Thousands of soccer players dream of one day crossing the Atlantic to play professionally.
“I'm very excited to be playing professionally now, which has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl,” Brooks told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “I want to thank my family, friends, coaches, and teammates who always supported and helped me achieve my dreams.”
Brooks made the jump after wrapping up an extremely successful career in Chapel Hill last fall, where she truly went out on top: winning the national title and TopDrawerSoccer.com National Player of the Year award. She appeared in 23 games in 2012, 93 in all, and begins a new journey as a full-time professional with a two-year deal in the Frauenbundesliga.
The news dropped on the same day the new National Women’s Soccer League allocated national team players to its new, eight-team division. So why did the two-time national champion head abroad?
“It wasn't a matter of not wanting to play in the new NWSL but rather being presented a formidable opportunity to play for a great club, in a competitive environment, right away,” Brooks explained. “There were and are so many unknowns about the NWSL and I felt that FC Bayern Munich offered me a great opportunity to continue to develop my game.”
Expected to slot in as either a defensive midfielder or defender at her new club team, Brooks is not the first American woman to head over to play in Germany, or even for Munich. Sarah Hagen, one of her teammates with the U23 national team last year plays for Bayern, and Brooks sought her for a little more information on what to expect.
Even with some inside info, she knows that she’s got a long way to go in terms of adapting on and off the field. Brooks, who has visited Germany before, prepared for this opportunity by taking German 101 in the fall.
“I am excited to be over here, but of course [I’m] homesick and missing my family, friends, and teammates back home,” she said. “I know the transition will take time, both soccer and culture wise, but that it will be a great growing experience that will help me mature as a person and player.”
The standout midfielder, who has accomplished so much, is optimistic that this move will eventually help her earn a cap with the full women’s national team.
“I think I will be able to add unique nuances to my game that are specific to the European style of play that will help me develop into a better player and hopefully someone who gets called into the national team one day,” she said. “Playing for the full team has been and remains my ultimate dream, and I think my experience in Germany will help assist in achieving that goal.”