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. Bayern manager Karin Danner told the German web site WomenSoccer.de that she could not understand why U.S. Soccer wanted national team players to play in the NWSL, prompting Brooks to tweet that she had exercised her option to leave and had not broken her contract or asked to be released.
-- Thorns FC also announced that the club has waived goalkeeper Adelaide Gay and midfielder Elizabeth Guess, also former Carolina players.
Just to clarify, I chose to come back to NWSL for personal & career reasons, nothing to do with external pressure. Excited for 2014 journey.— Amber Brooks (@abrooks22) December 14, 2013