Fire Notebook: Pardo, Grazzini to return for SJ match
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — The Chicago Fire will be boosted by the returns of Pável Pardo and Sebastián Grazzini for Saturday's match at San Jose (10:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), as both midfielders are set to resume their spots in the lineup after missing time with injuries.
Pardo (above) has been out since suffering a strained right calf in the Fire's win over Colorado on Aug. 27, while Grazzini hurt his hamstring in Chicago's win over Richmond in the semifinals of the US Open Cup last week.
Both midseason signings trained with the first team on Thursday and interim head coach Frank Klopas told MLSsoccer.com that both look set to start against the Earthquakes.
Pappa to meet team in San Jose
Midfielder Marco Pappa won’t immediately return to Chicago following his recent stint with the Guatemalan national team, meeting the Fire in San Jose instead.
Pappa played 90 minutes in both of Guatemala’s recent matches, one of which was on Tuesday night. According to Klopas, Pappa picked up a thigh contusion on Tuesday against Belize and might not start against the Quakes.
Barouch back from international duty
Forward Orr Barouch made it back to Chicago following his call-up with the Israel Under-21s, arriving back in the Windy City earlier this week after the young Israelis lost 4-1 at England on Monday.
Barouch started Monday’s match, going 68 minutes before being subbed out.
“To be called up is an honor and a dream,” Barouch told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “To meet all the players and playing for my country was great. It was a different style and different coaching, but it was great.”
The 19-year-old striker said he was happy with his performance and that he’s hoping to be called back in when the U-21s meet again in November.
“I thought I did pretty well in the first half,” he said. “Second half, I thought our team didn’t have the ball as much and our coach started making some subs, but I definitely felt it was something I can learn from and get better.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.