Rather than explore free agency, veteran defender Sean Franklin has decided to stay with D.C. United.
Since joining D.C. via the Re-Entry Draft three years ago, Franklin has played 82 games (80 starts) for United, scored three goals, and registered six assists. A calf injury sidelined him in mid-September and after missing five straight games he played only 45 minutes of the season finale against Orlando City SC, and wasn’t named to the game-day roster of a 4-2 loss to Montreal in the Knockout Round.
“Sean has been an important player for our team over the past three seasons,” said United general manager Dave Kasper. “He has been among the best veteran defenders in the league, and his experience and leadership have been invaluable to us. We are pleased to have Sean back and look forward to his continued contributions in 2017.”
Formerly a member of the Galaxy, which drafted him out of Cal-State Northridge with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 SuperDraft, Franklin has played 242 league games, scored eight goals, and registered 26 assists. In the playoffs he has 22 appearances, two goals, and four assists.
Franklin, 31, was named Rookie of the Year in 2008, earned All-Star recognition in 2014. and played on three Galaxy teams that reached MLS Cup finals, losing to RSL in 2009 and defeating Houston in 2011 and 2012. He earned his only U.S. cap against Chile in 2011.
Players 28 and older with at least eight full seasons of MLS service are eligible for free agency. Of the current class, Jeff Larentowicz left the Galaxy last week to sign with expansion team Atlanta United; Franklin and Dominic Oduro (Montreal) have elected to stay put.