Marco Franco will not be returning to Indy
A young kid from California, came to Indy Eleven in 2014 on loan after struggling for playing time with MLS side Chicago Fire. That trip just a few hours south on I-65 helped the player and cultivated a fandom with the man who wore the number 23. Marco Franco will not be back for the Eleven’s 2018 season, but he will never be forgotten.
After playing making his debut on September 27th of 2014 against Carolina, Marco Franco went on to accumulate a club record 7,376 minutes in 87 games. This past season alone, Franco started in 30 of the Eleven’s 32 games NASL matches, racked up 2,678 minutes, and assisted on 5 goals. An Iron Man mentality that went with the position just as, Jamie Frías, Kyle Hyland, and Daniel Keller did it.
Yes Franco’s professionalism and work ethic set him apart from the rest. Franco always did his job to the best of his ability and gave the Circle City his best every game. He took pride in his defending, was physical, and never backed down from a challenge. The right side of the pitch was his and everyone knew it. As he gained the trust with Hankinson and his teammates this year, Franco took it one step further and developed his attacking runs, finding a unique ability to connect with the forwards up top. This year was Franco’s best in an Indy Eleven jersey. In a season which Indy Eleven was lucky to have him, his consistency and ability could have easily seen him at the MLS level.
But what stood out the most was his support. All the way from California, the Franco family did more than came to his games in San Francisco and Indianapolis. The Franco’s wore the red, white, and blue of Indy Eleven, displayed Marco’s face on massive bighead cutouts, and started his own fan club. A beloved character, player, and person that exuberated passion professionalism, and support. We are certainly going to miss Marco Franco and the MF23 Fan Club.