I just got finished writing a story for MLSnet.com about Sean Franklin winning the Rookie of the Year award. There was a conference call earlier with him and although I didn't have an assignment at the time I decided to get on the call just in case. And then I was able to use the stuff for someone after all.
I was originally going to just put everything here but I had to use the good stuff for the story. But here's some of what little remains.
Of course, this has been a memorable week for Franklin. He's with the US national team and, even though it's just for a camp, it's something to remember and build off of. And now he gets named top rookie.
What is the better honor?
"I’m just as honored being called into the full team as I am winning Rookie of the Year."
And really, the week is sort of symbolic with how the year has gone. There's one word to describe the Galaxy's 2008 season and one word to describe Franklin's week: crazy.
"Even though there has been a lot of stuff going on with what’s happened with the Galaxy and the season, coaches and stuff, even with all that crazy stuff, it’s definitely been a pretty crazy week."
The Galaxy's defense was, of course, terrible this year. Surrendering 62 goals in 30 games is not something that leaves a whole lot of positives. But he persevered.
"At the beginning of the year, we were in first place for a while and towards the end of the year we were struggling to make the playoffs. It is hard to sometimes come out and perform the best you can but all that stuff put aside you just have to go out and work hard during the games and I’ve got to come with that mentality. That’s helped me to do the best I can during games."
I suppose the wretched defensive statistics make it a bit more surprising or improbable that a defender from that backline would win an individual award. One question sort of summed that up as Franklin was asked this during the conference call:
Did you learn from players that partnered you in the middle of the defense for the Galaxy this year like Abel Xavier or considering the state of the Galaxy defense did you learn more what NOT to do than what to do in central defense?
Franklin didn't really answer that directly. He said something about how he learned plenty from his teammates. He needed the learning curve, particularly in central defense. After all, he was a right back in college and not a central defender. He only moved there out of necessity in the preseason.
Given the chance to choose one spot over the other, Franklin said...
"It doesn’t matter. I’d play both positions as best as I can."
So where would he feel more comfortable?
"My most comfortable position would be right back. That’s mostly where I played in college and where I’m most comfortable at. I like to get forward and make runs. Being in the center role, you stay back and don’t get to go forward as much. It’s kind of a more exciting role."