PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Thorns have signed 2013 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year and UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe award-winner goalkeeper Nadine Angerer.
“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 in a Press Release. “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.”
Currently with Brisbane Roar of the Australian W-League, where she has made 4 appearances, Angerer, 35, is expected to join the Thorns in April, with the NWSL season expected to kick off in the second week of April.
“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.”
Prior to joining Brisbane, Angerer captained Germany’s Women’s Euro 2013-winning side, the fifth straight time Germany has won the Euro, along with two Women’s World Cup Gold Medals in 2003 and 2007. At the club level, Angerer has appeared mostly in the Frauen-Bundesliga, the German first division, most recently with 1. FFC Frankfurt (85 appearances, 2009-2013) and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (126, 2001-2007).
“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.”
Red Stars acquire LeBlanc from Thorns
With the signing of Angerer, the Chicago Red Stars acquired Canadian international goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc from the Thorns in exchange for a second round draft pick in the 2015 NWSL College Draft.
“Karina is a class act and she will be missed in Portland,” head coach Paul Riley said. “Having brought one of the top goalkeepers in the world to the Thorns in Nadine Angerer, we realized how important it is for Karina to play regularly so close to a World Cup. Giving her a trade to Chicago will enable her to achieve her personal goals. She proved her leadership and shot saving ability in helping Portland win the NWSL championship and I want to thank her and wish her all the best in Chicago and with all her future endeavors.”
“Karina is an important piece for us because she is a proven winner,” remarked Head Coach Rory Dames in a Press Release by the Red Stars. “Her experience in winning a championship will be very important for our young team this year.”
LeBlanc, 33, helped lead the Thorns to the 2013 NWSL Championship, recording 7 clean sheets in 21 starts and was named NWSL Player of the Week twice, in Weeks 11 and 14.
“We’re thrilled to bring in someone with Karina’s veteran playing experience as well as the rapport she has carried with fans throughout her career,” said Red Stars General Manager Alyse LaHue. “She’s an extraordinary addition for us on and off the field.”
An allocated player from the Canadian Soccer Association, the Red Stars were able to take advantage of a new rule no longer allowing allocated players only to be traded for another allocated player. The rule change was announced on January 10.
Farrelly traded to Thorns
To cap off their busy day, the Thorns acquired midfielder Sinead Farrelly from FC Kansas City in exchange for the 16th overall selection in the 2014 NWSL College Draft.
Farrelly, 24, appeared in 16 matches for Kansas City, making 10 starts and scoring 1 goal. She is currently on loan to Cyprus club Apollon Limassol LFC through Jan. 31, 2014.
“Sinead is a versatile player and was one of the best box-to-box midfielders in WPS,” head coach Paul Riley said. “She is smooth, intelligent and has an engine second to none. Having coached her before, I know her strengths and she brings a lot to the table and will be a great addition to our 2014 team. She will relish playing in Portland’s atmosphere and she has the potential to be a fan favorite.”
“We were blessed with a very strong and deep midfield,” said FC Kansas City technical director Huw Williams in a Press Release. “Sinead is a great player and will do very well in Portland. We feel this draft is also very strong and we will be able to improve our roster with this selection.”
Farrelly previously played for Riley with the Philadelphia Independence of the WPS, where she was the second pick of the 2011 WPS Draft, scoring 1 goal in 14 appearances.
With the trade, the Thorns currently hold the 11th, 25th, and 34th draft picks in the 2014 NWSL College Draft, taking place at the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia this Friday, while Kansas City hold 5 of the top 20 picks (5th, 12th, 16th, 19th and 20th).