Fire sign Mexican veteran Franco

Franco (ISI)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

The Chicago Fire are climbing up the Eastern Conference standings, but they are not standing pat prior to this weekend's roster freeze deadline.

The Fire signed 35-year-old Mexican forward Guillermo Franco on a free transfer Friday, adding the World Cup veteran as another attacking option after the team loaned forward Orr Barouch to Israeli side Bnei Yehuda on Thursday. The well-traveled Franco was most recently with Pachuca after stops at Velez Sarsfield, West Ham, Villarreal, Monterrey and San Lorenzo in his native Argentina. 

"(Franco) 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," Fire coach Frank Klopas said in a statement.

Franco, who played for Mexico in both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups and scored the final goal in Mexico's 5-0 triumph over the United States in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, becomes the latest Mexican international to play for Chicago after past Fire players Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Nery Castillo and current Fire midfielder Pavel Pardo. 

What do you think of the signing? Do you think Franco still has something left in the tank to contribute to the Fire's postseason run?

Share your thoughts below.

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23 Responses to Fire sign Mexican veteran Franco

  1. Mike r says:

    What do I think? Meh
    Will he contribute? Nominally

    If he couldn’t make a dent in the Mex league he won’t do here.

    Chicago, the last stop for declining Mex internationals.

  2. Nery Castillo (MLSsnob) says:

    Hey you forgot about me, I did well.

  3. Santana says:

    He obviously doesn’t fit in with Chicago’s high-octane counterattacking style, but a good pickup to come off the bench in half-field situations when they’re pushing for a goal or on set pieces.

    A “minute 70″ type guy. Good poacher.

    Pardo should make him feel right at home.

  4. jya says:

    Surprised to hear this guy is still playing or trying to find a place to play.

  5. Old School says:

    Interested in what his wages will be.

  6. Ryan says:

    Yeah because that Blanco guy was a flop. Oh wait…

  7. Aljarov says:

    A better pick up than Wells Thompson, that’s for sure.

  8. ViC El Paso Texas says:

    he still has it and might be a hidden gem from the free agent inventory of mexico. The problem with him is that he wanted a high salary in Mexico but did not get it, and as a matter of fact, the Mexican league have a lot of fowards in their 30s and this guy just wanted a big check but did not get it. He also he wanted to retired in Mexico but he burned himself with the Mexican fans and teams by talking trash about Mexicans. Adding to his weird personality, he was actually born in Argentina and became a Mexican to play for Mexico in the 2 worldcups. People say, he is weird person because he is a wanna be Mexican and tries to hard but i think he can do really good in MLS.

  9. ViC El Paso Texas says:

    In reality im surprised MLS teams do not go after good soccer players in their prime, because MLS can be a stepping stone for them, more than the Mexican league. many of them just do good in Spain and thats it, because of culture and language problems. MLS can easily steal their stars and in reality the Mexican national teams from all ages are recruiting Mexican-Americans to play in their national teams. They recruit them and develop them and even women too from their college days.

  10. Mike r says:

    Yea the Fire won all those championships with him. The guy had one good year and how can you say he wasnt on the decline of his career?

  11. Sam says:

    Sherjil is the starter and a younger player more in his prime or moving into it…franco provides a different look and some experienced depth at stricker which we have been lacking…like in many other leagues in the world, bringing in an older player who can’t provide for 90 mins…but can give you a quality 10-20 minutes is great for your depth

  12. abc says:

    Jesus we’ve got some really freaking high standards around here when we’re dismissing Blanco and the Fire as having only won one championship…

  13. James says:

    I have to disagree with putting Blanco in with this group (Castillo? Absolutely). Blanco was with the fire for less than three seasons and in that time finished 4th (’07), 2nd (’08), and 2nd (’09) in the eastern conference. Additionally, the Fire went to the conference championships all three years – yes they lost (two of the three years to the MLS champs) but they actually made it. My point: he offered the intangibles and made the team better.

    A few other things to consider: averaged over 5 goals and over 7 assisits per season, MVP candidate in ’07’, and All-star game MVP in 2008.

    Was he old(er)? Yes. Did he move like rigor mortis had set in? No doubt. But if you played with him you loved him, against him he got under your skin, and he put butts in the seats.

  14. Oranje Mike says:

    Does any club in MLS pander more to local ethnic communities than Chicago? I hope Franco was realatively cheap. He does not thrill me at all.

  15. Allen23 says:

    Franco replacing Barouch = Upgrade.

  16. primoone says:

    The only only thing that would stop guille from being a top 5 MF in the MLS is the talent placed around him.

  17. YO says:

    I’d prefer to see Barouch than a 35 year old…I don’t care who he is.

  18. Fred says:

    He was awesome for Chicago, even with Chad Barrett.

    Franco? Chicago needs a playmaker, not another scorer. If they plan to drop Rolfe to the midfield, that is a mistake.

  19. Ulo says:

    More money means more players on the way…pandering is good business

  20. Jack says:

    Where is the upgrade of Logan Paused…oh, wait

  21. Shea says:

    Barrouch isn’t ready. Robayo and Grazzini are…

  22. Henry says:

    Ugly man…Pure Scorer

  23. J says:

    Robayo was out of his league