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Fire agrees to transfer Marco Pappa immediately

Chicago Fire v PhiladelphiUnion

Chicago Fire v Philadelphia Union

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Updated: October 1, 2012 5:58PM

All season the Fire has looked like a playoff-bound team. But after the club announced Thursday that it agreed to terms to transfer Marco Pappa to SC Heerenveen, there’s reason to question whether the Fire will continue to look that way through the team’s final nine games this season.

Pappa currently leads the team with six goals, ranks second with five assists and has been the Fire’s best player this season.

The Fire announced on Aug. 13 that Pappa, whose contract was originally set to expire Dec. 31, had signed a pre-contract with SC Heerenveen but was expected to finish the MLS season. Thursday’s transfer allows him to join SC Heerenveen immediately.

Currently three games into its season, SC Heerenveen spent the past two months trying to acquire Pappa sooner than the expiration of his Fire contract.

After rejecting several offers, the Fire, which sits in the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot, was presented one it couldn’t refuse Thursday.

“I know that if we fall short of the playoffs, people are going to look back and say, ‘Well if you had Pappa you probably would have made them’,” Fire president of soccer operations Javier Leon said. “Well, there’s no guarantee. If today [there was] a crystal ball [that] told me if you keep Marco, we’re going to make the playoffs and make a run in the playoffs, I think we certainly would have decided to keep Marco.”

Pappa’s commitments to the Guatemalan national team factored into the decision. He was expected to miss two of the nine remaining games due to his country’s involvement in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying games.

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