Youth Soccer News: San Diego Surf SC Catarina Macario
This is the year of the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in the soccer loving country of Brazil. The country is well known for its super-soccer stars like Pele and Marta. When most people think of youth players developing in Brazil, they imagine distinguished programs for player development. While this may be true for young boys, if you are a top youth female player, you are better off training in the USA.
While Brazil has a well-earned reputation for producing top players in the game, America is the land of opportunity for women’s soccer. It is the reputation of our famous female players, such as Mia Hamm, which helped fuel the dreams of young Catarina Macario who now roams the pitch in Southern California as a San Diego Surf SC ECNL player.
Catarina Macario was born in Brazil in October, 1999. As many soccer fanatics will remember, this is the year when year of the FIFA Women’s World Cup which was held in the USA. Our team, lead by Mia Hamm won the scoreless final against China in a penalty shootout and we became the champions of the World Cup. One of the most attended soccer matches in our history, more than 90,185 soccer fans watched talented women in soccer perform well on the field.
Today one of the best up and coming talents in youth soccer is Catarina who started playing soccer by four years old. She played on boys’ teams until twelve, the Brazilian age limit for girls playing with the opposite sex.
Since Catarina’s abilities was so far above those of other girls in Brazil, and as she could no longer play with boys – she had to look to new shores to continue her player development.
The Macario family needed to make a life-changing and important decision. Should Catarina let go of her passion of playing soccer and stay in Brazil with her family or should she move to America to do what she loves most?
Her parents believed the decision should be hers alone since it would profoundly affect her life. Her passion and unstoppable love of the beautiful game won. Catarina chose to move to the United States. However, she had to pay a very high price. It is hard to any young girl to grow up away from her mother but for Catarina it was especially difficult to be away from her mom who she calls her best friend and #1 incentive. As a surgeon in Brazil, her mother could not leave her job and accompany her daughter on this soccer adventure.
Accompanied by her father and brother, Catarina arrived in America on the first day of 2012. The talented youth soccer player joined San Diego Surf Soccer Club and began playing in her first American youth soccer season breaking every record in the history of Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). Catarina scored an unheard of 50 goals in 24 games.
In her first year in the US, at the age of 12 years old, Catarina was selected for the U14 National Team. In the year of 2013, she was chosen by IMG Academy the #1 player in the Nation of the Class of 2017. Currently, she plays Varsity for Torrey Pines High School as a freshman. Her scoring average is still high and she is flourishing in Southern California.
What does her youth soccer club think?
San Diego Surf SC‘s Director of Coaching Colin Chesters said, “Catarina is the best goal scoring forward ever to wear a Surf SC uniform. Her ability to take control of a game through her instincts in front of goal is unbelievable. We are proud she is at our club.”
Diane Scavuzzo: When did you join San Diego Surf SC?
Catarina Macario: When we decided the US would be the ideal place for my development in soccer, my dad looked online for clubs. After many searches, he found San Diego Surf. He was very impressed with the club’s accomplishments and news articles. We joined the club in 2012.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who coached you when you came to the USA?
Catarina Macario: My first coach at Surf SC was Chris Lemay who is currently assistant coach at University of California, Berkeley. He was fundamental in my adaptation and development here in the USA. I will be always grateful for everything he taught me. He is an amazing coach.
Diane Scavuzzo: Chris Lemay called you the best young female player in the country. What did you think when you heard this?
Catarina Macario: I was very happy. I love playing soccer and am very happy to be here in the States and at Surf SC.
Diane Scavuzzo: What team are you on now?
Catarina Macario: I play for the U15 ECNL, one of the best teams of the country. It’s a team with fantastic players.
Diane Scavuzzo: How has Surf SC helped you develop as a player?
Catarina Macario: I was very lucky to choose this club. I have received the total support from my Director of Coaching, Colin Chesters. I realize he is very interested in my development and in the other players’ as well.
Without the support of the Surf SC, I would not have accomplished what I already have.
But I believe for an athlete to reach success, it doesn’t depend only on the club. The player must do his or her part. Work hard day after day to reach goals.
Diane Scavuzzo: What did you think when you discovered you were to be on the Roster for the National Team?
Catarina Macario: It was an indescribable feeling of joy showing that all my effort on the field was worth it.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you dream of being a professional soccer player?
Catarina Macario: It’s my biggest dream. I want to play soccer and to make a living out of it.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who is your role model?
Catarina Macario: My role model will always be my mother. She is a doctor and works very hard to save lives and loves what she does. So, I try to inspire myself in her image every day.
To love what I do, which is to play soccer, is the most wonderful thing.
In soccer, my role model is without a doubt Mia Hamm. Since I started playing at 4 years old, my father always showed me her videos and said: “This is the greatest player of all.”
So, I learned to admire her through the videos. She will always be my biggest inspiration in soccer.