Ask about Pavel Pardo's adjustment to living in the United States and playing in Major League Soccer, and he laughs as easily as he's made that adjustment.
Since his signing with the Chicago Fire was announced July 25, the 35-year-old Pardo moved into the lineup at defensive midfielder and hasn't missed a minute since. Meanwhile, teammate Sebastian Grazzini, five years younger, hasn't played a full game yet since joining the club July 15. Fire fans also remember how Nery Castillo failed to regain his fitness after joining the Fire at midseason 2010 before returning to Europe over the winter.
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Chicago Fire game dayColorado Rapids at Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Toyota Park
TV: Channel 50
Scouting the Rapids: Caleb Forlan has scored 4 goals in his last six games for Colorado (10-6-11, 41 points). The Rapids will play on short rest, having traveled to Hondruas for a Tuesday CONCACAF Champions League match against Real Espana, though Pablo Mastroeni, Marvell Wynne and Matt Pickens did not travel to Honduras.
Scouting the Fire: The Fire (3-7-15, 24 points) is hoping to win two straight games for the first time this season. Midseason additions Sebastian Grazzini, Pavel Pardo and Dan Gargan have found a home in Chicago, combining for 4 goals and 2 assists this month.
Next: Richmond Kickers, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Toyota Park in U.S. Open Cup semifinals
-- Orrin Schwarz
"Because I'm an easy guy," Pardo said with a laugh, speaking English fluently. "That's what I said the first time I went to Germany. Another culture, another country, another language. I was able to learn and get the adaptation really quickly.
"This is the most important thing. How do you want to be in your life? If you're a negative person, you're going to get negative things. If you're a positive person, you're going to get positive things. This is a big difference in life."
Pardo is nearing the end of a very positive career, one that has seen him play at Club America, one of the top clubs in Mexico, as well as at Stuttgart, which he led to the 2006-07 Bundesliga title. He is second on the Mexico national team's appearance list with 148 caps, which include the 1998 and 2006 World Cups.
Now he hopes to bring that positive attitude to the Fire, a struggling 3-7-15 team that desperately needs a jolt of positive energy.
"When I came here I said we will start to win. And if you analyze or if you see the games, we didn't play bad," Pardo said, echoing a common theme around Toyota Park. "We didn't have luck."
Pardo scored in his first game with the Fire earlier this month. His body feels strong, he says, despite the heavy workload this month.
"I feel good," Pardo said. "That's what I said when I came here. I was two months off. Of course I always take care of me."
He sees good things ahead for MLS and he wants to continue to be a part of it. He wouldn't mind coaching in MLS someday.
"I know this league is going to be better in the future," Pardo said. "It's going to be a good league. You can see now players who played in Europe, players who come to the United States improve the quality of the league. This is important."
• Follow Orrin Schwarz on Twitter @orrinsoccer.