Former Hicksville star and USC midfielder Amanda Rooney has signed a contract with Lithuanian women’s soccer club Gintra-Universitetas, she confirmed on Monday.
Rooney’s deal runs through Nov. 1, and she will be joining the club in “mid-to-late April.”
“I’m definitely most excited about showing what I can do at the professional level,” said Rooney, 22, who scored three goals over three seasons at USC and won a national championship with the Trojans in 2016.
Gintra is a member of the A Lyga, the top division of Lithuanian women’s soccer. The club advanced to the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 16 in 2017 and will return to the tournament in August after winning the Baltic League last year.
Although Rooney said she also spoke with “four or five” American franchises during the negotiation process, she said the opportunity to live and play in Europe, as well as the potential to compete in the Champions League, were among the defining factors in her decision to sign with Gintra.
“Not many people get this sort of opportunity,” Rooney said. “I felt that this would be a good place to start my professional career. And then from here on it exposes me to other options.”
After overcoming multiple injuries throughout her collegiate career, including a fractured ankle and dislocated shoulder, Rooney touched on the emotions of fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a professional soccer player.
“It’s humbling,” Rooney said. “But at the same time it’s what I’ve worked for. This has been the plan from the beginning. I was never planning on ending my soccer career in high school or college, so this has always been it.”