PORTLAND, ORE. - Defending NWSL champion Portland Thorns FC just got stronger with the signing of 22-year-old midfielder Amber Brooks, who debuted for the U.S. national team in November. Brooks, a native of Pennsylvania, played on NCAA championship teams at the University of North Carolina in 2009 and 2012. In 2012, she was named the National Player of the Year by Top Drawer Soccer.
Thorns FC had selected her in the third round of the inaugural
NWSL college draft out of UNC, but she sat out
the Thorns' championship season to play for Bayern Munich in Germany's
Brooks had been drafted by Cindy Parlow Cone, who had been an assistant coach at North Carolina, where Brooks captained the Tar Heels to the 2012 national championship. Parlow Cone recently resigned and was replaced as head coach by Paul Riley.
"I'm very excited to be a member of the Portland Thorns and for the opportunity to work with Paul Riley," said Brooks in a statement. "I'm looking forward to joining a roster full of top-class teammates and playing in front of such passionate fans in Portland. I think playing for Portland will also help me continue to develop my game and achieve future goals. I enjoyed my experience in Germany, but I look forward to playing in the United States and helping the league continue to grow in its second year."
Brooks was one of five Americans at Bayern, and her strong season -- she scored 10 goals in 22 games for Bayern Munich since March 2013 -- earned her a callup to the national team in the fall.