UEFA Women's Champions League: Catarina Macario leads American contingent in playoffs

Catarina Macario is the only U.S. Olympic bronze-medalist still in Europe following Abby Dahlkemper's return from Manchester City to the NWSL, where she will play for the Houston Dash following her trade from the North Carolina Courage on Sunday.

But Macario, who plays for Lyon, isn't alone among the Americans in Europe. The 21-year-old forward is one of 18 Americans competing the UEFA Women's Champions League playoffs, which begin on Tuesday.

UEFA has adopted a new format for its top women's club competition, introducing a 16-team group stage. Four teams are automatically qualified: Defending champion Barcelona, the Spanish champion, as well as English champion Chelsea, French champion Paris St. Germain and German champion Bayern Munich.

The other 12 entrants will be the winners of two-leg playoff series. Seven of the 12 series feature Americans on one of the teams.

Besides Macario, who won the Hermann Trophy at Stanford in 2018 and 2019, other players of note include former Florida State defender Malia Berkely, a 2020 Hermann Trophy finalist who plays for French club Bordeaux.

Danish champion Koge leads all teams with six Americans, including Arianna Romero, who plays internationally for Mexico, and former Stanford and Georgetown star Kyra Carusa, who parlayed her club success into a call-up to the Irish national team. (Carusa’s maternal grandparents emigrated from Ireland in the 1950s.)

Tuesday, August 31
Apollon Omonia (Audrey Baldwin, Amanda Visco, Julia Lester, Kristen Ricks) vs. Kharkiv
Arsenal vs. Slavia Prague
Twente vs. Benfica
Real Madrid vs. Manchester City
Rosengard vs. Hoffenheim

Wednesday, September 1
Sparta Prague vs. Koge (Kaylan Marckese, Arianna Romero, Kelly Fitzgerald, Lauren Sajeiwch, Kyra Carusa, Maddie Pokorny)
Valerenga (Hannah Seabert, J.J. Tompkins, Katie Stengel) vs. Hacken.
Vllaznia (Julie Ann Sattler, Melissa Garcia) vs. Juventus
Levante vs. Lyon (Catarina Macario)
Wolfsburg vs. Bordeaux (Malia Berkely)
Osijek vs. Breidablik (Tiffany McCarthy)
Servette Chenois vs. Glasgow City
Second Leg: Sept. 8-9.
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