KANSAS CITY, KS - SEPTEMBER 05: Midfielder Sean Franklin #5 of the Los Angeles Galaxy battles for the ball with Omar Bravo #99 of Sporting Kansas City during the second half on September 5, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Sean Franklin the goal scorer is something new, but Sean Franklin has long been praised as a defender, winning the MLS rookie of the year in 2008. Greg Daurio wrote for mlsnet that Gullit considered him his best player, "I think again he played an excellent game. If you see how he goes into midfield, gives long balls to David (Beckham) all the time, I think he's made huge progress. That makes me happy." Bruce Arena must have seen something similar, moving Franklin up to the midfield. That fourth midfielder had been a bit of a revolving door this year, but Franklin's sudden goal tear may have won him the job. And that's just fine, as Franklin is en fuego.
Sean Franklin recorded the first multi-goal game of his MLS career on Monday, scoring both LA Galaxy goals in the 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City. In just over a month in the midfield, Sean Franklin has already caught Chad Barrett and Juninho for second in goals scored this season. Franklin's first MLS goal of his career came in the 1-0 victory over Columbus on July 20. In those last six games, he also has two assists, after having no goals or assists in the first 20.
However, Franklin's emergence is should be a surprise to no one. The Galaxy's first pick in the '08 superdraft, Daurio wrote about him in April of that year "For now, Gullit has him inserted in the center of defense, and it's already getting hard to imagine the Galaxy starting 11 without his presence being felt." That's just it. It's not just that Sean Franklin has made himself indispensable to the Galaxy, a fixture in the team sheet, but he makes his presence felt every game.
Only Landon Donovan has scored a brace for the Galaxy this year, outside of Franklin. Robbie Keane's signing coincides nicely with the Galaxy getting their second wind during the long MLS season, but Sean Franklin moving into the attacking half has as much to do with it as anything. Just what the Galaxy need, another emerging star they need to lock down to a long term contract.