Fire draft UC Irvine's Franco

The Chicago Fire selected Marco Franco from the University of California Irvine with the 13th pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday.

“Marco is a competent, good player and had a solid showing at the Combine,” Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop said. “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.”

Franco, the Big West Defender of the Year, started all 23 matches and served as captain in his senior season with the Anteaters, who won the conference title and made the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

The Philadelphia Union selected goalkeeper Andre Blake of UConn with the the No. 1 pick. Blake is the first-ever goalie selected with the top pick.