NJ/NY Gotham FC Monday sent midfielder and North Carolina native Brianna Pinto to the North Carolina Courage in exchange for $125,000 in allocation money.

Pinto attended the University of North Carolina.

“I am beyond thrilled to be back in my hometown and represent such a successful NWSL franchise,” Pinto said in a statement. “The thought of playing with players like Debinha, Jess McDonald, Denise O’Sullivan, Lynn Williams, Casey Murphy and so many others makes me incredibly excited about the upcoming season. I’m eager to hit the pitch and help this team earn another championship. On another note, this is an incredible opportunity for me to reunite with Sean Nahas, a coach who has been instrumental in my development.”

A standout player at the University of North Carolina, Pinto was drafted by Gotham FC third overall in the first round of the 2021 NWSL Draft. She made 10 appearances and played 195 minutes.

In three seasons with the Tar Heels, Pinto collected 73 total appearances, scoring 31 goals and adding 19 assists, and picked up three consecutive All-ACC selections. The Durham, N.C. native was named a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy in 2021 and a semifinalist for the award in 2019, also earning the title of U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year that same year.

“We are excited to add Brianna to the Courage family,” head coach Sean Nahas said in a statement. “Having grown up in North Carolina, the opportunity to bring her home is one that we couldn’t pass up. Brianna possesses a great passion for the game, which shows in her technical quality and game understanding. I’ve coached her in years past and I couldn’t be more excited to work with her again. She is someone who will help add to our midfield, and the opportunity for her to learn and be around our players will only help take her game to the next level.”

A homegrown player, Pinto competed with Capital Area Soccer League (now North Carolina FC Youth) from 2014-2017, and has also trained with the U14, U17, U19, U20 and U23 US National Teams. In 2016, the midfielder was named to the Best XI during the Concacaf World Cup 1ualifying tournament, in which she competed with the U17 National Team. She was later called up to the senior US Women’s National Team in 2017 before being named to the roster for the SheBelieves Cup, the youngest player to make the tournament roster.

Pinto is the daughter of former Brentwood High School standout Hassan Pinto.