Sam Brotherton's soccer career has taken him from his native New Zealand to Madison, and now after two standout seasons with the University of Wisconsin, the defender is headed to Premier League club Sunderland.
The 20-year-old opted to forego his final two seasons with the Badgers and signed with the Black Cats on Wednesday. Brotherton, who impressed during a 10-day trial last month, is signed through summer 2019 and will join the club's Under-23 team.
Brotherton, who has earned six caps for New Zealand, had three goals in 33 appearances (all starts) for the Badgers. He missed five matches during his UW career, all due to national team call-ups, and wore the captain's armband for the Badgers last fall.
"It was never my intention when I started out at college to leave early, but as things progressed and I gained exposure with the national team, my career has developed faster than I would have expected," Brotherton told Stuff.co.nz. (Read full article)
"When Sunderland came knocking and I went over there and enjoyed myself, I thought it was the right time and the right opportunity to take."
As a sophomore last season, Brotherton was named to the second team of the All-Big Ten Conference and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Midwest Region teams, and was a third-team selection on the College Sports Information Directors of America Division I Academic All-America team.
On Twitter: @SamBrotherton96