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North Carolina Courage acquire Brianna Pinto from Gotham FC

(Jesse Louie/Just Women's Sports)

Gotham FC has traded midfielder Brianna Pinto to the North Carolina Courage in exchange for $125,000 in allocation money, the club announced Monday.

The move marks a homecoming for Pinto, who was born and raised in Durham, N.C. and attended the University of North Carolina from 2018-21, scoring 31 goals in 73 appearances. The midfielder appeared in seven games for Gotham FC this past season after she was drafted third overall in the 2021 NWSL Draft.

“I am beyond thrilled to be back in my hometown and represent such a successful NWSL franchise,” Pinto said in a release. “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.”

Pinto, 21, played for Courage head coach Sean Nahas while a member of Capital Area Soccer League (now North Carolina FC Youth) from 2014-17. Nahas coached the team for 15 years before moving into an assistant role with the Courage in 2017. Last week, he was named the club’s permanent head coach after serving as the interim since Paul Riley was fired in late September.

“Brianna possesses a great passion for the game, which shows in her technical quality and game understanding,” Nahas said. “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.”