1 - The NWSL and Portland Thorns FC enter their historic fifth professional season. Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was in the league during its inaugural season in 2013, and now is in her second year with the club.
“Growing up, I saw the other leagues that haven’t lasted this long. It’s amazing to actually be a part of this and now as a member of the Thorns. It’s amazing to see how big it is to Portland and seeing how the game has grown over the last five years. It’s an honor to be a part of it.”
2 - In addition to excelling in soccer growing up, Adrianna was standout basketball player in high school. She eventually had to make a tough choice in deciding what sport to pursue at Oklahoma State University.
“When I was asked what sport I would choose, I didn’t know. I loved them both so dearly. I definitely miss basketball, but my mom asked me the right question. She asked me which sport I couldn’t live without, and it made the decision so much easier. I love goalkeeping and soccer.”
3 - Growing up, former U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Brianna Scurry was her favorite player.
“She played at Arrowhead Stadium one year, and I was able to go on the field and give her a high five. She was the goalkeeper for the national team and that was something I wanted to do as a goal. She also played basketball, which was awesome.”
4 - Adrianna hails from the Midwest, having lived in Salina, Kansas and attended Oklahoma State University. She likens the small town feel of the Midwest to certain aspects of Portland.
“I’m a country girl at heart. That’s the one thing people ask me about Portland, and I think it’s an amazing place for me coming from a small-town and the country. Portland is a small hometown type of feel for a city. It’s an amazing city to have that home vibe. It’s starting to make Portland home.”
5 - Globally, Thorns FC have the highest attendance of any women’s professional team in the world, averaging 16,945 fans last season. Franch visited Providence Park as a member of the Western New York Flash during the 2013 season and playing in front of the Rose City Riveters left a lasting impression on her.
“There are no words to describe it. When I visited here in 2013, the vibe here was unreal. Teams play so much better when they come here because they’re hyped off the experience. They want to beat this team at their home in front of this crowd. But when you play in front of them and for them, it’s like you have a connection. Everything you do matters and you don’t want to let them down. It’s just a family and culture that you’re so excited and honored to be a part of and want to represent in the best way possible.”