He is currently in Colorado with the National Team, but we will speak with him later today to discuss the award.
Here is the press release announcing the award, but first, a quick video from the folks at MLS.
CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, November 13, 2008) – LA Galaxy defender Sean Franklin has been named the 2008 MLS Gatorade Rookie of the Year as announced today by Major League Soccer. The 23-year old Palmdale, Calif. native appeared in 27 games for the Galaxy this season, making 26 starts and playing 2,385 minutes, which were the second most on the club. Franklin, who was the Galaxy’s highest draft pick since 2003, is the club’s first-ever winner of the Rookie of the Year award.
“I am honored to be named the MLS Rookie of the Year and would like to thank my family, friends, teammates and everyone who voted for me for this award,” Franklin said. “A number of great players have won this award in the past and I look forward to following in their footsteps in this league and continuing to improve as player with the Galaxy next season and in the future.”
The No. 4 pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft after a successful college career at Cal State-Northridge, Franklin emerged as one of the best young defenders in MLS during his rookie season. After being an unused substitute in the Galaxy’s first game of the season, Franklin stepped in and quickly established himself as one of the league’s top young defenders. Despite being a natural right back, Franklin, who was almost unanimously voted the Galaxy’s Defender of the Year, spent most of the season playing in central defense, tallying the first and only assist of his MLS career on Edson Buddle’s first half goal in the 3-2 home win over Colorado on October 12. Additionally, Franklin’s pace, poise and positional sense saw him commit just 22 fouls and earn only three cautions.
“Sean had a very good season for the Galaxy and is deserving of this award,” Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “Despite being played out of position for a majority of the season, Sean was still able to demonstrate his skills and strengths as a player and I’m confident that he will continue to improve in MLS.”
Franklin is currently in Colorado with the U.S. National Team for a four day training camp at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, which began on Wednesday. This is the first time in his career that Franklin, who had previously played for the U.S. Under-20 and Under-23 National Teams, has been called in to the full National Team.
The MLS Gatorade Rookie of the Year winner received the most votes from polling of media, MLS players and MLS coaches and general managers. All first-year players in MLS without previous professional experience were considered for the Gatorade Rookie of the Year award.
Gatorade Rookie of the Year Winners
2008: Sean Franklin – Los Angeles Galaxy
2007: Maurice Edu – Toronto FC
2006: Jonathan Bornstein – Chivas USA
2005: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution
2004: Clint Dempsey – New England Revolution
2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire
2002: Kyle Martino – Columbus Crew
2001: Rodrigo Faria - MetroStars
2000: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire
1999: Jay Heaps – Miami Fusion
1998: Ben Olsen – D.C. United
1997: Mike Duhaney – Tampa Bay Mutiny
1996: Steve Ralston – Tampa Bay Mutiny