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Shutout record helps Adrianna Franch snag NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year honors

Adrianna Franch, right celebrating with Emily Sonnett, is the 2017 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year (photo copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Four days after posting a clean sheet in the NWSL Championship, Adrianna Franch has been named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year. AD for short, Franch played every minute of the 2017 season allowing just 20 goals over 24 games for a 0.83 goals against average. She posted a league record 11 regular season shutouts before collecting another in Saturday’s final. Franch beat out finalists Katelyn Rowland and 2014 winner Alyssa Naeher.

Franch was a discovery claim by the Orlando Pride who traded her and a draft pick to Portland for Steph Catley. But Franch could not shake Michelle Betos for the starting role in 2016 and spent much of the season as a backup. When Betos signed to play this season in Norway, Franch stepped into the starting role and never looked back.

Originally the no. 6 overall pick by the Flash in 2013, Franch started every match on the NWSL’s inaugural Shield winners before losing to the Thorns in the NWSL Championship. It would be the last match she ever played for the Flash. Franch tore her ACL early in 2014 preseason , missed the season, and then spent a year in Norway.

Last week Franch was named to the NWSL’s Best XI.

NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year winners

2013: Nicole Barnhart, FC Kansas City
2014: Alyssa Naeher, Chicago Red Stars
2015: Michelle Betos, Portland Thorns FC
2016: Ashlyn Harris, Orlando Pride
2017: Adrianna Franch, Portland Thorns FC

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