Thorns goalkeeping coach Nadine Angerer is one of Germany’s newest Hall of Famers.
Angerer flew to Germany to join the pantheon of soccer heroes who were honored at a ceremony in Mainz on July 2, 2022. Among her fellow inductees into the Hall of Fame was her former national teammate Ariane Hingst, a member of the legendary defense that didn’t allow a single goal during their entire 2007 World Cup run.
The three other players honored – Anna Trabant-Haarbach, 73, Bärbel Wohlleben, 78, and Christa Kleinhans, 85 – had left a mark on international soccer before Angerer and Hingst were born. Their careers overlapped with or immediately followed the years when women’s soccer was officially illegal in Germany between 1955 and 1970.
“They are incredible,” says Angerer. “Without them we wouldn’t be where we are right now. In my time, we already had a women’s club, there was no ban anymore, and they already broadcast the games [on TV]. So it was easier. For them? Jesus. I don’t know how much effort they had to put in to play soccer and how many obstacles they had in their way.”
“When I met [Anna and Christa] for the first time in the hotel, I didn’t say much. I was just listening. I could listen to them the whole day. What they went through… it’s unbelievable. I said at least 100 times, ‘Thank you from my generation, and even the generation after me.’”
Angerer says her own contribution to the sport occurred mostly on the field, engaging and inspiring the next generation of players simply by winning… a lot. But talking to Angerer, who is already back in training in Portland, you get the sense she doesn’t spend much time lingering in front of her own trophy case.
“It’s a big honor. But I’m a person who never looks back,” she says. “Right now, my focus is to be a good coach. I want our goalkeepers to one day be in the hall of fame. The past is the past. Now is now. And the future is Thorns goalkeepers.”