Five days till D.C. United: A look at veteran newcomer Sean Franklin

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

We are truly in the home stretch of the 2014 preseason, and with five days until the home opener on Saturday, the time has come to look at the new man wearing #5.

I think it's pretty clear that the story of this offseason for D.C. United has been roster turnover, particularly in the defense, where all four starters from 2013 have been displaced. One of the first additions to that back line was Sean Franklin, who joined the Black-and-Red from the LA Galaxy in the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft. Franklin has been an important part of the Gals for the past several years, winning league Rookie of the Year honors in 2008 and holding down that fullback position as LA won two Supporters' Shields and two MLS Cups. There's an argument that United are overpaying him - it's pretty well undisputed that LA let him walk due to salary issues rather than quality - but at least we're getting a strong piece in a needed position for the money.

Franklin is very much a fullback in the modern mold, by which I mean he is an endline-to-endline player. He contributes defensively both 1v1 and with the system and also gets forward whenever he can. But as a fullback, he's not the focal point of the attack, and when he's not overlapping Davy Arnaud (or whomever else Ben Olsen runs out on the right side of midfield) to send in crosses, which admittedly will be a common occurrence, his best moments will be the ones where we don't notice him.

So, readers, what are you looking for from Franklin this year? If he puts in 34 good, solid shifts but fails to record a goal or assist, will you consider his season a success?

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