Seattle Reign FC announced today that the club has acquired midfielder Amber Brooks, the rights to U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach and a first round draft pick in the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft from Western New York Flash. In exchange, Reign FC traded forward Sydney Leroux and forward Amanda Frisbie to the Flash.
Brooks, 24, was traded to Western New York Flash from the Portland Thorns FC last November. Through two preseason friendlies with the Flash, she notched an assist in a 4-0 win over Western Virginia University on March 15 and played the first 45 minutes in an 8-1 win over Syracuse University on March 28.
“I know how great the fans are in Seattle, the quality of the players and the success of the team,” remarked Brooks. “I’ve always enjoyed my time in the Pacific Northwest and I look forward to the opportunity to be a part of the team.” Drafted in the third round (No. 24 overall) of the 2013 NWSL College Draft by Portland, Brooks enters her second season in the NWSL after debuting in 2014. In her lone season with Portland, Brooks appeared in 20 games (19 starts) and recorded one goal and two assists. “We have followed Amber closely through her time in the Bundesliga and the NWSL,” stated Laura Harvey, general manager and head coach of Reign FC. “She will add needed depth to our midfield this season and we expect her to be a valuable contributor for many seasons to come.”
A native of New Hope, Penn., Brooks earned her first cap with the U.S. Women’s National Team on November 10, 2013 in a 4-1 win over Brazil. Prior to appearing with the full squad, Brooks captained the U-23 Women’s National Team in the 2012 Four Nations Tournament Championship. She made her international debut with the U-16 Women’s National Team in 2006 and later captained the U-17 National Team during the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Brooks, a graduate of North Carolina, ended her four years at Chapel Hill as a two-time NCAA National Champion, winning the College Cup in both her freshman and senior seasons. A team captain in 2011 and 2012, Brooks finished her collegiate career with 34 goals and 19 assists.
In addition to Brooks, Reign FC acquired a 2016 first round draft pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft.
As part of the trade, Reign FC also acquired the rights to WNY Flash and U.S. Women’s National Team star Abby Wambach. Wambach recently announced her decision to forego playing in the 2015 NWSL season with the Western New York Flash to focus on the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Wambach is not expected to play for Reign FC during the 2015 season.
“Abby is a fantastic player who has proven over the years she is one of the best forwards in the world,” said Harvey. “We understand and support her decision to focus on the World Cup this season. The contribution she is capable of making is obvious, so we will welcome her to our club at whatever point she is ready to rejoin the league.”
As a member of the Flash, Wambach, 34, appeared in 29 matches and registered 17 goals and seven assists in two seasons with the club. She helped the Flash capture the inaugural NWSL Shield as the team with the best overall regular season record and led them to the 2013 NWSL championship game against the Portland Thorns FC before falling 2-0 at Sahlen’s Stadium.
Since debuting for USA in 2001, Wambach has become one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the world and holds the all-time international scoring record with 178 goals. In 2012, she scored 27 goals and had eight assists, culminating in winning the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist, she set a U.S. and Olympic record by scoring in the first five matches of the 2012 Olympics. Wambach is a six-time U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, most recently recognized for her 2013 campaign that included 11 goals and six assists.
Leroux, 24, was acquired by Reign FC in November 2013 in a trade with the Boston Breakers. The U.S. Women’s National Team forward tallied 5 goals in 22 appearances (21 starts) for Reign FC during their 2014 NWSL Shield winning season.
Frisbie, 22, was selected in the first round (No. 7 overall) of the 2014 NWSL College Draft by Reign FC. The University of Portland graduate suffered a season-ending leg injury during Reign FC's 2014 preseason. A native of McKinney, Texas, Frisbie was a NSCAA First Team All-American and MAC-Hermann Trophy semifinalist in her senior year of college.
“We want to thank both Sydney and Amanda for all they contributed to the club last year,” said Harvey. “Both are quality – as players and individuals – who have great careers ahead.”
Reign FC kicks off their 2015 regular season on Sunday, April 12 on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium when they host the Western New York Flash. Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT. For tickets to the home opener, please visit www.reignfc.com/tickets.