D.C. United selected Sean Franklin with their top pick in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft and also welcomed back defender Bobby Boswell to RFK after he was acquired in the second round this afternoon . United will be up first again for Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft next Thursday.
As a result of these selections, United must pay Franklin and Boswell their previous season’s salary plus a modest increase. Reports say that Boswell is just about signed to his deal. No word just yet on Franklin’s contract situation.
Combined Franklin and Boswell’s cap hit will be for approximately $500,000 next season. However, with United acquiring a substantial amount of allocation money in the offseason, they can choose to pay down some of their salaries if they wish. I think it’s too soon to make that call as United still has a lot of work to do to acquire some International talent to add to the roster before the season begins on March 8th at home against the Columbus Crew.
It seems for the time being that Franklin and Boswell w0uld be slotted directly into defense for United at right back and central defense respectively. So what does this mean for United’s longest standing defender in Dejan Jakovic? I think Ben Olsen still has faith in Jakovic and he will remain a big part of United’s rebuilding in the offseason. This doesn’t mean that United is done shopping for defenders as United is very much in need of more quality all along the back line. While Franklin and Boswell don’t light the league on fire, they are dependable players and certain upgrades from what we saw from United in 2013.
Boswell comes back to United after being traded to Houston before the 2008 MLS season. Boswell was the MLS Defender of the Year in his sophomore season for the Black-and-Red in 2006 but quickly fell out of favor in 2007 as it seemed that off the field activities were more important than improving his on-field form. Boswell was traded for Zach Wells which became one of the more lopsided trades in recent MLS history. Boswell went on to become a mainstay in Houston’s central defense while United has struggled to fill his void since the trade.
As for Franklin, he was the MLS Rookie of the Year in 2008 for the Los Angeles Galaxy and was a consistent figure along the right side of the field in midfield and defense for the Galaxy as he helped them to secure back-to-back MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012.