Why is Bella Bixby Not Playing? What Really Happened to Her Career?

Why is Bella Bixby Not Playing

Bella Bixby, the talented American soccer goalkeeper for Portland Thorns FC, has had a remarkable journey in her professional career while pursuing a master’s degree in fish and wildlife administration. In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind Bella Bixby not playing and explore her inspiring career path.

The Lineup Change

After their 5-1 loss to Angel City FC, which marked the conclusion of the regular season, Thorns’ head coach, Mike Norris, made several notable changes to the lineup. One of the most significant alterations was the decision to sit starting goalkeeper Bella Bixby and instead opt for Shelby Hogan, who had only started once in the regular season.

The exact reason for Bella Bixby not playing wasn’t specified in the information provided, but it’s common in sports for coaches to make changes in the lineup based on a variety of factors. These decisions can be influenced by the desire to provide rest or rotation, tactical adjustments, or even performance considerations.

It’s possible that Coach Norris felt that a change in goalkeeping personnel was necessary for the team’s success or that Bella Bixby might have been dealing with an injury or other issues that made her unavailable. Regardless, these lineup changes were made with the team’s best interests in mind, as Coach Norris sought to address their performance issues and improve their chances of success.

Who is Bella Bixby?

Annabella Madeleine Bixby, formerly known as Annabella Madeleine Geist, is a prominent American soccer player renowned for her role as a goalkeeper, and she currently represents Portland Thorns FC. With her position as the team’s goalkeeper, Bixby plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the goalpost and preventing opposing teams from scoring.

Bixby’s career in soccer has been characterized by her exceptional talent and dedication to the sport. Her presence in Portland Thorns FC showcases her commitment to the team and the sport’s growth in the United States. As a goalkeeper, she assumes a crucial responsibility in ensuring the team’s defensive prowess and contributing to their overall success.

Her journey as a professional athlete serves as an inspiration to aspiring soccer players, and her contributions to Portland Thorns FC demonstrate her integral role in the team’s quest for victory and achievement on the soccer field.

Full Name Annabella Madeleine Bixby
Birth Name Annabella Madeleine Geist
Date of Birth November 20, 1995 (age 27)
Place of Birth Milwaukie, Oregon, U.S.
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Position(s) Goalkeeper

Bella Bixby’s Age and Early Achievements

As of 2023, Bella Bixby is 27 years old. Her educational journey led her to Rex Putnam High School in Milwaukie, Oregon, where she pursued her academic and athletic interests. On February 5, 2014, she committed to play soccer at Oregon State University by signing a letter of intent, marking a significant step in her sports career.

During her youth, Bixby was actively involved in soccer, participating in the Olympic Development Program teams in Oregon. Her club teams achieved notable successes, clinching Oregon Premier League State Cup championships in 2009, 2011, and 2012. She played for various clubs, including Lake Oswego Soccer Club, OSSA, and Crossfire Oregon.

In an intriguing twist, Bixby also showcased her versatility by serving as a placekicker for Putnam High School’s varsity gridiron football team. She achieved remarkable feats, including an impressive 40-yard game-tying field goal in a 2013 game.

Her outstanding performances earned her recognition from the Northwest Oregon Conference, where she was acknowledged as both the top girls’ soccer goalkeeper and top gridiron football extra point attempt kicker in 2013 and 2014.

Bella Bixby’s Professional Career

Annabella Madeleine Bixby’s club career with Portland Thorns FC has seen its fair share of ups and downs. She was drafted by the team in the 2018 NWSL College Draft after Coach Mark Parsons’ request. However, injuries plagued her early years, including a wrist injury during a loan stint in Germany and a subsequent loan to Israel in 2019.

Bixby finally made her professional debut for the Thorns in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup but suffered an ACL injury that cut her season short. In 2021, she set an NWSL record for consecutive shutout minutes at the start of a regular season. She signed a three-year contract extension in 2022 and had a stellar year with numerous saves and shutouts, leading her team to a championship win.

Additionally, Bixby had a brief stint with 1. FFC Frankfurt in 2018 but returned early due to a wrist injury. Beyond her playing career, in 2022, she ventured into coaching as the head coach for the girls’ varsity soccer team at Rex Putnam High School.

Bella Bixby’s Personal Life

In December 2018, Bixby tied the knot with her husband Elliot and adopted her married name. Notably, Bixby is a member of the autism spectrum, which adds an extra layer to her inspiring journey. While actively pursuing her soccer career, she also remains dedicated to her academic pursuits, working towards a master’s degree in fish and wildlife administration at Oregon State University. This demonstrates her commitment to both her athletic and educational ambitions, exemplifying her multifaceted and determined approach to life.


Bella Bixby’s absence from the starting lineup of Portland Thorns FC may be due to various reasons, including tactical adjustments, performance considerations, or personal circumstances. Regardless of the cause, Bixby’s journey as a professional soccer player and her commitment to both her athletic and academic pursuits continue to inspire fans and aspiring athletes alike.

Why is Bella Bixby Not Playing: FAQs

1. Who is Annabella Madeleine Bixby?

Annabella Madeleine Bixby, also known as Bella Bixby, is an American soccer player who serves as a goalkeeper for Portland Thorns FC.

2. When was Bella Bixby born?

Bella Bixby was born on November 20, 1995.

3. Where did Bella Bixby attend high school?

Bella Bixby attended Rex Putnam High School in Milwaukie, Oregon.

4. What notable accomplishments did Bella Bixby achieve during her high school years?

Bella Bixby excelled not only in soccer but also in varsity gridiron football, where she garnered recognition for her performances.

5. What challenges did Bella Bixby face in her early years with Portland Thorns FC?

Bixby encountered injuries, including a wrist injury in Germany, and spent time on loan in Israel.

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