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Waylon Francis is here to win titles and share tears of joy

A quiet addition early in the offseason, Francis sees opportunities for success with Seattle Sounders

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Born in the humble town of Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, Waylon Francis understood at a very young age the sacrifices his mother went through to support his soccer career. Those struggles, and the gratitude for all her demanding work, are just a few of the reasons why the former Columbus Crew SC fullback plays with so much passion every time he enters the field.

“I’ve had to go through a lot just to get to where I am now; I started in the minor division with Brujas and I had my first-division debut with Brujas when I was 21 years old,” said Waylon, who at that age formally started his pro career and his search for those moments on the pitch that define a career — the next big win, the first goal, the first title; in other words, the one victory that would plant a feeling of triumph so grand that it would stand the test of time.

The newest defender of the Rave Green lived one of those unforgettable moments back on June 29, 2014, while playing for Costa Rica in the World Cup, when his national team eliminated Greece in a suspenseful penalty shootout and moved on to face the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. The euphoria, satisfaction and pride felt after that historic accomplishment were forever marked by the phrase “Llore conmigo papi” (Cry with me, bro), words that immediately went viral when a TV camera on the field, filming the Ticos’ celebration, caught the exact moment when Francis lifted teammate Jose Cubero off the ground as he cried unconsolably with joy and told him, “I’m here with you — cry with me, here we cry together; cry with me, bro!"

Waylon reflected upon that special moment as he sent a message to the Seattle Sounders fanbase during his first interview.

“I want them to know there is now one more Sounder here [who] will give his all for these colors, and as long as I can be on the field, I will give everything I have until the end, and like I always say, llore conmigo papi,” Francis said, smiling, as he explained that only that phrase could describe his desire to give Sounders supporters a reason to shed tears of joy and share them with him this season.

With all the noise created by signings across the league, the acquisition Waylon Francis has been heavily undervalued. In typical Garth Lagerwey fashion, the Sounders have managed to add a talented 27-year-old left back with 4 years of experience in MLS, in the prime of his career and with a fantastic winning attitude.

Despite only playing in 12 games last season, Waylon Francis has an excellent resume: MLS All-Star in 2015, Columbus Crew Defender of the Year in 2015, and he has already racked up 92 appearances in MLS.

Regarding his personal goals this season, the Tico added, “My purposes are always going to be the same regardless of where I go. I never have less aspirations, I’m always looking for more and more; that’s why I’ve been able to stay in this league so long. The objectives here are going to be the same: get to a final; if we can win the CCL, let’s win it; if can win the MLS Cup, I want to win it, too. But those are always going to be my objectives, I will never look for less."

However, Francis understands he will have to compete with Nouhou for a starting spot. When asked about that competition, he stated, “Competition is always healthy, and regardless of who is playing there my aspirations are always going to be the same. I want to play, I want to compete, and I want to do important things for this club."

Without a doubt, the battle for the Sounders left back position will be one of the main stories this offseason, starting when the team begins training on Monday and continuing as they play their first preseason game against the Timbers on Saturday, Feb. 3.

Side note: If you were wondering about the hats, shirts and other items out there with the phrase “Llore conmigo papi”, that brand does legally belong to Waylon and is currently sold in Costa Rica. Perhaps soon they will also be available in the United States.

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