Chicago Fire fans looking for a reason to cheer after Wednesday’s season-crushing defeat to FC Dallas might just have one.
Influential midfielder Pável Pardo, who signed a six-month contract with the Fire in late July, told reporters after Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at Toyota Park that he’d like to come back to the Chicago for the 2012 season and, potentially, beyond.
“Of course we are talking about this situation,” said Pardo, who was shown a straight red card in the 79th minute of Wednesday’s defeat. “I spoke with the people from the Fire and of course they want me to be here for next year and I want to be here — not [just for] one year, I want to be here more years. I’m very [comfortable] with this team, with the club, with the fans – I’m just very happy to play here in Chicago.”
Though the Fire’s solid end of the year run likely won’t culminate in a playoff berth – Chicago are six points out of a postseason spot with just two games left – Pardo wanting to return is very a good sign.
Along with fellow midseason signing Sebastián Grazzini, the 35-year-old Pardo has been instrumental to the Fire’s late-season success, playing clean, effective soccer from the defensive midfield spot to help propel Chicago up the table. His influence would be welcome again next year, when the Fire should be a bit more competitive than they were in the first half of the 2011 season.
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.