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.