Justin Mapp -- Speaking on his 2009...

SuperLiga 2009 Final Tigres UANL v Chicago Fire

Veteran midfielder Justin Mapp had been a fixture of the Fire starting 11 for years. Unfortunately for the 24-year-old Mapp though, this year - to say the least - has been quite different. Mapp - who at this point last year had started every game for the Fire - has gotten the starting nod in only eight matches this year and he is - understandably so - feeling a little frustrated with his lack of playing time.

"Yeah I mean I've played a lot in the past but at the same time you got to accept that if [coming off the bench] is the role that coach wants me to do then I'm going to do that to the best of my ability," said Mapp when I spoke with him after the Fire's 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on August 1st. "Putting everything aside we're here to win games so whatever my role is I'll be happy with it."

Mapp does figure to see some increased playing time with all of the injuries the Fire are currently dealing with, and he is hoping to make the most of his time on the pitch. "Yeah you obviously want to make the most of it," said Mapp. "It's not always easy if you don't play for three four weeks to go in and do your best but you obviously want to be as sharp as you can so just try to make an impact and help the team. Whether that's coming off the bench, starting, or whatever I just go out there and do the best I can."

It's good to see that Mapp is keeping a positive attitude (or at least showing one...) about his situation and I can assure you that he is working hard to earn more opportunities. Unfortunately for Justin though, the Fire's current options on the wing - Chris Rolfe and Marco Pappa - have been playing well all season long and - barring injury (knock on wood...) - I don't see him replacing either of them in the starting lineup.

If Mapp is to supplant either Rolfe or Pappa as a Fire outside mid, he will need to return to his 2008 form that saw him notch 3 goals and 10 assists in all competitions for the Fire. Until then though, don't expect to see Justin in a much bigger role than he is occupying right now.

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  • If he wants more playing time he should look a little more interested in actually playing hard when he gets on the field. He might also not want to sky penalty kicks 15 yards over the cross bar.

  • I must say I'm a little disappointed with his performance this year, I think his has issues with his confidence like Chad B. I think he will be left of the starting 11 for the rest of this year... Where is the speed he had before?

  • I'm tired of waiting for Mapp to produce his potential to be honest. I know's he only 24 years old, but the guy has had plenty of chances to shine and hasn't had it in him to pounce on it. Too bad there's not another McBride out there so we could unload Mapp like we did Chad. Also, unfortunately for Justin is that our current coach is unable to help players grow into their potential.

    Mapp's salary is a large burden on our payroll and Denis is a huge burden on his growth. Trade Mapp and his $alary so he'll better off and we'll be better off. Win/win right? Denis doesn't look like he's going anywhere soon, so trade Mapp now.

    Speaking of Denis, if we can move his butt back to the asst. coach bench and get a real tactician as a head coach we could be a very good team that may, MAY live up to its potential.

    G.S.

  • MAPP TO BENFICA? http://www.slbenfica.pt/Informacao/Futebol/Noticias/CompraRedPass.asp?Adepto=Justin%20Mapp

  • In reply to Chow:

    Just called over to a contact in the Fire front office. They said they hadn't heard anything about it but that they would talk to some other people and get back to me.

  • In reply to Chow:

    Wow! What a revelation if true.

    But I don;t think it is, this smells like a fake, like a MLS Rumors fake.

  • In reply to Chow:

    I just backed into the address given above. It's a fake.

    http://www.slbenfica.pt/Informacao/Futebol/Noticias/CompraRedPass.asp

    DAMMIT!

  • In reply to Chow:

    Hey Sammy!

    Check this out, I also was signed by Benfica! You can quote me too.

    http://www.slbenfica.pt/Informacao/Futebol/Noticias/CompraRedPass.asp?Adepto=Mr.+Fireman451

    "This is the greatest day of my life, I finally get chance to show off my skills and play next to Freddy Adu . . . WHAT?! Adu's not going to be there! F This! I'm staying home then to play for the West Suburban Over 40 Rec League." - Fireman451

    You're welcome Sam.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    Ha, thanks Fireman451. You're definitely the first commenter to be offered a contract by Benfica. Excellent work.

    But if you haven't already figured it out, Mapp isn't going to Benfica. Turns out it was just a crazy rumor and the Fire front office told me the same thing.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    Mapp to Benfica? I'm sure Fireman451 wouldn't take him on his West Suburban Over 40 team if he could get a Beckham like exception.

    Maybe if he plays his trade value will increase. His effort has always stuck in my craw. I have no use for him.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    Everything changed for him when he went to Copa America last year. I think his confidence was sky high before he went to the tournament and then his true ability was shown. He no longer takes players on and when he does he cant beat them anymore. He has no use on our team and we should look to offload him as soon as possible. If we can get anything remotely close to a decent role player that can play in multiple positions (someone like Tim Ward) and some allocation money then we need to make that deal.

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