Rumored to be the case for about a week now and never really in doubt, the Chicago Fire announced Wednesday that they had re-signed midfielder Pavel Pardo. The press release had the usual 'per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed' boilerplate. However, team writer Jeff Crandall stated that Pardo signed a two-year contract. We still don't know the money involved but Pardo is not a designated player.
More on Pardo after the break.
The fact that Pavel Pardo scored a goal in his Chicago Fire debut back on August 3 was a good omen for the games to come. The goal was the lone Fire score in a 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union. Chicago improved their record to 2-6-13 (19 points) that evening. Pardo and Sebastian Grazzini helped the club to turn around its disappointing season by finishing 7-3-3 for a 9-9-16 (43) points overall record. Pardo added five assists to his statistical total before the end of the season. His biggest contribution tended to be something you can't count on the stat sheet.
"Pavel helped kick-start our turnaround at the end of last season," said Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas. "He provides tremendous experience for us in the middle of the park, serves as a great example for our younger players and plays for the badge every time he steps on the field."
The Mexican defensive midfielder brought a calm coolness that was missing from a team that always seemed to be in a hurry to untie a game. Pardo does the little things like make a dangerous pass without the opposition realizing it until it's too late. In the opponent's box, Pardo calmly collects the ball and then gets it out to a teammate to start a counterattack instead of lobbing the ball out of harm's way temporarily. As Klopas mentioned, the 35 year-old veteran teaches much to the younger players around him.
A two-year deal will take Pardo through 2013. He'll be 37 years old on July 26, 2013. There is an age concern but I'm not worried for now. Pardo was hustling and giving it all in the U.S. Open Cup Final in October. It's not that his teammates were lackadaisical, it's more like he had a third gear to everyone else's second when he chased Seattle's defense as they passed the ball all the way back to Kasey Keller. Pardo still ran towards Keller dare Seattle's goalkeeper get comfortable sending the ball up field again.
Pardo told Crandall:
"I'm starting with the team from the beginning of the year which I think is so important to how we develop as a group. I know the club well, I know my teammates and I think we have a great base heading into 2012 because we had so many new players last year. This season there will be less new faces and we'll be starting off on a much stronger foot."
Things are looking very good for 2012. Pavel Pardo will continue to be a big part of any Chicago Fire success next year.
Name: Pável Pardo Segura
Height: 5'9" (1.75m)
Weight: 150 lbs. (68kg)
Date of Birth: July 26, 1976
Place of Birth: Guadalajara, Mexico
Hometown: Guadalajara, Mexico
Last Club: Club America (MEX)
Acquired: Re-signed by the Chicago Fire January 18, 2011