[MLS] The second-most capped player in Mexican soccer is headed to Chicago.
Midfielder Pavel Pardo, who counts some memorable battles against the USA among his 148 caps, has concluded a dalliance with MLS by signing a contract to the end of the season. Salary terms were not disclosed, and he is not a Designated Player.
Pardo, 35, visited Chicago recently and while team officials rebuffed inquiries regarding an MLS deal negotiations proceeded. To make room on the roster, the Fire released Serbian midfielder Bratislav Ristic, who signed last season and played 17 games.
The Fire has astonishingly won only two of 20 games this season and just as remarkably has tied 12. It is eight points out of a playoff spot with 14 games to play. It is tied with Toronto FC for last place in the Eastern Conference and is the league’s worst team at home (1-2-6).
“Pavel is a very talented player,” said Fire interim head coach Frank Klopas in a team statement announcing the signing. “Pavel’s international credentials and track record as a professional were defining factors in us bring him to the Fire. He will provide additional depth in the midfield as we push for a playoff spot in the second half of the MLS season.”
Pardo, a native of Guadalajara, began his professional career in 1993 with hometown club Atlas. He has since played for UAG, Club America and VfB Stuttgart, which he helped win a Bundesliga title in 2006-07. He returned to Club America from Germany in 2009. During his first stint with Club America, Pardo and Las Aguilas won a pair of Mexican league championships and the Concacaf Champions Cup.
With 148 caps (11 goals), Pardo is the second-most capped Mexican player, trailing only Claudio Suarez (178). He played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, and helped Mexico win the 1999 Confederations Cup and 1998 and 2003 Concacaf Gold Cups. He also played on the 2007 Gold Cup team that lost the final, 2-1, to the USA.
He joins a Chicago midfield that despite the departure of Ristic appears overloaded with central players. Captain Logan Pause fills the holding role, as does Daniel Paladini. Baggio Husidic and recent arrival Sebastian Grazzini are the more attacking options. Pardo occasionally played wide on occasion during his national-team career and could also be used as a defensive alternative, perhaps as a sub.