Thursday, November 13, 2008

Top rookie: it's Franklin

Galaxy defender Sean Franklin was named MLS Rookie of the Year and provided the lone bright spot for the league's worst defense.

Franklin made 26 starts for the Galaxy this season. Other finalists were Kheli Dube of New England and Geoff Cameron for Houston.

Full disclosure: I did not vote for Franklin. I voted for him second behind Dube. I just had a hard time giving Franklin honors when he was a defender on the worst defense in the league. He had a front-row seat for the horror show that was the 2008 LA Galaxy defense. I realize he wasn't solely responsible for the defensive shortcomings but I felt he regressed during the summer after piecing together a strong early part of the season.

Still, Dube was injured and missed a few games. He played in 21 games and started just 13 of them.

Franklin has some lofty company to live up to now that he's won this award. Check out the previous four winners:

2007: Maurice Edu
2006: Jonathan Bornstein
2005: Michael Parkhurst
2004: Clint Dempsey

Previous winners also include Carlos Bocanegra, Ben Olsen and Steve Ralston.

Not sure in what direction the Galaxy will build for next season but they'd be wise to try and include Franklin as part of the core for the 2009 Galaxy.

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