Amber Brooks, a two-time NCAA national champion with the North Carolina Tar Heels, is headed to Germany to play in the Frauen Bundesliga, she tweeted on Tuesday.
Brooks was projected to be one of the top picks in the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League Draft, set to take place on Jan. 18. She ended her career this past fall with a senior season that saw her score seven goals and chipped in six assists for the title-winning Tar Heels. The U.S. U-23 national team pool player started all 23 games for the Tar Heels.
Which team she is playing for remains unknown. She followed up the tweet announcing her departure (below) with one that said the announcement should officially be made in the next couple of days.
Achieved a few dreams but still chasing many. Let the new journey begin…Auf Wiedersehen America, Guten Tag Germany!!
— Amber Brooks (@abrooks22) January 8, 2013
Brooks’ follow-up tweet about being back in the U.S. in June likely has more to do with when the European offseason occurs than the length of her contract, but it presents an interesting situation for NWSL teams.
Will a team draft her to hold her rights and hope to lure her back at a later point?
The Philadelphia Independence and Sky Blue FC did that in last year’s WPS Draft (which ultimately meant nothing, since the league folded). Sky Blue drafted Ingrid Wells, who plays for Göteborg FC in Sweden and Philadelphia drafted Sarah Hagen, who is tearing up the Frauen Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. The idea was to hold the players’ rights and convince them to come home (or that homesickness would do the convincing).
Brooks is likely worth that risk, but things are different this time around. Teams had the luxury of gambling on a pick in 2011 since squads were already mostly in place. As of today — Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 — not a single NWSL player officially (and publicly) has a single player on the roster. So, gamble on Brooks in the first round? Third round? We’ll see.
In other news, young U.S. forward Christen Press is now a member of Tyresö , leaving her other Swedish club, Göteborg FC.
Excited for my new adventure in the new year on my new team Tyresö FF based in Stockholm, Sweden. I feel blessed to have this opportunity!
— Christen Press (@ChristenPress) January 4, 2013
Tyreso is also home to stars Marta, Caroline Seger and Vero Boquette.