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Macario set to make USWNT debut after FIFA approval of eligibility

The 21-year-old signed with Lyon this week and could now make her United States debut on Monday against Colombia

FIFA has approved Catarina Macario to represent the United States Women’s National Team in international competition, US Soccer confirmed.

Macario, born in Brazil but moved to the United States at age 12, announced in October that she had become a U.S. citizen and asked FIFA to guarantee his eligibility for the USWNT.

The governing body has now approved the request, which means the 21-year-old phenomenon could make his USWNT debut on Monday in a friendly against Colombia. The United States will then face Colombia again in a friendly match four days later.

“I want to thank everyone at US Soccer, past and present, for this opportunity and I sincerely appreciate the years of work that have gone into making it happen,” Macario said in a statement.

“Now that I’m cleared to play it’s up to me to show the coaches that I deserve to be on the rosters and to have playing time.

“Nothing is guaranteed and everything must be earned, so it’s up to me to bring my fitness to the necessary level and continue to learn every day. Just being in this position is a dream come true and I will never take any of it for granted. “

Macario announced on Tuesday that she had signed a two and a half year contract with European champion Lyon after announcing earlier this month that she would be giving up her final year of college at Stanford to turn professional.

The forward has chosen not to sign with the National Women’s Soccer League, where she would almost certainly have been the first overall pick in Wednesday’s draft.

Macario, however, said later on Tuesday that she still plans to play in the NWSL in the future.

“I would love to play in the NWSL one day and I know it will happen”, Macario told reporters. “I don’t necessarily know when but obviously as an American it’s my dream to play where I live and so I’ll definitely be back.”

Macario has become one of the most coveted prospects to emerge from the United States in recent years, having won the Hermann Trophy as America’s top college player in consecutive years.

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