Tie For Union

Fire newcomer Pardo scores equalizer in 2nd half

Posted: August 04, 2011

BRIDGEVILLE, Ill. - The Union played the Chicago Fire to a 1-1 tie in a Major League Soccer game at Toyota Park last night.

Midfielder Veljko Paunovic scored for the Union on a 30-yard shot in the 34th minute.

The leftfooted shot went low past goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who was screened by Chicago defender Josip Mikulic.

Midfielder Pavel Pardo, making his debut with the Fire, tied the game about 9 minutes into the second half.

Pardo took a feed from forward Dominic Oduro on the goal line, and beat goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon with a 17-yard kick.

The 35-year-old Pardo was signed on July 26, and wasn't expected to play for more than a half. Instead, the Mexican League veteran settled the Fire's defensive play in midfield, and made the game's biggest offensive play.

The point moved the Union (8-5-8) within two points of Eastern Conference leader Columbus. Chicago dropped to 2-6-13.

It was the Union's first match since the team announced leading scorer Carlos Ruiz was being released. Ruiz signed a contract with Veracruz of the Mexican League yesterday.

Philadelphia head coach Peter Nowak missed the match because of severe back spasms. Assistant John Hackworth ran the team in Nowak's absence.

The Union's next game is against the visiting Houston Dynamo at PPL Park on Saturday (8 p.m., Channel 6).

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