It is rare in a knockout tournament for a team to truly showcase the depth of its goalkeeper pool, but the Portland Thorns have done just that while successfully surviving an injury crisis in the position at the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup. The play of backups Bella Bixby and Britt Eckerstrom in the absence of first-choice Adrianna Franch has spotlighted the strength of the Thorns’ group of goalkeepers, and goalkeeper coach Nadine Angerer’s work with the club since joining as a goalkeeper coach five years ago.
“The thing is, we have a little bit of a different goalkeeper philosophy in Portland,” Angerer told The Equalizer before the team’s semifinal against the Houston Dash on Wednesday. “It takes like almost a year,” or up to a year and a half, Angerer said, “to learn our technique, to understand our philosophy and to transfer our technique and everything into game.”
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