Sean Franklin ‘07
Of the 11 million Americans who tuned in for the 1994 World Cup USA, ten-year-old Sean Franklin may have been the most enthralled. When his mother, Lynette, bought him a video of the competition, she probably had no idea what she was setting in motion.
“I watched it over and over again,” said Franklin ’07 (Graphic Design), Major League Soccer’s 2008 Rookie of the Year. He was drawn to the kinetic energy of the game, he explained, “the non-stop action. There’s always a play going on.”
The son of CSUN alum John Franklin ’77 (Sociology), the gifted young defender went on to become Golden League Most Valuable Player at Palmdale’s Highland High. Eventually, his club soccer coach, Keith West (now CSUN women’s head soccer coach), introduced him to Cal State Northridge head soccer coach Terry Davila. The rest can be found in Matador record books.
2004: All-Big West Conference second-team honors. Under-20 Men’s National Team. 2005: Led Big West defenders in assists. First-team All-Big West honors. 2006: Repeated All-Big West honors. Started all 19 matches. 2007: Toured Japan with the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team.
Obviously, someone important was watching. No sooner had he graduated than the Los Angeles Galaxy made Franklin its no. 4 pick in the 2008 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft. After his Rookie of the Year season, he was called up to train with the national team, boosting his chances to play for the U.S. on the 2010 World Cup team.
Franklin’s mentors at CSUN—Davila, West, assistant men’s soccer coach Yossi Raz among them—helped him lay the foundation for his soaring professional career. “Their message was pretty simple, really,” Franklin said. “They told me…that good things come with hard work. They said I should train to be the best.”
Which is no less than what his CSUN art professors urged him to do. Franklin said assistant professor James Kelley “wanted you to be above average and would let you know straight up if something was not.” Lecturer Louis Solis was full of ideas but encouraged Franklin to develop his own. Their influence has held; the Galaxy star dreams of putting his graphic design skills to use in a post-soccer career.
For now, he is putting to use something else he learned at CSUN: “When you’re wearing the jersey—be it Galaxy or Matador—represent it well.”
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