Chicago's Pardo announces retirement

The Chicago Fire announced on Saturday that midfielder Pavel Pardo has retired after a 19-year professional career.

Pardo spent time in Mexico, Germany and the United States on the club level and featured in two World Cups for the Mexican national team.

"This was a very difficult decision, but after speaking with my family, I've decided that it is the right time to retire from professional soccer," said Pardo. "I've had the opportunity to play for world-class clubs and represent my country at the highest level. The journey has been an exciting one and I'm proud of the things I've accomplished along the way. Thank you to all of my teammates, coaches, clubs, family and most importantly my fans for supporting me for the last 19 years. I'm excited about the next phase of my career and look forward to being involved in soccer for many more years to come."

After joining the Fire in July 2011, Pardo helped the club reach the postseason in 2012 and he made 41 regular season appearances during his time in Chicago, tallying two goals and nine assists.

"It has been a truly great experience to have had Pavel Pardo represent the Fire on and off the field," said Fire owner Andrew Hauptman. "Pavel's character, leadership and integrity as an individual rival his passion, ability and skill on the field. Our club is honored to have been a part of Pavel's 19-year professional career. Pavel will forever remain a member of the Fire family."