Trio of Former Matadors Making Mark on MLS

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. –

Fans of Major League Soccer and the Cal State Northridge Matadors will find some familiar faces in MLS matches this year as Northridge has three former players competing at the highest level of professional soccer in the United States.

Daniel Paladini, a midfielder for the Chicago Fire, has been playing professionally since being drafted by the LA Galaxy in 2006. Paladini spent a year with the club before making his debut with the San Fernando Valley Quakes of the USL Premier Development League in 2007.

After leading his side to it first-ever playoff appearance, Paladini signed with Chivas USA and played in eight matches, scoring one goal. He then spent two seasons with the Carolina Railhawks of the North American Soccer League before returning to MLS with the Fire. In his career with Chicago Paladini has appeared in 29 matches with 17 starts and a pair of assists.

A pair of former Matadors are establishing their careers with the LA Galaxy as defender Sean Franklin and midfielder Rafael Garcia are both playing for the defending MLS champion.

Franklin got his start in 2008 and has made 106 starts for Los Angeles while tallying four goals and 11 assists. All four of his goals came during the 2011 season in which he was named to the MLS All-Star Game Starting XI and Franklin is also a winner of the league's Rookie of the Year Award (2008).

This season, Franklin has started in 18 of 19 matches and has nine shots with one on goal.

Garcia is the most recent Matador to enter MLS as the Galaxy drafted him in the second round of the 2012 Supplemental Draft. Garcia made his professional debut on June 20 at Real Salt Lake, coming on as a substitute in the late stages of a 3-2 victory.