Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris & Adrianna Franch
Last week US Soccer announced Jill Ellis’s roster for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. There are plenty of stories on the interwebs digging into the nitty gritty details of the roster. Who’s in? Who’s out? How strong and deep will the defense be? Can the US Women continue to dominate globally? I’m going to leave that analysis to pundits like RantingSoccerDad and brilliant minds like Mirelle Van Rijbroek. As a fan of women’s soccer, I want to give fellow USA fans a boatload of fun random information about each player on the roster. I’ll call it “FUN FACTS,” and I’m starting with the USA goalkeepers. Enjoy!
She’s a keeper
Naeher will most likely be the starting keeper for the USA. She plays her club soccer for the Chicago Red Stars.
Naeher Fun Facts:
- She’s a HUGE New England Patriots fan.
- Like many keepers, she played basketball in high school. She went to a small private Christian high school (Christian Heritage School in Connecticut) where she scored more than 2,000 points in her high school basketball career.
- Her dad, John, ran track and played basketball in college
- She has a twin sister, Amanda, who was a forward at Messiah College (a DIII soccer powerhouse). That must have been some fun backyard soccer to watch when they were little!
- Her favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip. (#fistbump)
Harris is playing in her second Women’s World Cup along with Naeher. They were both part of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Championship roster along with Hope Solo. She plays her club soccer for Orlando Pride.
Harris Fun Facts:
- She grew up surfing in Satellite Beach, Florida and still enjoys surfing whenever she can.
- She was named All State all four years of high school soccer, and like Naeher, was named the top soccer recruit in the country for her graduating year (2004).
- She’s a come-back queen. During her early college years, she fought back from a shattered thumb, a torn right ACL, a torn left ACL, and a torn labrum in her right hip. To compensate for the pain in her hip, she learned to take all of her goal-kicks for the University of North Carolina left-footed.
- In 2017, Harris signed a multi-year deal with Umbro. Harris became Umbro’s first female brand ambassador.
Franch is the youngest keeper on the USWNT roster at 28. (Harris is 33, and Naeher is 31.) She plays her club soccer for Portland Thorns.
Franch Fun Facts:
- Like Naeher, Franch was a high school basketball star. Franch grew up in Kansas and was named All-League, All-County, and honorable mention All-State for basketball.
- She stayed close to home for college, tending goal for Oklahoma State University. She holds the OSU record for career shutouts (38).
- When she was on the ODP roster for Kansas as a young girl, she got to high-five her idol, Brianna Scurry. The US Women’s team played a game in Kansas City, and Scurry high-fived Franch on the way out to the field. Afterwards, Franch told herself, “I’m never washing this hand again!”
- Franch is the first player in history to be named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year twice (2017 & 2018).
Defense wins championships!
Stay tuned for Fun Facts: DEFENDERS EDITION. Coming soon!