|Full name||Andrew Iro|
|Date of birth||26 November 1984|
|Place of birth||Liverpool, England|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|2004–2007||UC Santa Barbara Gauchos|
|2012–2013||→ Barnet (loan)||9||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:18, 9 February 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Iro started playing college soccer for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in 2004, spending four seasons with UCSB, helping the team to the 2006 Division I Men's College Cup. In 2008, Iro turned professional when he was drafted by the Columbus Crew with the sixth overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. During his first season at Crew, Iro helped the side win both the MLS Supporters Shield and MLS Cup. He spent three years with the club, before being traded to Toronto FC in July 2011. He spent the 2011 season with the club, but rejected the offer of a contract extension in January 2012. In September the same year, Iro returned to England, signing for League One team Stevenage. In November 2012, he was loaned out to Barnet, and spent two months with the League Two side. He was released by Stevenage in May 2013.
Iro began his career playing for youth side Kingsley United Football Club in Toxteth, England, as well as attending St. Edward's College for high school, where he played for the school team as both a forward and midfielder. Iro also spent a short period of time as a trainee at Everton. He moved to California to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara on a soccer scholarship in 2004. At UCSB, he was coached by Tim Vom Steeg and was played as a central defender and occasionally on the left side of defence. He was immediately an integral part of the 2004 UCSB team as they marched to the 2004 Division I Men's College Cup in Carson, California, where his side lost on penalties to Indiana University. Iro described the defeat to Indiana as the worst moment of his career.
His disappointment would not long last though as Iro and the UCSB Gauchos were crowned champions of Division I college soccer by beating the Bruins from the University of California, Los Angeles in the 2006 Division I Men's College Cup in St. Louis, Missouri. This marked UCSB's first ever national championship in soccer and only second overall. Iro started every game in which he appeared during his collegiate career, scoring ten times in 86 appearances over the space of four seasons.
Straight out of UCSB, Iro was drafted by the Columbus Crew with the sixth overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. He made his debut on the opening day of the 2008 season, coming on as an 87th minute substitute in Crew's 2–0 home victory over Toronto FC on 29 March 2008. After several substitute appearances, Iro started his first match as Columbus Crew defeated Kansas City Wizards 3–0 at the CommunityAmerica Ballpark in June 2008. He scored his first professional goal in a 4–0 home win against New England Revolution on 6 September 2008, heading in Guillermo Barros Schelotto's free-kick at the back post to double Crew's advantage. During his first season with the club, Iro made 21 appearances in all competitions, scoring once. The campaign was a successful one for the side, as Crew won both the MLS Supporters Shield and MLS Cup respectively.
At the start of the 2009 season, Iro struggled for first-team appearances, making just one start in the opening three months. The start did yield his only goal of the season, however, briefly restoring parity in an eventual 2–1 away defeat to Chivas USA. During the season, with Crew winning the MLS Supporters' Shield for the second consecutive year, Iro made 15 appearances, four of which coming in the CONCACAF Champions League. His third successive season at Columbus Crew got off to a strong start, with Iro scoring the first goal in Crew's 2–0 opening day home win over Toronto at the Columbus Crew Stadium on 27 March 2010. He netted once again in the club's 3–1 away win against New York Red Bulls, ensuring Crew maintained their unbeaten start to the season. Further goals against Houston Dynamo and Municipal took Iro's seasonal goal tally to four. He featured regularly during the campaign, playing 33 times, in a season that witnessed Crew lose on penalties to Colorado Rapids in the MLS Cup play-offs. Iro made a further four appearances for the club at the start of the 2011 campaign. During his three years with the club, he made 73 appearances and scored six goals.
In July 2011, Iro was traded to rival MLS side Toronto FC along with Crew's Léandre Griffit, in exchange for Tony Tchani. He made his debut a week after signing in a 1–0 home loss to FC Dallas on 20 July, playing the whole match. Iro was almost ever-present from joining Toronto mid-season until the end of the 2011 season; making 13 appearances for the club in the MLS, as well as playing in a further five games in the CONCACAF Champions League. Despite playing regularly during his time at the club, Iro declined the offer of a contract extension at Toronto, subsequently ending his brief association with the club, leaving as a free agent in January 2012.
Following his departure from Toronto, Iro returned to England and later signed for League One side Stevenage in September 2012, joining the club on a free transfer. The move meant that Iro would be playing under Stevenage manager Gary Smith, who he had known during his time playing in the MLS. Iro revealed that Smith had previously tried signing him for Colorado Rapids, although ultimately no move materialised. In November 2012, having failed to make any first-team appearances for Stevenage, Iro joined League Two side Barnet on loan until January 2013, in order to regain match fitness. He made his debut for Barnet in a 3–2 home win against Burton Albion on 21 December 2012. Iro scored his first goal for Barnet in only his third appearance, netting an injury-time equaliser in the club's 2–2 draw away to Exeter City. Iro's loan was extended for a further month on 11 January 2013. He went on to make nine appearances for Barnet, scoring once, during the two-month agreement. He returned to Stevenage in February 2013, although did not play any first-team games for the club during the season. He was released by Stevenage when his contract expired at the end of the campaign.
He is the son of Paul and Rose Iro, and has seven brothers and one sister. He grew up in Toxteth, England. Iro left school at the age of 16, and stated a desire to "work on his own schedule". His mother took £1,000 she had saved from working as a nurse, and gave it to Iro to invest. He subsequently used the money to renovate a run-down property next to his family home and open a grocery store. At this time in his life, Iro, who had excelled in football, rugby and boxing, admitted that sport was an "afterthought" — due to the capital his business was generating. However, Iro was shot in the thigh during a robbery in his store, and this served as the catalyst for him to find another career to pursue. He handed over ownership of his store to a relative, and briefly worked in a bank.
In 2004, after sending several hundred emails to colleges throughout the US, he used the money he had saved from working to take up the offer of a scholarship at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Iro stated he wished to go to university in the US solely for educational purposes, and described playing football alongside his studies as a "bonus". He graduated from UCSB with a degree in sociology and a minor in sports management.
Iro supports Newcastle United, as well as Italian Serie A side Juventus. He states that his favourite players are Fabio Cannavaro and Steven Gerrard. He enjoys watching television, and lists his three favourite programmes as Family Guy, Entourage, and South Park, as well as stating his favourite movie is Gladiator.
|Club||Season||League[A]||FA Cup||League Cup||MLS Cup||Other[B]||Total|
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