Soccer-US forward Macario joins Chelsea on three-year deal

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Women's Champions League Final - FC Barcelona v Olympique Lyonnais - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - May 21, 2022 Olympique Lyonnais' Catarina Macario celebrates scoring their third goal REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

(Reuters) - United States forward Catarina Macario has joined Chelsea on a free transfer from French champions Olympique Lyonnais, the Women's Super League winners said on Friday.

Macario, 23, has signed a three-year deal with Chelsea after spending two seasons in France, where she helped Lyon win the league and Champions League titles in her debut campaign in 2021-22.

Brazilian-born Macario, who has 17 U.S. caps, will miss this year's World Cup as she continues to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament that has sidelined since last June.

"I've been fortunate to have had some great experiences in Europe already with Lyon, playing with many top players and of course winning the Champions League also," Macario told Chelsea's website.

"I hope to carry on those experiences here and bring home the trophy for Chelsea."

Macario signed her first professional contract with Lyon in 2021 after a standout college career at Stanford University.

Her arrival at Kingsmeadow continues a busy close season for Chelsea, who have also signed midfielder Sjoeke Nusken and goalkeeper Nicky Evrard. Captain Magdalena Eriksson and striker Pernille Harder have left the club and joined Bayern Munich.

"Cat is one of the most intelligent, creative attacking players in the world, who I think will blossom in this Chelsea team," Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said. "She brings a great deal of flair, European experience and an unbelievable winning mentality."

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad; Editing by William Mallard)

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