MLS- Chicago Fire

Pappa's transfer from Fire to Heerenveen takes immediate effect

Pappa (Getty Images)

If the Chicago Fire are to reach the playoffs and go on a postseason run this season, they will have to do so without Marco Pappa.

The Guatemalan midfielder's transfer to Dutch club Heerenveen has been expedited, and he will leave the Fire with immediate effect. The Fire had originally planned on sending Pappa to Heerenveen following the conclusion of the MLS season after the transfer had been agreed upon earlier this month. Pappa had six goals and five assists in 22 games for the Fire this season.

"This was a very difficult decision to make, however, we feel it is the best move for the club and the player at this time," Fire president of soccer operations Javier Leon said in a statement. "This transfer provides the club with flexibility under the salary cap and made sense as we look toward the future."

The Fire are currently battling for a postseason berth in the Eastern Conference and are tied for fourth place with D.C. United on 41 points. Columbus and Montreal are hot in their pursuits for the playoffs, with Montreal two points behind Chicago (while having played three more games) and Columbus also trailing by two points through the same amount of games. 

How do you think this alters the Fire's outlook for this season? Do you think the Fire will still make the playoffs, or does this open the door for the Crew and/or Impact?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Zing!

    So what could they have paid to speed this up, 200k? Isn’t he worth more to the Fire’s chances than a couple hundred grand? Seems like a money grab, which is weird since they could have sold him months ago for a much bigger amount, before his contract allowed him to leave on a free. Very odd.


  • Eric

    Any idea how much they got in return for him? If he left now then there had to be a tansfer fee paid.

    Honestly, losing Pappa hurts but it’s not the end of the world. Flaco and Nyarko are good enough to pick up the slack. What this does is reduce our depth quite a bit though.


  • al17

    What’s up with the Bocanegra rumor to the Fire?
    If that’s true then we know why this happened so damn fast. Hope Boca’s returning to where it all started for him in MLS. Nothing but Luv for him in Chicago.


  • Helium-3

    Probably 1 – 2 million is my guess. No way the Fire would let him go early for 200k.


  • dgoshilla

    It is upsetting seeing how easily MLS teams let players go. The fans deserve better. A player like Papa deserves a nice send off from the fans. I don’t think MLS realizes how important these player/fan bonds are to the league.


  • Eric

    Not really. Boca is still subject to the allocation process and Chicago isn’t that high up on it. They’ve been looking into what it could take to get him but they’re not thrilled about having to shell out a lot to get him like they did with McBride.


  • Eric

    It’s a bit harsh to say they let him go easily. The original plan was for him to leave after this season ended but maybe Heerenveen came and offerred a lot of money to get him now or maybe Pappa decided he wanted to move early too. I don’t think it’s worth making assumptions like this until we know the details.


  • Old School

    I would absolutely appalled if the Fire did not receive some sort of transfer fund for releasing him early.

    I’m hoping they did, despite no reports on it. If they didn’t, MLS should be ashamed of themselves as it would be extremely Mickey Mouse/amateur.


  • otergod

    “This transfer provides the club with flexibility under the salary cap and made sense as we look toward the future.”

    this would lead me to believe that the transfer, which would require a fee as he is still a player, opens up the ability to pay another player (yet to be signed) without sticking to the salary cap (allocation).


  • Herb

    Depth? This guy was a starter. Chicago needs a replacement in midfield….especially after loaning Grazzini and Robayo


  • Old School

    True, the word “transfer” was used.

    However, “flexibility under the salary cap” could easily mean the absence of Pappa’s salary in general.


  • Modibo

    Pappa’s been wanting to go to Europe for years, and has been vocal about it (but in a very respectful way to the Fire). He should have gotten a send-off, but he’s also being permitted to pursue his dream earlier than he expected.


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