The Portland Thorns kicked off the day nice and early by announcing that they have signed German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer. Angerer, 35, has consistantly been one of the top goalkeepers in the world and was recognized this year as the European Women's Player of the Year in 2013.
The move to Portland will mark the third continent that Angerer has played on. After spending most of her career in Europe, Angerer played the last season in Australia with the Brisbane Roar where she made four appearances.
However, Angerer is best known for her play with the German national team, where she has been capped 127 times since 1996 and is the only active player in the top ten most capped players for Germany. It was her play in Germany's 2013 European Cup capaign that lead to her nomination as a finalist for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or alongside Abby Wambach and Marta. (The Ballon d'Or is being awarded today.)
Of course, this move leaves a big question surrounding the future of fan favorite Karina LeBlanc with the Thorns, as it seems unlikely that the team will keep two veteran goalkeepers on the roster. With two trades likely coming down the pipe today, we could see this resolved immediately.
LeBlanc, who was a finalist for the NWSL's goalkeeper of the year award in 2013, played in all of the Thorns matches last season except for one and posted seven shutouts on the season.
The Thorns' press release:
THORNS FC SIGN GOALKEEPER NADINE ANGERER
Reigning UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe Award winner, FIFA Ballon d’Or finalist to join Portland for 2014 NWSL season
PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Thorns FC have signed experienced German international goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, it was announced today. She will be added to the roster pending league approval and receipt of her International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"To be able to sign one of the best goalkeepers in women’s soccer illustrates how serious we are about being one of the top clubs in the world," Thorns FC head coach Paul Riley said. "Nadine is exceptional in just about every category – shot saving, footwork, crosses, organization, knowledge and experience. We are honored to have Nadine on our roster and she will be a critical addition in our goal to host and win the NWSL Championship."
Angerer, 35, has established herself as one of the top goalkeepers in the women’s game, recently being named one of three finalists for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or and earning the UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe Award following a standout 2012-13 season. A two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner with the Germany Women’s National Team in 2003 and 2007, Angerer stopped a penalty kick in each half as she helped guide Germany to its sixth consecutive UEFA Women’s European Championship with a 1-0 victory over Norway in July 2013. A national team captain since 2011, Angerer allowed one goal in six matches during the tournament and has been a presence on the national team roster for five of Germany’s six straight European Championship titles.
"Nadine will provide the club with a tremendous amount of leadership and experience," Thorns FC general manager Gavin Wilkinson said. "She has been an impact player on the German National Team for many years and is currently one of the most well-regarded goalkeepers in the game. We feel that with her successful track record, she will be a valuable addition to Thorns FC."
A native of Lohr am Main, Germany, Angerer was named Best Goalkeeper at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in which she did not concede a goal in six matches – compiling a FIFA Women’s World Cup-record streak of 540 minutes without conceding a goal. A three-time Olympic bronze medalist (2000, 2004, 2008), Angerer has registered 127 international appearances for Germany since making her senior team debut in 1996.
"It is with great pride that I look forward to joining the current U.S. champion club in Portland and I hope I can contribute to another successful season for Thorns FC," Angerer said. "I am excited to play for a team with many of the top women’s players in the world."
At the club level, Angerer joins Thorns FC from Australian W-League side Brisbane Roar. Signing with Brisbane in July 2013, Angerer has appeared in four matches for the Roar during the 2013-14 season. Prior to playing in Australia, Angerer starred for 1. FFC Frankfurt in Germany from 2009-13, helping the club win the Frauen DFB-Pokal, Germany’s domestic cup competition, in 2011. She spent the 2008 season in Sweden with Djurgårdens IF. Angerer has played the bulk of her club career with 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam in Germany from 2001-07, helping guide the club to a championship at the 2005 UEFA Women’s Cup, twice winning the Frauen Bundesliga (2003-04, 2005-06) and raising the Frauen DFB-Pokal three times (2004, 2005, 2006). Angerer’s career also includes time with FC Bayern Munich and FC Wacker München.
Angerer will occupy one of three international slots on the Thorns FC roster.
Pronunciation: nah-DEEN Ahn-ger-er
Born: Nov. 10, 1978, in Lohr am Main, Germany
Last Club: Brisbane Roar (Australia)