NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Another storied Cal State Northridge career will continue at the MLS level as Matador defender Joe Franco was selected by Chivas USA in Tuesday's Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft. Franco is the 10th Matador selected by an MLS club in league history and is the first taken by Chivas USA.
"Being drafted is surreal," said Franco. "It hasn't really sunk in yet."
Franco, who recently completed his senior season at Cal State Northridge, was named the Big West Conference Defender of the Year in 2012 after helping lead the Matadors to a 15-7 record and the program's first Big West Championship since 2005. He was also named to the NSCAA All-Far West Region Second Team and earned Scholar All-America honors as well.
Franco was touted as one of the top right backs going into last week's SuperDraft, but a season-ending injury in the Big West Tournament Final left doubts as to where he would end up playing professionally. He was invited to the MLS Combine at the beginning of January but withdrew to focus on rehabilitating his knee.
"I had no expectations going in because I knew my knee hindered things," added Franco. "I am honored that Chivas USA has taken a chance on me and I am excited to get started."
Chivas USA finished the 2012 season with 30 points and was ninth in the Western Conference. The club plays its matches at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., sharing the facility with LA Galaxy. Former Matadors Sean Franklin and Rafael Garcia suit up for LA Galaxy.
"I had no idea that Chivas USA would take me," said Franco. "I am excited to be able to stay in Los Angeles and be close to my family and CSUN so I can keep watching Northridge play as well."