The Chicago Fire selected UC-Irvine defender Marco Franco with the No. 13 pick in the 2014 SuperDraft on Thursday.
As a senior, the 22-year-old Franco started all 23 matches for the Anteaters, helping his team post 10 shutouts and allowed a conference-low 77 shots on goal. They earned a Big West Championship and a berth in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The 5-foot-11 Franco was named the Big West Defender of the Year after being named to the all-Big West Second team in 2011 as a junior.
“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.”
Per MLSSoccer.com, Franco projects as a right back at the professional level, has solid speed, quickness and athleticism and shows no real weaknesses in his game. He's a good 1-on-1 defender, is an above-average passer and is efficient in his play.
The Fire has three selections in the fourth round, which will take place next Tuesday.