Waylon Francis Will Have Opportunity to Make World Cup Roster

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Waylon Francis has been a mainstay as the Crew's left back since joining in the offseason. He has earned a call-up to Costa Rica's 30-man camp ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals.

Waylon Francis' addition to the Columbus Crew in the offseason provided them with the left back they had been searching for since the retirement of Gino Padula in 2010.

The outside back has started all 10 games for the Crew, playing all but 29 minutes this season, and registering one assist. He has been a work horse on the left side of head coach Gregg's Berhalter's system, which requires the outside backs to get forward frequently.

Francis' work has not only drawn the attention of those around MLS - earning spots on many outlets' MLS Team of the Week already this year - but the Costa Rican National Team's coach, Jorge Luis Pinto's attention as well.

Now, Franics has the opportunity to be a member of Costa Rica's World Cup 23-man roster, as he was one of the 30 players called into Pinto's preliminary camp.

"I'm very excited to make the list and I'm looking forward to going there and playing my best," Francis said through a translator on Tuesday.

Francis has only made one appearance for Los Ticos, but this is his second call-up since joining the Black and Gold in November.

It was the sign of the times how Francis learned he made the initial roster: his smart phone.

"I was driving with my wife and social media blew up - Facebook, Twitter - and that's how I found out," Francis said.

"I'm very happy that a lot of people are supporting me. I was with my wife, which was important to me."

There is excitement in the Francis household for this chance, but the player understands he still has work to do in order to get to Brazil.

"The plan is the same," he said when asked about going forward.

"I've been working hard like I've been doing here, playing my game. I want everything to transmit to the next level when I go down to Costa Rica to try and make the roster."

Francis departed for the Costa Rican camp earlier than his countryman Giancarlo Gonzalez. Pinto wanted a player like Francis, who he is less familiar with, to get into camp early to maximize the amount of training.

Berhatler wanted to give Francis the best opportunity to make the 23-man roster, allowing him to leave early. This will cause him to miss Saturday's game against the Portland Timbers.

Costa Rica will compete in Group D in the World Cup and will face Uruguay, England, and Italy, opening their tournament on June 14.

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