Bridgeview, IL (Sports Network) - Pavel Pardo picked a wonderful time to score
his first goal of the Major League Soccer season.
The former Mexico international connected on a free kick in the early going to
give the Chicago Fire a lead that they never relinquished as they held on to
claim a 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Toyota Park on Saturday.
The win lifts Chicago (9-6-4) into a tie with Red Bull New York - the Red
Bulls host Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday - for third place in the Eastern
Conference on 31 points apiece.
Vancouver (8-6-6) has lost two straight and is winless in its last three,
remaining tied with the Sounders for third place in the West on 30 points
Chicago went in front after just 10 minutes when Dominic Oduro's blazing run
was brought to a halt with a foul from Jun Davidson just outside the box.
Pardo stepped up to take the ensuing free kick, bending a shot over the wall
and past the outstretched hand of Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
The Fire came close to doubling that advantage on two occasions inside the
opening 10 minutes of the second half, only to be denied by the assistant
referee. Oduro attempted both chances, hitting the woodwork with the first and
finding the back of the net with the second, but was flagged offside twice
just minutes apart.
The home side was made to sweat it out in the second half after Arne Friedrich
was sent off for picking up his second yellow card of the match, but the Fire
held on to take three massive points and get back to winning ways.
Chicago will look to build upon the win in its next outing as it faces New
York at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday. Vancouver returns home for a match the
same day, welcoming the Los Angeles Galaxy to BC Place for a crucial Western
The Sports Network