Francis was a key figure on the Crew in the early seasons of the Gregg Berhalter era. The 28-year-old was the main left back and started in 59 games through his first two seasons, including all seven playoff games. His performance for the Crew earned him his first call-up to the Costa Rica national team. He made the 2014 World Cup squad, though he did not make an appearance. Francis was also an MLS All Star in 2015.
Francis competed for the Ticos in the 2-0 loss to the USMNT Saturday at Avaya Stadium.
Injuries derailed Francis’ tenure in Columbus, leading the Crew to trade him to Seattle in 2017 for $50,000 in GAM. Now, injuries may be providing his road back. Milton Valenzuela, who had a breakout season for the Crew in 2018, has suffered a knee injury in training that will sideline him for the majority of the 2019 season, according to a club spokesperson. Valenzuela was just officially acquired by Columbus this offseason, after spending the 2018 season on loan from Old Boys in Argentina.
“We are pleased to welcome Waylon back to the club,” Crew SC president Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “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.”