Stanford's Catarina Macario decides to go pro

ANNE M. PETERSON

Stanford's Catarina Macario, a promising prospect for the U.S. women's national team, has announced she will forgo her senior season for a professional career.

The Brazilian-born midfielder is currently on the roster for the national team's January camp, which starts Saturday in Florida.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Macario said it is time for her to start a "new phase in life."

“This was not an easy decision by any means because, even after having fulfilled my graduation requirements, I wanted to compete for another championship with my teammates and represent Stanford as a senior. This program means the world to me; I would not be the person nor player I am today without it and I will be forever grateful for the coaches, teammates, fans, medical, equipment & media staff for making my time on The Farm so unforgettable,” Macario wrote.

While Macario has been linked to European club teams, she could opt to stay in the United States and play for the National Women's Soccer League. The NWSL draft is set for Wednesday.

Macario became a U.S. citizen in October but she hasn't yet received approval from FIFA, soccer's international governing body, to play in a match for the national team. The U.S. has a pair of matches against Colombia scheduled for later this month.

The two-time winner of the MAC Hermann Trophy as the nation’s best college player, Macario had a Stanford single-season record of 32 goals and 23 assists last season. She was called up to her first national team camp the same day she became a citizen.

Macario is one of three college players on the 27-player camp roster, along with North Carolina’s Emily Lloyd and Florida State’s Jaelin Howell. Lloyd and Howell could also be eligible for next week’s NWSL draft because of a waiver from the NCAA that allows drafted players to remain with their college teams this spring and join the NWSL following the season.

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