A few days after bringing the curtain down on 12 years of playing in Germany, Lehigh Valley native Gina Lewandowski signed with Sky Blue FC on Tuesday.

Lewandowski, 34, moved to Germany in 2007 after growing up in Coopersburg and graduating from Lehigh. She joined 1. FFC Frankfurt a few weeks before future U.S. national team star Ali Krieger did the same. The two players helped Frankfurt win a treble of trophies in the spring of 2008: the Bundesliga, the German Cup and the UEFA Women’s Cup, the predecessor to the Champions League.

Though Lewandowski wasn’t as well known in the U.S. as Krieger, she made a name for herself in Frankfurt and stayed there for four years.

When Lewandowski’s contract expired in 2011, she came back to the U.S. to play one summer for the Western New York Flash. She returned to Germany after that to rejoin Frankfurt for one season, then moved to Bayern Munich in 2012 and stayed for seven years.

As Bayern started to elevate its women’s team alongside its internationally-famous men’s team, Lewandowski was able to reap the results. Bayern won the Bundesliga in 2015 and 2016, then reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League in 2017 and reached the semifinals of the Champions League this year.

Along the way, Lewandowski earned her only ever U.S. national team cap in a November 2015 friendly. She was part of a few camps in 2016, but never saw any game action.

In late April, Bayern announced that Lewandowski was leaving to return to America and live closer to her family. Over the weekend, she posted a farewell message on Instagram.

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♦️DANKE♦️THANK YOU♦️ ———————————————————————— After 7 years here in Munich and 12 years total in Germany, I have decided to leave FCB Bayern Munich at the end of the season and head back to the USA. Though the decision was definitely not easy, right now home has been calling. Germany became a second home for me where I have grown as a person and player both on and off the field. It has been a huge honor for me to share the field with many world-class players and to train under some of the best coaches in the world. Experiencing a whole new culture, language and style of play has been an amazing adventure that I will be forever grateful for. I will always remember the many unforgettable memories and moments I have been able to enjoy and share with those people who have become my life-long friends. All the success and achievements both on and off the field will be savored with all those I was blessed to share them with. I want to thank 1.FFC Frankfurt for taking me in right out of college (2007) and giving me the chance to pursue my dream of playing professional football and to carry out my God-given gifts. I want to thank FC Bayern Munich for the opportunity to continue playing the game I love and to be a part of the tremendous success and development within the women’s program. I wish all my teammates, coaches, and the club continued success in the future. I am proud to have worked with you all and mostly to call you my friends. Thank you to all the fans and your unending loyal support! It’s been an amazing ride with you all. Thank you Munich for an unforgettable time. I will carry my time here with me and you will forever be in my heart ❤️ AUF WIEDERSEHEN. Pfiat euch! #Godisgood

A post shared by Gina Lewandowski (@gll088) on

But it wasn’t quite clear whether Lewandowski was fully retiring. Now we know the answer. She won’t play for Sky Blue in Saturday’s home game against the Washington Spirit, though, because she won’t come over until after Bayern’s season officially ends Saturday. She might debut in Sky Blue’s game at suburban Seattle-based Reign FC on May 18, or the next weekend when Sky Blue hosts the Portland Thorns.

“I am really excited to be coming back to the U.S. and to have the opportunity to play closer to home,” Lewandowski said in a statement issued by the team. “The league has developed immensely the last few years and I am looking forward to playing professionally in the U.S. again and being a part of its continued growth."

Gina Lewandowski earned her only ever U.S. national team cap in a November 2015 friendly against Brazil.
John Raoux / AP file photo
Gina Lewandowski earned her only ever U.S. national team cap in a November 2015 friendly against Brazil.