Fire Notebook: Klopas mum on Pardo rumor resurfacing

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — The Pável Pardo to the Chicago Fire rumors have been rekindled.

The Mexican midfielder was seen leaving Toyota Park with a Fire executive following Chicago’s 1-0 loss to Portland last Saturday, restarting the months-old whisperings linking the two parties.

Fire interim head coach and technical director Frank Klopas toed the diplomatic line on Tuesday when asked if he is interested in signing the 34-year-old two-time World Cup veteran.

“He likes Chicago, his wife loves Chicago,” Klopas said of Pardo. “It was good to see him. I’ve met him in the past and he’s a good player and that’s all I would say. But we’re always looking to add good players to the team that can help us win.”

Reserves win, but Grazzini stays in Chicago

The Fire reserves improved their record to 4-0-1 Tuesday afternoon, beating Sporting Kansas City 2-1 at Livestrong Sporting Park in Reserve League action.

Forward Orr Barouch opened the scoring in the 13th minute and Fire academy player Manny Guzman scored the game winner in the 76th.

New signing Sebastián Grazzini did not play in the match, staying in Chicago to train with the first team instead.

Grazzini, who signed with the Fire last Thursday, practiced with the entire first team on Tuesday morning and did individual work with Chicago’s strength and conditioning coach Tuesday afternoon.

The Argentine midfielder just finished a season in the Argentine first division, playing his last game with former club All Boys on June 11. He’s expected to make his league debut when Chicago return to MLS action on August 3 against Philadelphia.

“We got to make sure that in the next two-and-a-half weeks we’re building his base of fitness and we have him ready 100 percent against Philadelphia,” Klopas said. “He hasn’t trained with us and … we felt that it was better for him to stay behind and train twice a day. [We thought] it would be more beneficial than going [to Kansas City] and maybe playing for 30 minutes.”

Klopas to field strong lineup against Man. United

While Grazzini has to wait until next month for a chance to make his league debut, he could make his first appearance in a Fire uniform on Saturday, when Chicago take on Manchester United in a World Football Challenge match at Soldier Field.

Klopas indicated Tuesday that he field a strong lineup against the Red Devils, who arrive in Chicago on Thursday after taking on Seattle at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday night.

“We’re going to put a team that’s going to compete,” Klopas said. “We want to be competitive in every match that we play.”

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at sam.h.stejskal@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.