Kansas City Current goalkeeper AD Franch allowed an own goal in her first time back in the lineup in a month.
The goal resulted from a fluky turn of events, which saw San Diego Wave striker Alex Morgan’s shot bounce off the post and then off Franch’s back and into the net. But it also marked the 11th allowed by Franch in just four appearances this season, and it contributed to her team’s 2-0 loss Sunday against the Wave.
Charlie’s Mom opens the scoring in KC! 🎥 » @NWSL pic.twitter.com/k9HmsfasrJ— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) May 14, 2023
Charlie’s Mom opens the scoring in KC! 🎥 » @NWSL pic.twitter.com/k9HmsfasrJ
Before Sunday, she had not played since April 15, when she allowed four goals against the Chicago Red Stars.
Since coach Matt Potter got fired, Franch has struggled to crack interim head coach Caroline Sjöblom’s lineup for the struggling Current. Instead, Cassie Miller has started in her place, recording a clean sheet in three straight games for Kansas City.
But Miller allowed three goals in a loss to Angel City last week, opening the door for Franch to return.
Before Franch was benched, she had started the season by allowing just one goal in a 1-0 loss to the North Carolina Courage. But she allowed four goals in each of her next two games, including that game against the Red Stars, before being benched for a month. She made her return Sunday but once again was not up to the form that nearly earned her NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year last season and did earn her a spot on the U.S. women’s national team roster starting in November.
“We knew that we could give them problems with that front three and our front three were unbelievable tonight,” San Diego coach Casey Stoney said. “I have to say the game plan was to defend and I thought they defended very, very well and we created and scored. Did they have more chances in terms of shots? Yeah, but we’ve had really clear openings, so that’s pleasing for us.”
In addition to Franch’s own goal Sunday – her second of the season – Franch ran into the goalpost and had to be checked out by trainers. While she did get back to her feet, her recent run of play raises some concern for both Kanas City and USWNT fans alike.