Alyssa Naeher’s biography tells the story of how she went from a soccer-loving kid in Connecticut to a star goalkeeper for the US Women’s National Team and the Chicago Red Stars.
Naeher is not just a goalkeeper; she is a legend of the game. She has been the first choice for the U.S. Women’s National Team since 2017, leading them to two World Cup titles and an Olympic bronze medal. She has made history with her spectacular saves, including a penalty kick stop in the 2019 World Cup semifinal against England that secured the U.S. a spot in the final.
In this biography, we explore Alyssa Naeher life story, as well as take a glimpse into her personal and professional life.
Everything to know about Alyssa Naeher
Naeher has a twin sister named Amanda, who is also a soccer player and a coach. They were born on April 20, 1988, in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
She wanted to be a professional basketball player when she was younger, and she scored over 2000 points while playing for her high school team.
Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the Alyssa Naeher biography.
Alyssa Naeher Information
In this part of Alyssa Naeher biography, we will have a glance at the player’s general information.
Born on April 20, 1988, Alyssa Naeher real name is Alyssa Michele Naeher.
- Full Name: Alyssa Michele Naeher
- Nickname: –
- Profession: Professional Football Player
- Weight: 69 Kilograms
- Height: 1.75 m
- Eye Color: Hazel
- Hair Color: Blonde
Date of Birth and Personal Info
- Date of Birth: April 20, 1988
- Birth Place: Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
- Nationality: American
- Position: Goalkeeper
- Jersey Number: 1
- Professional Debut: 2010
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Alyssa Naeher Early Life
In this part of Alyssa Naeher biography, we take a look at the player’s early life.
Naeher was born on April 20, 1988, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She has a twin sister named Amanda, who is also a soccer player and a coach. They both started playing soccer when they were five years old, but Alyssa’s first practice was not very smooth. Her sister accidentally slammed the car door on her hands, causing her nails to fall off and turning her hand black and blue. Despite the pain, Alyssa still wanted to play soccer and showed her determination and passion for the game.
Alyssa and Amanda attended Christian Heritage School, where they were standout players in soccer and basketball. Alyssa was a three-time All-State and three-time FAA All-Conference selection in soccer, as well as a Parade All-American and two-time NSCAA Youth All-American. She also excelled in basketball, scoring over 2000 points during her high school career.
Alyssa went to Penn State University, where she played for the Nittany Lions from 2006 to 2009. She was a First Team All-American in 2007 and 2008 and was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. Naeher started 74 games during her college career, with a record of 50–19–5 and 24 shutouts. She majored in kinesiology and graduated in 2009.
Alyssa Naeher Profile
In this part of Alyssa Naeher biography, we will have a glance at the player’s profile.
Alyssa Naeher is an esteemed goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s National Team and the Chicago Red Stars. She has won two World Cup titles an Olympic bronze medal with the U.S., and a Bundesliga title with Turbine Potsdam. She has a twin sister named Amanda, who is also a soccer player and a coach.
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Alyssa Naeher Professional Career
In this part of Alyssa Naeher biography, we dive deep into the professional life of the American international.
Naeher began her soccer career at SoccerPlus Connecticut, a youth club founded by former U.S. goalkeeper Tony DiCicco. She played for the club from 2004 to 2008 and was part of the team that won the 2005 US Youth Soccer National Championship. She also trained with the SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School, where she learned from DiCicco and other top coaches.
In 2010, Naeher was drafted by the Boston Breakers in the Women’s Professional Soccer League, becoming the first goalkeeper selected in the draft. She played for the Breakers for two seasons, making 36 appearances and recording four shutouts.
After the 2011 season of the Women’s Professional Soccer League in the U.S. ended, Alyssa Naeher decided to take her talents to Europe and joined Turbine Potsdam, a German Bundesliga club. She quickly adapted to the new environment and became a key player for Potsdam, playing in 24 matches in all competitions in the 2011/2012 season. She helped Potsdam win the 2011–12 Frauen-Bundesliga title, the highest honor in German women’s soccer.
Naeher stayed with Potsdam for another season, as the 2012 season of the WPS in the U.S. was suspended due to financial issues. She continued to impress with her performances, earning praise from her teammates and coaches.
Return to Boston Breakers
In May 2013, Naeher returned to her home country and signed with the Boston Breakers, a team that had drafted her in 2010. The Breakers were part of the newly formed National Women’s Soccer League, which replaced the WPS as the top professional league in the U.S.
Naeher had a stellar season in 2014, playing every minute of every game for Boston and making a league-record 106 saves in 24 games. She also won the NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year award and found her way into the NWSL Best XI, the league’s all-star team.
She played one more season for Boston in 2015, before being traded to the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for defender Whitney Engen.
Chicago Red Stars
Continuing toward Alyssa Naeher biography, she had a strong start to her career with the Chicago Red Stars in 2016, as she was named Player of the Month for May. She posted three shutouts and only allowed one goal in four games during that month, showing her quality and consistency.
Naeher was named Player of the Week in week 6 of the 2018 season by the NWSL Media Association after she made seven saves and kept a clean sheet against Sky Blue FC. She was also named to the Team of the Month in June 2018, along with four other Red Stars players.
On August 18, 2018, Naeher reached a milestone in her career, as she earned her 100th NWSL cap in a 2–2 draw against Portland Thorns FC. She became only the third goalkeeper in NWSL history to achieve this feat.
Here, we will take a look at Alyssa Naeher stats at the international level.
Naeher made her debut for the U.S. senior team in 2014 and was part of the 23-player roster for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. She did not play any minutes in the tournament, as she was the backup goalkeeper behind Hope Solo. However, she still celebrated with her teammates as they won the World Cup title for the third time.
Naeher became the first-choice goalkeeper for the U.S. in 2017, succeeding Solo who had been suspended by U.S. Soccer. She proved her worth with her consistent and reliable performances and earned her spot in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. She played every minute of every game for the U.S., and made history with her spectacular saves, especially in penalty shootouts. Naeher saved a crucial penalty kick from England’s Steph Houghton in the semifinal and two penalties from the Netherlands’ Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema in the final. She helped the U.S. win their fourth World Cup title and became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty kick in both a World Cup semifinal and final.
An Olympic Hero
Naeher also represented the U.S. at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where she continued to shine with her clutch performances. She saved three penalty kicks from Australia’s Sam Kerr, Emily van Egmond, and Mary Fowler in the bronze medal match, and secured third place for the U.S. The American goalie became the first goalkeeper to save three penalties in a single Olympic match. She also made some crucial saves against Canada and Sweden in the previous rounds, despite suffering a knee injury that forced her to miss part of the semifinal.
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Alyssa Naeher’s playing style
In this part of Alyssa Naeher biography, we tend to the talented shot-stopper’s style of play.
Naeher is a goalkeeper who combines leadership, confidence, consistency, and skill in her playing style. She is not only a reliable shot-stopper but also an excellent distributor of the ball, using her vision and accuracy to start attacks from the back.
Alyssa is calm and composed under pressure, and has shown her ability to make crucial saves in big moments, especially in penalty shootouts. She is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has won several awards and titles with her club and country.
However, Naeher is not flawless, and she has faced some challenges and criticisms in her career. She has sometimes struggled with injuries, such as the knee injury that forced her to miss part of the 2021 Olympic semifinal. Some have questioned Naeher’s ability to command her box and communicate with her defenders, as well as her consistency in dealing with crosses and long-range shots.
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Alyssa Naeher Honors and Achievements
In this part of Alyssa Naeher biography, we will have a glance at the player’s achievements.
At the club level, she has played for Boston Breakers and Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), and Turbine Potsdam in the German Bundesliga. She won the Bundesliga title with Potsdam in 2011 and was named the NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014 and the NWSL Best XI in 2014. She also holds the record for the most saves in the NWSL with 462 as of October 2021.
At the international level, she has represented the U.S. Women’s National Team since 2014 and has been the first-choice goalkeeper since 2017. She has won two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019, an Olympic bronze medal in 2020, and several other tournaments, such as the CONCACAF Women’s Championship in 2018 and 2022, the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2016 and 2020, the SheBelieves Cup in 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, and the Tournament of Nations in 2018. She has also made history with her spectacular saves, especially in penalty shootouts, against teams like England, Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, and Australia.
At the individual level, she has received many awards and recognitions for her outstanding performances. She has been named the CONCACAF Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018 and the CONCACAF Best XI in 2018. The shot-stopper also won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Golden Glove in 2008 and was selected to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup All-star team in 2008. She was also named to the Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament Best XI in 2021.
Alyssa Naeher Personal Life
In this part of Alyssa Naeher biography, we take a look at the 35-year-old’s personal life.
Naeher comes from a family of soccer lovers and believers. Her parents, John and Donna Lynn Naeher, raised her and her two sisters in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She has a twin sister named Amanda, who also played soccer for Messiah College, a Christian liberal arts school in Pennsylvania. She also has a younger sister named Abigail, who is a student and an athlete. Alyssa’s heritage is a mix of German, English, and French Canadian, reflecting the diversity of her ancestors.