CHICAGO, Ill. (Sept. 14, 2012) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Friday that the club has signed Guillermo Franco on a free transfer. The two-time World Cup veteran and Mexican international will be added to the Fire’s roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P1 Visa. Per club and MLS policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Franco will be available to media at Fire training today at the Toyota Park practice field (7000 S. Harlem Ave.). Franco will likely see his first action for the Men in Red when the Fire take on FC Dallas in MLS Reserve League action at Toyota Park on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 10:00 a.m. CT.
“We’re happy to add a talented player like Guillermo to our team,” said Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas. “He has a wealth of international playing experience and will be a great asset as we look to strengthen our squad for a potential MLS Cup Playoff run.”
Franco joins the Fire from Liga MX side Pachuca where he made 12 appearances in 2012. The Corrientes, Argentina product began his career with Argentine Primera División side San Lorenzo in 1995. Franco spent the next seven seasons with San Lorenzo, scoring 23 goals in 96 matches.
In 2002 Franco joined Mexican side Monterrey, where he made 119 appearances and scored 63 goals. While with los Rayados, Franco led the team to the 2003 Clausura title and led the league in scoring during the 2004 Apertura season with 15 goals. Franco then headed to Spain where he spent the 2006-09 season with Villarreal, where he made 81 appearances and scored 14 goals, including the goal in a 1-0 victory against Celta de Vigo that sent Villarreal into the UEFA Cup.
Franco signed with West Ham United for the 2009 season where he scored five goals in 23 appearances. He then joined Argentinean side Vélez Sársfield in 2011 where he made 18 appearances and scored five goals.
Franco became a naturalized Mexican citizen in 2004 and made his national team debut in 2005. Franco scored eight times in 25 appearances for El Tri, and represented Mexico in both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups. Franco becomes the fourth player on the Fire roster with FIFA World Cup experience.
Name: Guillermo Franco
Weight: 168 lbs.
Date of Birth: November 3, 1976
Place of Birth: Corrientes, Argentina
Hometown: Corrientes, Argentina
How Acquired: Signed on a free transfer on Sept. 14