The North Carolina Courage Monday acquired defender Emily Fox from Racing Louisville in a trade that sends defenders Abby Erceg and Carson Pickett to the National Women’s Soccer League team.

At 24, Fox has earned more 20 caps with the U.S. women’s national team and was most recently on the roster for the team’s January trip to New Zealand. She started three matches in the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship, including the final, which the U.S. won against Canada.

Fox, the first pick in the 2021 NWSL draft, had a successful sophomore season in 2022, recording a goal and assist while winning nearly 60 percent of tackles and duels. Her 82 percent pass success rate from 2022 fits well with a Courage club that led the league in both total passes and pass percentage a season ago. She was an NWSL rookie of the year finalist in 2021 after leading the entire league in interceptions (45) and logging more minutes than any other rookie.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to head back to North Carolina. Coming from UNC, the Courage were always a team I rooted for and admired. I can’t wait to get to work and represent this club,” Fox said in a statement.

Added Sean Nahas: “We are thrilled to add Emily to our club. She is one of the bright young players in the game who will come in and have an immediate impact. She plays multiple positions, maintains wonderful technical quality, and has an attacking mind frame. I know she is excited to be here and can’t wait for everyone to welcome her. We look forward to having Emily back in North Carolina where she played her collegiate career not too long ago.”

Fox had a prolific collegiate career with the University of North Carolina, leading her team to College Cup appearances in 2018 and 2019. As a four-year starter for the Tar Heels, Fox paced UNC with 11 assists in 2019, earned three-straight First Team All-ACC honors and was named a Hermann Trophy semifinalist, all while overcoming two ACL tears in three years.