The second half of the Frauen Bundesliga season just became a little tougher. FC Bayern announced today that holding midfielder Amber Brooks would be departing the club to return to the United States after one season in Munich. This is a disappointing blow to Thomas Wörle's side as they look to compete for a place in next season's Champions League.
FCB Frauen manager Karin Danner has mixed feelings on the matter.
"We regret the Amber Brooks' decision. She has proven many times over the last year that she is one of the pillars of the team and has matured with us to the USA national team. Her desire is to put herself into better contention for the USA national team by being back in the USA. We respect Amber and want to put no obstacles in the way. However, we do not understand what the US Federation has against players who do not play in the US. For the time she spent at Bayern, we would like to thank Amber and wish her every success in the future."
While I fully believe that you could argue that there is a slight bias among the USSF and coaches on the women's side for players that play in the United States, Brooks' biggest issue is that there are some talented players in front of her. She's already on the cusp of being a regular in the squad, and she's still a young player.
For her part, Brooks took to Twitter today to speak her feelings on her time in Munich.
I want to thank the club, my coaches, teammates, and fans, for the great experience I had with FC Bayern München this year. One to remember.— Amber Brooks (@abrooks22) December 11, 2013
Just to do a little speculation on where she's going to be playing once she arrives back in the NWSL, all signs point to her joining the Portland Thorns. Brooks was drafted by the Thorns in the collegiate draft at the beginning of the year, and owner Merritt Paulson hinted at this move a couple of days ago.
@JCP503 have a big USA player who has been paying abroad we will sign and new coach likes an international player a lot...will target her— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) December 9, 2013
Bayern are currently tied for third place in the table with Wolfsburg on 18 points, but Wolfsburg have two matches in hand. In the Frauen Bundesliga, only the top two clubs at the end of the season qualify for the following season's Champions League. It was always going to be an uphill battle for FCB to qualify this season, but the road is now a little harder.