Fire sign Pari Pantazopoulos

From open tryout to professional contract

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that 2011 Open Tryout winner Paraskevas “Pari” Pantazopoulos has signed with the Fire following the club’s preseason camp. Pantazopolous earned a chance to trial with the Fire after beating out 210 players from 19 different nations to win the Fire’s annual Open Tryout in early January. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Pari came in to camp eager to learn and be a part of this team,” said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. “Over the course of the last couple of months Pari worked tirelessly to earn his spot. His undeniable charisma and passion for this game coupled with his experiences in Greece and Cyprus were defining factors in us signing Pari.”

Born in Athens, Greece, Pantazopoulos began his soccer career with Vrilissia Academy in Greece at eight-years-old. Following his family’s move to Mt. Prospect, Il., the the 22-year-old midfielder played with Green and White (1998-2002) and the Chicago Magic (2002-2007) before joining Asyl Lisis in Cyprus in 2007. After a year’s stay in Cyprus, Pantazopoulos returned to the country of his birth to play with Zakynthos from 2008-2010.

“Playing professional soccer has always been a dream of mine,” said Pantazopoulos. “I moved to Chicago in 1998 and grew up idolizing Fire players like Razov, Nowak and Klopas and now I’m a part of this team. I’m thankful to the Fire organization for this unbelievable opportunity.”

Name: Paraskevas “Pari” Pantazopoulos

Position: Midfielder/Defender

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 180 lbs.

Date of Birth: Sept. 17, 1988

Place of Birth: Athens, Greece

Hometown: Mt. Prospect, Il

Citizenship: United States, Greece

Last Club: Zakynthos (GRE)

Acquired: Signed on April 4, 2011