Updated through December 12, 2020
2020 (Columbus): Francis made four regular-season appearances (two starts at left-back) beginning with a start on the road at D.C. United (October 28), followed by a substitute appearance at home against the Philadelphia Union (November 1). He then started on the road at Orlando City SC (November 4) and made a substitute appearance at home against Atlanta United (November 8). In Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs action, Francis made a substitute appearance at home against Seattle Sounders FC (December 12) during MLS Cup 2020.
2019 (Columbus): Waylon Francis made 17 regular-season appearances (15 starts as a left back, one start as a central back) in 2019. He made his 2019 regular-season debut in a home match against the New York Red Bulls (March 2). Waylon helped the club record consecutive shutouts on the road against the New England Revolution (March 9) and in a home match against FC Dallas (March 16). He did not make an appearance during a road contest against the Philadelphia Union (March 23) due to an international call up with the Costa Rica National Team. He returned to start for the Black & Gold in a home match against Atlanta United (March 30). Francis returned to the starting XI for Crew SC during a home match against Sporting Kansas City (June 23). He started in a home match against Orlando City SC (June 29). Francis made asubstitute appearance in a road contest against Real Salt Lake (July 3) before starting in consecutive matches against Seattle Sounders FC at home (July 6) and on the road against Orlando City SC (July 13). He started in a home match against the Montreal Impact (July 20), before suffering a left thigh injury which sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Francis made a substitute appearance in a 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match against Atlanta United (June 18).
2018 (Seattle): Francis made 11 regular-season appearances (five starts), providing one assist. The Costa Rican defender also made three appearances (all starts) in the 2017-2018 CONCACAF Champions League, helping the Sounders reach the quarterfinals of the tournament.
2017 (Columbus): Francis made 12 regular-season appearances (10 starts) for Crew SC in 2017, six appearances (five starts) as a leftback, six appearances (five starts) as a left wingback and recorded two assists. He did not make an appearance the first three matches of the season after having been listed as questionable following shoulder surgery on his right shoulder. Francis made his season debut as a starter at home against the Portland Timbers (March 25). He made a substitute appearance in a road contest against Chicago (April 8). Francis started in a home contest against the New England Revolution (May 6). He made his 75th regular-season appearance for Crew SC in a home contest against Toronto FC (May 10). Francis started in consecutive road matches against the New England Revolution (May 21) and Toronto FC (May 26). He returned to the starting lineup in a road match against the Colorado Rapids (June 3). Francis made a substitute appearance in an international friendly match at home against Eintracht Frankfurt (July 14). He returned to the starting lineup in a road contest against Real Salt Lake (July 29). Francis made a substitution appearance in a road contest against the San Jose Earthquakes (August 5). He started in a home match against the Chicago Fire (August 12), registering his first assist of the 2017 MLS regular season, which was also the game-winning assist. Francis started in the road match against Orlando City SC (August 19), registering his second assist of the season. He made his 75th start in MLS and for Crew SC in a home match against the LA Galaxy (August 23), helping his team keep a clean sheet. Francis missed the match against FC Dallas (August 26) after being listed as out with a left thigh strain during that week. He missed the matches against Sporting Kansas City (September 10), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (September 16), the New York Red Bulls (September 23), D.C. United (September 30) and Orlando City SC (October 15) after being listed as questionable with a left thigh strain during those weeks. Francis did not make an appearance in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.
2016 (Columbus): Francis made 19 appearances (13 starts) for Crew SC at leftback and recorded three assists. He made a substitute appearance against Real Salt Lake (May 28) and notched an assist in the 4-3 win. He made a substitute appearance at leftback against the Red Bulls (June 25) and notched an assist on Ola Kamara's game-tying 93rd-minute goal. He started vs. New York City (August 13), where he recorded his third assist of the campaign. Francis underwent successful shoulder surgery on October 4 and missed the remainder of 2016 MLS season. He made two appearances in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and registered an assist. He assisted on Cristian Martinez's goal in a start against Tampa Bay (June 15) and again started in the Round of 16 clash at Chicago (June 28).
2015 (Columbus): Francis made 28 appearances (28 starts) at leftback in his second season with Crew SC, registering seven assists, leading all League defenders in the category while winning Crew SC's Defender of the Year award. He made his season debut with a start at Houston (March 7) and notched his first assist of the season on Kei Kamara’s goal versus Toronto FC (March 14). He missed the team’s contest against New York (March 28) while on international duty with the Costa Rica National Team. He started against Philadelphia (April 25), registering his second assist of the season and recorded his third assist of the campaign on Kei Kamara’s opening goal vs. Seattle (May 9). Francis started the club’s international friendly vs. Valencia CF (May 27). He tallied his fourth assist of the season at Orlando (May 30), marking his 10th career helper for the club and notched his fifth assist vs. New England (June 24), becoming the League’s leader among defenders in the category. He extended that lead in assists by a defender with his sixth, a game-winning assist, vs. Chicago (July 19). He was named as an MLS All-Star for the first time and played 45 minutes in the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game vs. Tottenham Hotspur (July 29). Francis made his 50th all-time Crew SC start and appearance by starting the match at New York (October 3). The defender recorded his seventh assist of the campaign as part of a 5-0 blanking of D.C. United (October 25). In the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, Francis started all five matches for Columbus, recording his first career postseason assist in the Second Leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Montreal (November 8). Francis did not make an appearance in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
2014 (Columbus): Francis made 24 starts at leftback and recorded six assists in his debut MLS campaign. He made his Columbus -- and MLS -- debuts in a start in the team’s 2014 Season Opener against D.C. United (March 8). Francis recorded his first career MLS assist on Federico Higuain’s goal at San Jose (April 13). He was called-in to Costa Rica Men’s National Team’s 30-man preliminary roster ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and departed ahead of the match at Portland (May 17) for international duty. Francis was officially named to Costa Rica’s final 23-man roster that advanced out of the Group Stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After returning, he recorded assists in matches versus Toronto FC (August 9), versus Houston (August 23) and versus Chivas USA (September 7), while adding two at Houston (September 13). He earned a second yellow card and subsequent red card in the match at New England (October 4); he missed the match at Philadelphia (October 11) and at New York (October 19) through suspension. Francis made his postseason debut by starting at leftback in the Black & Gold’s opener versus New England (November 1) and in the second leg at the Revolution (November 9). He earned a call-up to the Costa Rica National Team for its friendly against Uruguay in Montevideo on November 13. Francis did not make an appearance in the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup while on 2014 FIFA World Cup duty for Costa Rica.
2012-2014 (CS Herediano): Joined CS Herediano ahead of the 2012-2013 winter season. With the club Francis made 65 regular-season appearances with the first-division squad and helped Herediano capture its second consecutive summer championship title in 2013, its 23rd in the Primera Division. In two runs in the CONCACAF Champions League, Francis made nine appearances and has faced MLS sides Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy, the latter of which Francis’ clubs squared-off against in the 2012-2013 Quarterfinals.
2011-2012 (Limón FC): Staying in the Primera Division with in the 2011-2012 summer campaign, Francis doubled his career appearances, making 18 starts.
2010-2011 (Brujas FC): Began his professional career in the 2010-2011 summer campaign with Brujas FC, where he earned nine starts and recorded two assists at the age of 20.
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE (COSTA RICA)
As of March 22, 2019
Francis has earned six caps all-time for Costa Rica, with his first coming in the Group Stage of the 2013 Copa Centroamericana in the 2-0 win against Nicaragua on January 20, 2013 en route to Costa Rica’s seventh title, which launched the national side to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Francis was named to Costa Rica's final 23-man roster ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but did not make an appearance in any of the Ticos' five matches at the tournament.
In 2015, he received a call-up on March 13, 2015 ahead of two friendlies and earned his second cap on March 26, 2015 with a start against Paraguay. He again earned a call-up on August 28, 2015 ahead of friendlies against Brazil and Uruguay and made a substitute appearance against Uruguay (September 8), helping the Ticos to a 1-0 win and earning his third cap. He notched his fourth appearance for Costa Rica with a start in a 1-0 friendly win over Nicaragua on December 15, 2015. Francis was again called-up by the Ticos in early 2016 ahead of a friendly against Venezuela on February 2. He played 90 minutes in that match following a start, his fifth cap. Francis started in a friendly against the U.S. Men’s National Team at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California on February 2 of this year. The defender made a start in a friendly contest against Guatemala (March 22).
Columbus Crew SC acquires defender Waylon Francis from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money on February 5, 2019
Francis is married to his wife, Stephanie Gonzales Dávila, whom he married before joining the Black & Gold. He has a son. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to reggae music, especially the hits of the Jamaican American reggae artist Tarrus Riley. His favorite movie is “Tet” and his favorite food is lasagna. Francis enjoys traveling to the Costa Rican beaches and had always wanted to travel to New York City before coming to Crew SC. Outside of MLS, he supports Barcelona and idolizes Ronaldinho. His role model is Nelson Mandela. Francis lists making Costa Rica's 2014 World Cup squad as his favorite soccer memory. He is fluent in Spanish and is learning English here in the U.S.
Name: Waylon Francis
Born: September 20, 1990 in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
Hometown: Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
Citizenship: Costa Rica
Acquired: Acquired by Crew SC from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money on February 5, 2019.
Previous Experience: Seattle Sounders FC (2018), Columbus Crew SC (2014-2017), Club Sport Herediano (2012-2014), Limon FC (2011-2012), Brujas FC (2011)