BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Logan Pause thinks he might be just a little bit slower at the age of 30 than he was a few years ago.
That lost step, he joked, actually worked to his benefit on Sunday against Houston when he failed to get out of the way of a Pavel Pardo free kick, which hit him in the back, curled over goalkeeper Tally Hall, hit the underside of the crossbar and put the Fire on the board in the 1-1 tie.
WATCH: Pause deflects Pardo's shot past Hall
“I’m kind of chalking it up to old age. I just couldn’t get out of the way,” Pause said with a smile.
“I tried everything I could to get out of the way, and it just tagged me right in the back.”
Pause’s last goal came on March 8, 2010, a windy day in which he sent a looping 30-yard shot past goalkeeper Stefan Frei in a 4-1 loss.
Friedrich’s first start
Fire defender Arne Friedrich made his long-awaited first start on Saturday, replacing the injured Cory Gibbs in the starting lineup.
Friedrich said communication between defenders still needs work.
“We need to adjust as a team, we need to know each other,” Friedrich said. “[Communication] needs time. I guess in the next couple of games we’ll be better.”
Friedrich isn’t only able to replace Gibbs as a center back. He’s able to fill a void as a vocal veteran as well.
“He is going to get better and better but his talent quality is not limited to a soccer player,” assistant coach Leo Percovich said, filling in for coach Frank Klopas at the post-game press conference. “He is another player that has come to help this beautiful group we have.”
Anibaba takes blame
Center back Jalil Anibaba took the blame for Will Bruin slipping in behind the Fire defense on Houston’s lone goal on Sunday.
The goal came after Bruin passed to Brian Ching, ran straight through three Fire defenders and received a wide-open return pass from his strike partner. Bruin buried his breakaway shot, curling the ball over goalkeeper Sean Johnson
“I think it was a lack of positioning on my part,” Anibaba said. “I should’ve stepped to Bruin on the first checked-in ball and then on the second run he made. Initially, I could have gotten a bit tighter to him.”