The Equalizer’s NWSL Player of the Week (Week 1): Adrianna Franch

The Equalizer Staff April 16, 2013 11
Adrianna Franch, WNY Flash

Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch of the Western New York Flash (front) made eight saves vs. Sky Blue FC in her professional debut on Sunday to keep her team in the match. The Flash lost 1-0. (Photo Copyright Howard C. Smith/ISI Photos)

Soccer is about much more than goals and wins or losses, so that’s how we choose to think about things around here. Each week we’ll be giving out a Player of the Week award, particularly since we don’t yet know if the National Women’s Soccer League plans to dish one out officially.

Despite the Western New York Flash’s 1-0 loss to Sky Blue FC on Sunday, Flash goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was a unanimous decision amongst editors of The Equalizer as the NWSL Player of the Week. The award, after all, is about individual performance.

The rookie goalkeeper was unlucky to have been scored on in the 42nd minute, when a deflection in the box resulted in a McCall Zerboni own goal. But Sky Blue FC would have iced the game long before the final whistle had it not been for the brilliant play of Franch. She twice denied Lisa De Vanna one-vs.-one in the second half and was officially credited with eight saves, all in the second half.

“I see the future national team goalkeeper of the U.S.,” Flash head coach Aaran Lines said after Sunday’s game. However, his praise of the 22-year-old goalkeeper was of a cautious approach.

“It was a good performance from her. She won’t be happy with the goal that she conceded, but she needs to focus on doing that over another 21 games and playoffs.”

  • I was at the game and I agree – she was phenomenal. In fact I was saying the same thing to Thomas Hofstetter at the game – she should be on Tom Sermani’s watch list. I think Brittany Cameron had a pretty strong game as well – stopping a PK should have put her in the consideration set for Player of the Week.

    • Kernel Thai

      Franch was with the US on the Germany/Netherlands trip. Be interesting to get Sermanni’s impression of her.

  • LCLondoner

    AD was amazing. As a Thorns fan who attended the KC game, I’d give big honorary mentions to Becky Sauerbrunn and Desiree Scott for combining to shut down our offense…

  • blueshell99

    Well deserved; I’m excited to one day see AD start for the USWNT. And Desiree Scott should be a runner up/honorary mention as she was all over that pitch from start to finish keeping the Thorns at bay. Great pick for week 1.

    • Yeah I agree with you, they should have an honorary mention as well because several players had some outstanding games like Desiree Scott and Caitlin Foord who at just 18yrds to me was the player of the match for SBFC. She was a nightmare for the Flash on the right side.

      • Steglitz49

        Maybe the Equalizer could appoint an “Eleven” of the week?

  • Fishlock should have definitely been in the conversation. Doubt a lot of people were able to see the CRS vs Reign game, but it is up on archive now so check it out.

    • Steglitz49

      I am not overly fond of these Lady-of-the-Match awards. In the old days they only had one and that player by definition came from the winning team. Then they started picking one for each team. Here I see people want to have “honorary mention” as well (it used to be “mentioned in dispatches” in armed forces).

      I know why we do it and it clearly fills a purpose but, as Zlatan allegedly mused once, it does not matter what we do in Sweden because Stenmark will always be the greatest. Which is true.

  • newsouth

    she’s probably more athletic than solo right now. i’d have her as #3, possibly #2 on the NT to excelerate her growth after 2015, because she will beat solo out at some point. she’s definitely better than harris and loyden.

  • newsouth

    Solo has an athletic advantage over the other keepers (Loyden, Harris and Barnhart). I think Franch is a better athlete than Solo, supsect she’ll challenge her at some up, give her upside is greater than the other 3 chasing Solo right now. She stays in shape, and th USA has another guardian for the next 10-12 years.

  • Steglitz49

    I just noted on the WSU site that Brittany Cameron of the Sky Blues was voted the player of the week by a selection of journalists that cover the NWSL. Congratulations to Gerry Marrone who noted Brittany in this forum.