Franklin thrilled to check ASG appearance off career list
CARSON, Calif. — Winning an MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy is at the top of Sean Franklin’s list of priorities.
And while he has been part of one of the best MLS teams of the last three seasons, helping play his role towards achieving that goal, there is a list of things he’d like to accomplish before hanging up his boots.
On July 27, he gets to knock one of those off his bucket list. Franklin was selected as a member of the MLS Best XI and on Monday was named to the MLS All-Star Game’s gameday roster as the Galaxy right back will try to help MLS get past Manchester United at Red Bull Arena (July 27, 8:30 pm ET, ESPN2, Galavisión, TSN).
“I’m looking forward to playing against some of the best players in the world,” Franklin told MLSsoccer.com. “This is just one of the things I get to check off on my list of what I want to accomplish throughout my career.”
Franklin, 25, was one of four Galaxy players chosen to the Best XI, but only Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Franklin made the gameday roster. Omar Gonzalez was left off, likely due to his recent injury concerns.
While Beckham and Donovan are used to receiving individual honors, Franklin will try and soak up his initial All-Star Game moment.
“It’s definitely exciting being your first time,” he said. "Those guys have done it numerous times. They’re used to it, but for me, I’m excited."
Through the first four months of the season, Franklin has been a major part of the Galaxy’s success. He has played in all but one of LA’s 21 games this season, logging 1,664 minutes in the process. While he has not registered an assist this season, it’s not necessarily a drop-off from last year when he felt he had a chance to receive his first All-Star nod.
“This year’s probably not my best year as far as being productive offensively,” he said. “Last year I had six assists halfway before the season was over. I thought last year was more of a better chance to maybe go to the All-Star Game.”
However, Franklin has focused less on making runs and creating opportunities and more on preventing the other team from doing the same.
“I really focus on being a defender first this year,” he said. “Last year there was a lot of demand — and this year also — to get forward and I think last year I was up a lot and not playing as much defense as I should. This year I want to focus on being a defender first and then being an attacker second.”
Still, that does not mean Franklin stands behind the center line and watches his teammates attack and look for goals on their own.
“My job is to defend first and if I get the opportunity to go forward, take them,” Franklin said. “I’m just taking it game by game, working on my game and getting better as a player.”