Pardo, Grazzini set to make MLS debuts for Chicago
Chicago Fire interim head coach Frank Klopas isn’t wasting any time getting new signing Pável Pardo on the field.
Klopas told MLSsoccer.com in a phone interview Tuesday that Pardo, who signed with the Fire last week, will make his MLS debut when Chicago host the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
Klopas declined to say whether or not the 35-year-old defensive midfielder will start or come off the bench for the struggling Fire, who are currently nine points behind Houston for the 10th and final playoff spot.
“We have 14 games left and we have to make a push now,” Klopas said. “We don’t have a lot of time where we can sit back and be thinking about the next game, so we need to get him in right away.
“His fitness level has gotten better every day but more than anything he needs games,” Klopas added of the former Mexican national-teamer. “But he’s an experienced guy … and every day it’s been better and better. He’s been good for sure and he has improved.”
Pardo won’t be the only Fire player making his league debut on Wednesday. Klopas said that Argentine midfielder Sebastián Grazzini, who signed with the Fire on July 13, will also make his first MLS appearance against the Union.
Klopas did not say if Grazzini, who came on in the second half of the Fire’s July 23 Herbalife World Football Challenge loss against Manchester United, would start on Wednesday.
“The good thing with him is that we got him right at the beginning of the transfer window,” Klopas said. “He’s been able to train through this league break and do double sessions with our strength and conditioning coach. He’s pushing hard, we got him in during the Man. United game and I thought that was a good first step and he’s ready to go.”