UCI duo earns All-American honors

UC Irvine seniors Marco Franco and Enrique Cardenas have been named second- and third-team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Assn. of America.

Franco, the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, was a first-team All-West Region honoree after helping lead the Anteaters to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

With Franco anchoring the back line at center back, UCI posted 10 shutouts and its 0.8 goals-against average was the stingiest in the Big West. He had two assists in 2013.

Cardenas, the Big West Midfielder of the Year, led his team and ranked third in the conference in goals (eight) assists (seven) and points (23). The first-team all-region performer had four game-winning goals to help UCI finish 15-5-3 and claim conference regular-season and tournament titles.

Cardenas is one of three Big West players invited to the 2014 Major League Soccer player combine, scheduled Jan. 10-14 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

— From staff reports

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