Kobe Franklin a rare success story in TFC's disastrous season

The young Canadian fullback was a true revelation for Toronto FC in 2023 after having to wait an extra year to prove himself in MLS.

Kobe Franklin a rare success story in TFC's disastrous season

It took Kobe Franklin a little bit longer than he would have liked to get a chance to make his mark with Toronto FC. 

But in the end, it was worth the extra wait for both the player and the club as Franklin turned out to be one of TFC’s best and most consistent performers in 2023. 

Franklin joined TFC's youth academy in 2017 and went on to spend two seasons with TFC 2, playing a big role in helping the Young Reds qualify for the playoffs last year for the first time in history. In his debut campaign with TFC 2 in 2021, Franklin was named to the USL League One All-League First Team, and he was a finalist for the USL League One Young Player of the Year and Defender of the Year awards. 

Former Toronto coach Bob Bradley invited him and TFC 2 teammate Luca Petrasso to pre-season training camp with the senior team ahead of the 2022 MLS campaign. While Petrasso did enough to earn an MLS contract, Franklin was sent back to TFC 2 for another year. It was a bitter blow for a promising young prospect who was trending in the right direction and who thought he was ready to graduate to the first team.