Chicago Fire Soccer Club Selects UC Irvine’s Marco Franco

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Jan. 16, 2014) – With the 13th selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, the Chicago Fire selected Marco Franco from the University of California Irvine. In his senior season, Franco started all 23 matches en route to Big West Defender of the Year honors, and captained the Anteaters to the Big West Championship and a Sweet 16 finish in the NCAA tournament.
“Marco is a competent, good player and had a solid showing at the Combine,” said Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop. “He is versatile, good athletically and is a good at distributing the ball. He fulfills a need that we wanted to fill and we look forward to having him join the team in preseason.”
A CZ Elite FC youth product, Franco was a member of the squad that captured the 2009 USYS national championship. Franco also represented Chino Hills High School where he was named 4-time All-Sierra League and 2-time All-CIF team member and was honored as Sierra League MVP.  
Franco started four of the 15 matches in which he appeared his freshman season. In 2011, Franco was named All-Big West Second Team as a sophomore after tallying six assists in 22 matches. The 5’11” defender added two assists and started all 16 matches his junior season, garnering All-Big West Honorable Mention.
Franco capped off his collegiate career with a standout senior season where he started all 23 matches and was ranked second among field players with 2,134 minutes played. After leading a back line that posted 10 shutouts and allowed a Big West low of 77 shots on goal, Franco was named the Big West Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 28 and earned First Team All-West Region, Big West Defender of the Year and First Team All-Big West honors.
The native of Chino Hills, Calif., represented the OC Blues in USL PDL action, playing a total of 15 games in 2012 and 2013. .
Fire players will report to Toyota Park on Saturday, Jan. 25 for entrance physicals before departing for the first leg of preseason in Ave Maria, Fla. on Sunday, Jan. 26.
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