to three of the team’s four goals. Her sister — midfielder Kristie Mewis — scored the final goal to make the result 4-0.
As for the future, “I think that, as we go forward, we’re going to see just better and better and more and more of Catarina,” Andonovski said.
The USWNT is scheduled to have another match with Colombia on Friday, Jan. 22. Kick-off is set for 4:00 p.m. PT.
Contact Samantha Leventis at samantha040602 ‘at’ gmail.com.