Catarina Macario Signs Two-and-a-Half Year Deal with Lyon

Catarina Macario is future Lyon queen

The 21-year-old Brazilian soccer player and USWNT prospect, who recently announced plans to leave Stanford and go pro, has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Lyon, the club has announced.

Catarina Macario

Macario announced on Friday that she’d forego the final year with Stanford in favor of turning professional.

ESPN reported on Monday that Lyon were leading the race for Macario with a contract on the table but that both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were also still interested in the midfielder.

“It’s an honor to have signed with such a fantastic club,” Macario said in a tweet.

“I can’t wait to get started and to continue to build on its legacy of success. Allez l’OL!”

Sources told ESPN that Macario was attracted to Europe rather than the National Women’s Soccer League as she wants to win the Champions League while competing in the Olympics and World Cup.

Macario scored 63 goals in 68 games for Stanford and contributed 47 assists.

She won the MAC Hermann Trophy twice and an NCAA College Cup in her three seasons at Stanford.

She became a United States citizen in October and has joined every USWNT camp since, including their ongoing January camp.

However, Macario is still waiting on approval from FIFA to allow her to play games with the national side.

She’ll travel to France after the USWNT training ends on January 22.

Catarina Macario Announces Plans to Turn Pro

Catarina Macario is ready to go pro…

The Brazilian-born Stanford midfielder and promising prospect for the United States women’s national soccer team, has announced she’ll forgo her senior season for a professional career.

Catarina Macario

Macario is currently on the roster for the national team’s January camp, which started this weekend in Florida.

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

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 games 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 also could 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.

Aguayo Drafted in the Second Round of the NFL Draft

Roberto Aguayo is headed to the National Football League

The 21-year-old Latino kicker, who played for Florida State, was picked in the second round of the NFL draft.

Roberto Aguayo

Aguayo, the 59th pick overall, was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, becoming the highest-drafted kicker since Mike Nugent in 2005.

The NFL’s lengthened extra point has put new emphasis on the play, now effectively a 33-yard attempt. Aguayo was perfect on his 198 PATs in college. More pertinent, the 2013 Lou Groza Award winner was 69-for-78 (88.5%) on field-goal tries and didn’t miss on any of his 49 attempts inside 40 yards.

Aguayo, quarterback Jameis Winston‘s teammate at FSU, expressed a desire to play for the Bucs and seems likely to hold the job for years to come.

But Aguayo wasn’t the only Latino footballer picked during this year’s NFL draft…

Blake Martinez is headed to the Green Bay Packers

The Packers selected the Latino inside from Stanford with the 131st pick, which arrived late in the fourth round, and contained a bit of a premonition from his mother, Carrisa Martinez.

“The funny part of it was, (my mom) was always telling me throughout the process, she was like, ‘I believe you’re going to end up at the Packers,'” Martinez said on a conference call. “And obviously it was just a lucky guess type of thing, but it’s just funny. My mom said right after, ‘Moms are always right.’ And I’ll take it.”

When his moment arrived, Martinez donned a green Packers hat and matching gray T-shirt, and immediately posted a family photo on social media. His father, Marc, had bought the gear in a pre-draft shopping spree that accumulated gear from all 32 teams — just in case.

Martinez, who stands 6 feet 1 1/2 inches and weighs 240 pounds, earned All-American honors in 2015 and was also named first-team all-Pac-12.

He recorded a team-high 141 tackles last season, and his 10.1 tackles per game led the conference.

The Packers, according to director of football operations Eliot Wolf, were enamored of Martinez’s all-around game. He flashed the ability to blitz, evidenced by 13 1/2 tackles for loss and 6 1/2 sacks over the last two years. He expressed confidence in his ability to cover, and Martinez said he served as the main coverage linebacker in nickel and dime packages last season. His 40-yard dash time of 4.67 seconds is far from blazing, but Wolf said the Packers have no qualms about his mobility or range.

“I felt like this last year I improved tremendously on that,” Martinez said. “I feel 100% confident to go out there and cover whoever I need to cover.”

Oklahoma’s Zack Sanchez was picked in Round 5 by the Carolina Panthers.

The 21-year-old Latino cornerback, picked 141st overall, is a ball-hawk who intercepted 13 passes over the past two seasons. His seven picks in 2015 tied for fifth nationally. Sanchez was not afraid to gamble, and sometimes paid for his mistakes. During his career at Oklahoma, he also recorded 134 tackles and three touchdowns.

“He’s instinctive. I think when you get into the fourth or fifth rounds, and find a cornerback with some instincts, this is a great pick,” said NFL Network’s Mike Mayock.

Thomas Duarte is switching coasts…

The 21-year-old half-Mexican American receiver, who played for UCLA, was picked in the seventh round by the Miami Dolphins.

The 231st pick overall, the 6-foot-2, 231-pound Duarte was drafted as a tight end.

Duarte turned pro with a season of eligibility remaining. He ranked second on the Bruins last season with 53 receptions for 872 yards and a team-best 10 touchdown receptions.