In an effort to boost its bid for the playoffs, the Chicago Fire on Tuesday signed former Mexican international star Pavel Pardo, a 35-year-old defensive midfielder with extensive World Cup experience.
Pardo will be added to the Fire's roster once his Visa and international transfer documentation arrived, and the Guadalajara, Mexico player could be eligible to play for interim head coach Frank Klopas when the Fire hosts the Philadelphia Union Aug. 3 at Toyota Park.
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"Pavel is a very talented player," said Klopas. "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 began his career with hometown Mexican Primera side Club Atlas, where he appeared in 156 matches and recorded 7 goals from 1993-98. Following a brief stint with UAG Tecos, Pardo joined Mexican giants Club America for the first of two career stints in 1999. It was with las Aguilas that Pardo made his mark, appearing in 224 matches, scoring 24 goals from 1999-2006 while helping the club to the 2002 Verano and 2005 Clausura championships as well as the 2006 CONCACAF Champions Cup.
His play for America propelled him to Europe, signing with German side Vfb Stuttgart in 2006. While with Die Roten, Pardo appeared in 71 matches, scoring 4 times while helping the Reds to the 2006-07 Bundesliga title, the club's first since 1992. He returned to Club America following the 2009 Bundesliga season, going on to play in another 86 matches for las Aguilas through the 2011 Mexican Clausura.
Pardo is the second-most capped player in Mexican National Team history, with 148 appearances for el Tricolor. The central midfielder appeared in seven matches for his country during the 1998 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, helping the side to Round of 16 appearances in both tournaments. Pardo was also a member of the Mexican side that hosted and won the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup and has twice been a part of Mexico's CONCACAF Gold Cup winning team in 2003.
In conjunction with the Pardo signing, the Fire released midfielder Bratislav Ristic. The Serbian midfielder appeared in 17 games, starting 13, after joining the club in 2010.