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Washington Spirit sign defender Brooke Hendrix

The Spirit’s emphasis on adding Americans based in Europe continues

Manchester City Women v West Ham United Ladies - Women’s FA Cup Final Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Washington Spirit completed a long-rumored move today, signing defender Brooke Hendrix from West Ham United. The Sharpsburg, GA native is the Spirit’s fourth signing of the offseason, and will bolster a defense that lost some depth after the 2019 NWSL season came to a close.

Hendrix, 26, joined West Ham in 2018 as part of their first-ever FA Women’s Super League squad. The Irons finished 7th in that campaign, and are sitting in 8th place at the moment. Per Soccerway, Hendrix appeared in 7 of West Ham’s 9 games this season, and 21 of a possible 29 league matches during her time in London. Hendrix helped West Ham get to last year’s FA Cup final, including a start in the final against Manchester City.

Before playing in England, Hendrix spent one season playing in Italy, where she was a starter for Brescia Calcio Femminile. Brescia finished tied atop the Serie A table with Juventus, but lost a one-game playoff for the title on penalties. Prior to that, Hendrix spent time with Fylkir FC in Iceland, Swiss club FC Staad, and Rangers in Scotland.

In college, Hendrix was a starter for nearly all of her four years at Southern Miss, scoring 7 goals in 71 appearances for the Golden Eagles.

For the Spirit, Hendrix will be competing with Paige Nielsen and Sam Staab for time at center back. By the end of last season, Richie Burke appeared to see defensive midfielder Andi Sullivan or right back Tori Huster as his best options in case his normal starters were unavailable, underlining a need for more competition and more depth. At 5’11”, Hendrix will bring some height to a Spirit side that was occasionally at a disadvantage in that category last season.

Making the move for Hendrix official brings the Spirit roster up to 20 players ahead of the NWSL draft, which takes place January 16 in Baltimore.