COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC today announced that the club has acquired veteran Major League Soccer defender Waylon Francis from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money. Francis makes his return to Columbus and enters his sixth season in MLS having recorded 94 regular-season appearances (80 starts) and 19 assists. The 28-year-old previously played for the Black & Gold from 2014-2017 and was a 2015 MLS All-Star.
“We are pleased to welcome Waylon back to the Club,” said Crew SC President Tim Bezbatchenko. “In Waylon, we gain a talented, MLS veteran who adds strong versatility and who knows what it takes to compete in this League as well as at the National Team level. His familiarity with the organization will be beneficial as we re-incorporate him back into this roster and we look forward to his contributions as we prepare for the upcoming season.”
Francis played for Seattle Sounders FC during the 2018 MLS regular-season, making 11 appearances (five starts) and providing one assist. Prior to joining the Sounders, Francis spent four seasons with the Crew from 2014-2017, where he made 83 regular-season appearances (75 starts) and registered 18 assists. The Costa Rican defender also made three appearances (all starts) in the 2017-2018 CONCACAF Champions League, helping the Sounders reach the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The 28-year-old joined Crew SC ahead of the 2014 season and made 24 regular-season appearances (all starts) while providing six helpers that year. The following season, Francis made an MLS career-high 28 regular-season appearances (all starts) to go with his seven assists – another MLS career-high for the defender – en route to a 2015 MLS Cup appearance, a title match in which Francis started. Francis’ performance in 2015 also earned him a spot on the 2015 MLS All-Star roster. In 2016, the defender made 19 regular-season appearances for Columbus, notching three assists. The 2017 MLS regular-season saw Francis make 12 regular-season appearances (10 starts), while also providing two assists.
Francis began his professional career with Brujas FC of Costa Rica’s First Division in the 2010-2011 summer season, making nine starts and providing two assists. The defender then joined Limon FC – also in Costa Rica’s topflight – where he played from 2011-2012 and made 18 appearances (all starts). Following his time with Limon, Francis joined Club Sport Herediano ahead of the 2012-2013 winter season, where he made 65 regular-season appearances from 2012-2014 and helped Herediano capture the 2014 summer championship title in Costa Rica.
At the international level, Francis has earned six caps with the Costa Rica National Team, most recently starting in a friendly contest against the U.S. Men’s National Team at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California on February 2 of this year. Notably, Francis was a member of the Costa Rican squad that reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC acquires defender Waylon Francis from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money on February 5, 2019.
Name: Waylon Francis
Born: September 20, 1990 in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
Hometown: Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
Citizenship: Costa Rica
Acquired: Acquired by Crew SC from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money on February 5, 2019.
Previous Experience: Seattle Sounders FC (2018), Columbus Crew SC (2014-2017), Club Sport Herediano (2012-2014), Limon FC (2011-2012), Brujas FC (2011)