The Washington Spirit continued their offseason of contract renewals by agreeing to a deal with as important a player as there is, goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury (formerly Bledsoe). Kingsbury’s new contract is a three year deal, starting with this season, that will keep her at the club through the the 2025 season, with a further club option for 2026.
Kingsbury has twice been named the NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, in 2019 and 2021. In 2021, the year the Washington Spirit won their first NWSL Championship, Kingsbury was immense. She started 22 games and average .91 goals against per 90, the second lowest of all keepers with over fifteen starts (.87, Kailen Sheridan).
More crucially at the end of that season, Kingsbury came up with huge save after huge save in every Spirit playoff game, including the championship. In fact, in the 117th minute of extra time in the final, with the Spirit having taken the 2-1 lead ten minutes prior, Kingsbury (then Bledsoe) made the save of the game to secure the trophy.
BLEDSOE WITH A HUGE SAVE LATE IN THE MATCH ❌ pic.twitter.com/dvHlfW30UG— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) November 20, 2021
In addition to being an exceptional shot stopper, Kingsbury is also an important leader on the team. She serves as captain, and is a consistent voice on the pitch and behind the scenes.
Consistent goalkeeping is a difficult thing to find in any league, but particularly the NWSL. The variety of attacking talent, plus the transitional nature of the league means keepers can be hun out to dry more frequently than in other domestic leagues. When you find a quality keeper, you do all you can to secure them long-term, and thankfully, the Washington Spirit have done just that.