June 12, 2008
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Former Northern Illinois men's soccer standout Justin McGrane made his first appearance with Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire reserves in the team's match against the D.C. United reserve squad, Sunday.
"It's a great situation for one of our soccer players to play in an MLS reserves game," NIU head men's soccer coach Steve Simmons said.
McGrane checked in as a defender for the second half of the Fire's 5-4 loss to United.
"The Fire called me up to see if there were any guys who were capable," Simmons said. "Justin's time at the combine probably helped him."
In January of 2007, McGrane became the first Huskie to participate in the MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The former Huskie midfielder is a regular in the Metropolitan Soccer League.
"He's playing in the Metro League in Chicago, which is a very good league, and pursuing his business career," Simmons said.
McGrane finished his NIU career with 76 matches played, including 67 starts. The Rockford, Ill. native was a three-time All-Mid-American Conference performer, and scored the game-winning goal that sent NIU to the second round of the 2006 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament.