Goalkeeper of the Year: Adrianna Franch, Portland Thorns FC

Franch set an NWSL record with 11 clean sheets in the regular season

Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch recorded 11 clean sheets in 2017. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com)

In 2017, Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch set an NWSL record with 11 clean sheets in the regular season and has now been voted Goalkeeper of the Year. The award was voted on by club officials, players, media that cover the league on consistent basis and fans.

 

Franch and the Thorns, of course, then added one more clean sheet to their season, a 1-0 win over the North Carolina Courage in the 2017 NWSL Championship on Oct. 14.

 

In addition to the record number of shutouts, Franch also posted a 0.83 goals against average and made 80 saves — all while being one of six players to play all 2,160 minutes this season. The 0.83 GAA ties the NWSL record set by Seattle Reign FC set in 2014.

 

Franch’s 11 shutouts bested the previous record of 10 set by Nicole Barnhart in 2013. The Thorns went 9-0-2 in those games, on their way to a 14-5-5 regular season record and second-place in the NWSL standings at the end of the regular season.

 

She earned her first clean sheet on April 15 at home vs. the Orlando Pride, a 2-0 win in the season’s first game. Fittingly, she earned No. 11 vs. the Pride as well, a 0-0 draw in Orlando in the penultimate game of the regular season. Franch and the Thorns were the only team to shutout the league’s best offense twice this season.

 

Franch set a season-high with seven saves twice — at home vs. Orlando and then on the road in June vs. Sky Blue FC. Seven of her shutouts came at Providence Park as Portland posted the league’s best home record in 2017 (10-1-1).

 

Franch is the fifth different goalkeeper to win the award in the league’s five year history. She’s the second Thorns keeper to win, joining Michelle Betos, who won in 2015.