Big trade news this evening as first reported by The Athletic’s Meg Linehan: Kansas City NWSL trades goalkeeper Abby Smith and $150,000 in allocation money to Portland Thorns FC for GK Adrianna Franch.
Franch is originally from Salina, Kansas, making it a homecoming for her. Franch was a three-year member of the Kansas Olympic Development Program (ODP) team, where she played on the Region II ODP team and was considered an ODP National Pool player in 2006. Her club team, the KC Comets Select, went to a Kansas state championship in 2006 and the Kansas state finals in 2007 and 2008.
Franch signed with Portland Thorns FC in 2015 after her rights were traded from the expansion Orlando Pride. She made three appearances in the 2016 season for Portland, recording three shutouts as a back-up keeper. As starting keeper in 2017, she set a league record with 11 shutouts in the regular season and helped the Thorns win the NWSL Championship. Franch was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year in that same year.
She becomes the first allocated member of the U.S. National Team playing in Kansas City. Franch was a member of the USWNT that won the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Smith joined Kansas City as part of the roster inherited from Utah Royals FC. In 2021, Smith made six appearances for KC, five of them starts. She saved 19 shots and allowed seven goals, recording one clean sheet against OL Reign, helping KC record their first franchise win this past Saturday.
The Blue Testament reached out to KC NWSL on the trade, but there has not been a response at the time of writing. The news may likely be official in the morning.