LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review: Sean Franklin
Now that the 2013 season is over, LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will look back on the season for every player who was on the club’s roster at some point during the season.
The LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review will begin with players who made the least number of appearances for the club in all official competitions over the course of the year, starting with Brian Perk and Bryan Gaul, who did not make any appearances for the first team this year, and concluding with midfielder Marcelo Sarvas who played in a team-best 42 games for LA this year. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have one or two evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well and what challenges they faced in 2013 as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and an overall assessment of their season from myself.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS FOR THE GALAXY: GP: 40 (33 in MLS regular season, five in CONCACAF Champions League and two in MLS Cup Playoffs); GS: 36 (29 in MLS regular season, five in CONCACAF Champions League and two in MLS Cup Playoffs) G: 2 (One in MLS regular season and one in MLS Cup Playoffs); A: 3 (All in MLS regular season)
APPEARANCES IN GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP: GP: 3
HIGHLIGHTS: Sean Franklin was one of the most consistent presences in the LA Galaxy lineup with 40 appearances in all competitions in 2013. Splitting time between right back and the right side of midfield, the always active Franklin tallied twice this season while adding three assists in all MLS matches for LA. After splitting time in midfield and defense over the first month of the season, Franklin was used solely at right back after the club was eliminated from the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League in early April. However, that all changed following the Guinness International Champions Cup at the start of August as he was moved back into the midfield, a move that would last just a month before A.J. DeLaGarza’s injury on September 14 forced him back to defense, where he would play out the season. Franklin’s finest moment of the year came during the first leg of LA’s Western Conference Semifinal Series against Real Salt Lake when he lashed a shot from 30-yards out that gave the Galaxy a 1-0 victory. The goal against RSL broke a 22 match goal scoring drought, dating back to May 26 against Seattle, for the 28-year-old.
CHALLENGES: Sean Franklin racked up the appearances in 2013, playing 40 or more games for the second straight year, but the consistency that was a hallmark earlier in his career was lacking at times. When placed on the right side of midfield, Franklin’s service from the flank was inconsistent as he was unable to generate offense which led to the 28-year-old being dropped from the starting lineup for a pair of league matches in mid-August in favor of midfielder Hector Jimenez. Meanwhile on the defensive end, Franklin was not immune to LA’s defensive lapses on set pieces. In particular, he was exposed by Maximiliano Urruti’s goal from a Will Johnson corner kick in the Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers on Sept. 29. Franklin also found himself in the middle of the goal that ended LA’s season as he, Gyasi Zardes and Kofi Opare were all beaten by Real Salt Lake defender Chris Schuler for the series-winning goal in RSL’s 2-0 extra time victory at Rio Tinto Stadium in the Western Conference Semifinal second leg.
HIS THOUGHTS: “It was an okay [year], I was disappointed. I told myself in January, I wrote on a piece of paper that I wanted five goals and five assists, and I got two goals and three assists. I'm frustrated I didn't meet a personal goal and I didn't play at my top level, but that's something I want to get better in the offseason. Hopefully I can come back with some of the same goals.”
OVERVIEW: Sean Franklin’s future with the LA Galaxy remains up in the air as head coach and general manager Bruce Arena has not yet decided to exercise his option for the 2014 season. If the Galaxy decide to bring Franklin back for a seventh year with the club, they’ll need greater consistency from the veteran as he is likely to transition full time into a right midfield role. On both sides of the field, the Galaxy did not receive enough production as inconsistent defending and inability to have a lasting impact in the attack hindered Franklin’s production. That being said, the 2008 MLS Rookie of the Year has the speed and drive to be a viable midfielder if his crossing and finishing touch can improve.
POLL: How would you rate Sean Franklin’s 2013 season?
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com