Beacher Kobe Franklin signs contract with Toronto FC, appears in pair of games

Beacher Kobe Franklin has appeared in a pair of games so far this season with Toronto FC. Photo: Submitted.

BY KADEN CAMPBELL

In sports, it’s a relatively rare occasion for an athlete to grow up and play for their hometown pro sports team. For most youth athletes it’s just something to dream about. However, in the case of 19-year-old Beacher Kobe Franklin and Toronto FC, it has become a reality.

Franklin recently signed a contract with TFC through the 2024 MLS season with options for 2025-26.

Franklin grew up in the Beach and attended both St. Denis Catholic School as well as Neil McNeil Catholic High School.

At the age of four, he began his soccer career with the Beach Community Soccer League being coached by his father Julian Franklin for many years.

He said his parents have been a major influence on him.

“Personally, I have always looked up to my parents as role models. They exemplify many of the characteristics and morals I want to apply daily. From a soccer and athlete standpoint, there are many,” said Franklin

In 2013, the Franklin family made a move to Chicago when Kobe was nine years old, and it seemed to only bring positives to his soccer journey as he was part of the Academy (training) program of the Major League Soccer team Chicago Fire.

“I believe my move to Chicago back in 2013 was crucial not only as a person but as a player as well. Over there I was in the critical stages of my development as a player and the Chicago Fire Academy was somewhere I flourished and picked up many skills I use today,” said Franklin.

“It takes a lot for a young kid to move away from everything he’s ever known but I know now that the experience I had in the amazing place that is the Windy City was crucial for me. I enjoyed my time there a great deal.”

Franklin moved back to Toronto in 2016 and from there joined the TFC Academy to further his soccer skills.

He said that played a big part in his development over the past seasons.

“I have nothing but thanks and praise to give. I joined the club back in late 2016 and for the past seven years and counting they have provided me with the best opportunities, resources, and quality of play a young player could ask for. I am beyond thankful for the club and its fans and I would like to do as much as possible to pay my dues out on the pitch.”

Franklin has also represented Canada on the international soccer pitch, playing at the FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament in Brazil.

His recent signing with TFC made him the 32nd player in club history to do so from the TFC Academy.

“It means everything. It is something I have dreamed about my whole life and for it to finally come to fruition is surreal,” said Franklin of becoming a professional soccer player.

“From going to BMO Field as a child to watching games to ball boy-ing playoff matches, it is amazing to now be a part of the team I watched and looked up to for so long. Being a kid born and raised in the city, and coming up through the ranks of the club, makes reaching the pinnacle of the first team that much sweeter.”

He is thankful to the many people who have helped him through his soccer career so far.

“I would like to thank my mom, dad, brother, sister, and all of my family around the globe. They have been an incredible support system that has never stopped for one second,” said Franklin.

“I would also like to thank all my friends, teammates and coaches who I have had over the years. And lastly, of course, the Toronto Football Club for taking a chance on the hometown kid. I can’t wait for the years to come.”

Franklin, at such a young age, has already seen major success in his craft. However, he has a number of future goals he still hopes to reach including playing for Canada in the 2026 FIFA World Cup which will partly take place in Toronto.

“Aspiring to reach and manifesting things in your career is a big thing for any athlete,” said Franklin. “The likes of playing regular minutes in the first team, winning trophies with TFC, being a part of the 2026 World Cup squad for Canada, and eventually playing in Europe are a few main ones I have in mind.”

So far in the 2023 Major League Soccer season, Franklin has appeared in two TFC games as a defender for a total of 62 minutes played. He came in substitution in the March 11 game against the Columbus Crew and the March 25 game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

For more information on Kobe and his career, please visit: https://www.mlssoccer.com/players/kobe-franklin/


Was this article informative? Become a Beach Metro Community News Supporter today! For 50 years, we have worked hard to be the eyes and ears in your community, inform you of upcoming events, and let you know what and who is making a difference. We cover the big stories as well as the little things that often matter the most. CLICK HERE to support your Beach Metro Community News!