Guillermo Franco made his debut with the Chicago Fire Reserve team on Sept. 18 at Toyota Park. The newest addition to the roster received a caution in the 54th minute of the match and attempted to make a goal. The forward showed decent fitness as the Fire beat FC Dallas 2-1.
Guillermo Franco's First Game
The Sept. 18 game for the Chicago Fire Reserves gave Guillermo Franco his first chance to play with the team. The forward played for 61 minutes before being replaced with Marcus Epps. Chicago beat FC Dallas 2-1 at Toyota Park with goals from Hunter Jumper and Dominic Oduro. Guillermo Franco attempted to make a goal in the 40th minute but hit the post.
Since his training with the Fire has been limited due to his recent arrival, Guillermo Franco's ability to stay in the match for 61 minutes is a good sign. Many players who join MLS often need more time to improve their fitness levels. Franco may not need a significant amount of training to be able to withstand a 90-minute match.
The Rest of the Season for Franco
The inclusion of Guillermo Franco in the Sept. 18 match seems to follow the typical Chicago Fire procedure for new players who are not likely to be placed immediately in the starting lineup. Franco may be used as a substitute in the future and could eventually work his way up from the bench. However, the rapid approach of the MLS playoffs means that head coach Frank Klopas may not be willing to experiment with the roster. He is likely to continue relying on trusted strikers who have been with the team longer than Franco.
Franco's chances of playing will probably improve next year because the Chicago Fire only have six games left in the regular 2012 MLS season before the playoffs. Their choice to sign Guillermo Franco seems to have been a last minute effort to beat the MLS roster freeze date with limited options. Hopefully, he will prove to be a valuable part of the roster and a great alternative to some of the other striker choices.
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Lana follows MLS, UEFA and FIFA. She has been a faithful fan of the Chicago Fire since 1998. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.