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Newly acquired Pavel Pardo scores in Fire’s 1-1 tie with Union

Fire goalie Sean Johnsmakes save against Union.  |  Getty Images

Fire goalie Sean Johnson makes a save against the Union. | Getty Images

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Updated: November 2, 2011 7:05PM

Pavel Pardo, the veteran defensive midfielder the Fire picked up last week, didn’t think his fitness was up to playing 90 minutes in his first Major League Soccer game Wednesday. It was, though, and he proved to be an offensive weapon, too.

Pardo scored the Fire’s lone goal on a 16-yard blast off a loose ball in the 54th minute, but the result was an all-too-familiar one. The 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union before 10,557 at Toyota Park was the Fire’s 13th tie in 21 games. With 13 games left, the Fire (2-6-13) seems likely to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

‘‘My goal was not important because we tied and we have to win,’’ Pardo said. ‘‘We had so many chances in the second half and didn’t finish. We have to keep working hard.’’

Pardo’s insertion into the lineup led to captain Logan Pause switching to right back. That meant rookie defender Jalil Anibaba
began the game on the bench. He didn’t stay there long, though, because Cory Gibbs came up lame in the sixth minute. Anibaba took Gibbs’ place in the middle.

Veljko Paunovic scored on a 30-yard blast in the 34th minute for the Union (8-5-8), which was without coach Peter Nowak. Nowak, the Fire’s first captain, spent the day battling back spasms and was replaced by assistant John Hackworth.

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