Thorns add top goalkeeper, trade LeBlanc

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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Portland Thorns FC have added one of the best players in the world and parted ways with popular goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc.

The Thorns on Monday announced that they signed goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, a two-time Women's World Cup winner with Germany. The 35-year-old on Monday was honored as the women's soccer world player of the year for 2013, winning the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

“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 coach Paul Riley said. “Nadine is exceptional in just about every category – shot saving, footwork, crosses, organization, knowledge and experience."

The Thorns traded LeBlanc to Chicago for a second-round pick in the 2015 NWSL college draft. The colorful LeBlanc was one of the most popular Thorns players during their 2013 NWSL championship season. The Canadian led the league with 11 wins and ranked second in the league with 92 saves.

Riiley said LeBlanc was traded so that she would be able to remain a starting goalkeeper.

"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," Riley said.

Also on Monday, the Thorns acquired midfielder Sinead Farrelly from FC Kansas City for the 16th pick in the 2014 college draft.