NWSL Player of the Week: AD Franch makes stoppage-time save

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KC Current goalkeeper AD Franch secured her team’s win against the Spirit. (Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Adrianna “AD” Franch played hero for Kansas City Current Sunday, denying a stoppage-time penalty kick to secure her side a 1-0 win over the Washington Spirit.

The Current goalkeeper made a diving save to reject Tinaya Alexander’s low shot before pouncing on her deflection to clinch three points for Kansas City.

Franch’s game-winning play was one of three clutch saves from the 31-year-old in the match as she logged her second clean sheet of the season. The veteran keeper’s lights-out performance in goal earns her JWS Player of the Week honors.

Sunday’s dominant showing is on par with Franch’s form this season, playing some of the best soccer of her career for the Current. Franch’s shutout comes after she helped deliver another road win for the Current on July 1, notching five saves to defeat the Dash in Houston 2-1.

Franch now holds the second-most total saves in the NWSL this season at 40, one behind OL Reign’s Phallon Tullis-Joyce at 41. She is also second in saves per 90 minutes, averaging four on the season while holding the fourth-best save percentage at 74.1 percent.

Franch’s impressive campaign comes after last season’s move to Kansas City from Portland, where she played for six years. Finding her footing for her hometown club, Franch, though a seasoned pro, has been intentionally working on aspects of her game.

“We’re asking her to do things in possession that I don’t think she’s really been asked to do previously in Portland,” Kansas City assistant coach Lloyd Yaxley told The Kansas City Star. “So we’re asking her to play a bit more, and find ways to split attackers and things like that, and be a bit more of a playmaker in there.”

For Franch, a former United States Women’s National Team mainstay and World Cup winner, her focus is now hitting her full potential with the Current.  “Our expectation is to continue to grow every single day,” Franch told the Kansas City Star. “And I think that we’re doing that, individually and collectively.”

Thanks to her masterful run, Kansas City Current now sits sixth in the NWSL standings behind a six-game unbeaten streak.