Pappa transferred to Heerenveen (updated with comments from Javier Leon)

Marco Pappa has been transferred to SC Heerenveen effective immediately. Pappa was originally slated to join the Dutch side this coming January when his MLS contract expired but according to Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon the move affords the Fire some space to move.  "This transfer provides the club with flexibility under the salary cap and made sense as we look toward the future," said Leon in a press release.

The 24 year old midfielder has been an integral part of the Fire's attack this season and the move raises speculation regarding other possible additions, not only for 2013 but for this season as well.  Although there has been no official announcement from the Fire, Orr Barouch was apparently transferred to an Israeli club and now Pappa is on the move.  Rumors began circulating about the possible return of Carlos Bocanegra two days ago and it seems there is something to those whispers.

The Fire began exploring options for acquiring Bocanegra as soon as he became available and it seems that he wishes to return to Chicago.  MLS allocation rules are a stumbling block at this point.  Not only does Toronto FC hold the top allocation spot, which enables them to claim Bocanegra but the Fire also needed to acquire additional allocation money in order to free up "budget" space to add a player of Bocanegra's quality.  A move for the top allocation spot would require a trade with Toronto FC in the same manner that Brian McBride was acquired in 2008.

Are these moves made in anticipation of Bocanegra's return or is there another player acquisition in the works?  We'll know soon enough.

UPDATE 2:10pm

I spoke to Javier Leon this afternoon regarding several possible scenarios based on the departure of Pappa.  The Fire are pursuing several different options before the September 15 MLS roster freeze deadline.  One scenario would involve a trade within MLS for a midfielder.  Another scenario could involve the acquisition of another out of contract player from outside of MLS.

Heerenveen recently increased their offer for Pappa based on their desire to incorporate him into their club now rather than in January.  The move afforded the Fire increased flexibility in terms of the cap/budget and the club felt that the acquisition of Alvaro Fernandez could offset some of the lost production from Pappa.  Leon called the move a "very, very difficult decision" and praised Pappa for his upfront efforts in dealing with other clubs.

The club has had discussions with several clubs about Orr Barouch, but at this moment no deal has been finalized despite the announcement made on Bnei Yahuda's official website.  At this moment, Barouch is still officially a member of the Fire.

Toronto FC currently has the top allocation spot in MLS and Carlos Bocanegra would be subject to MLS allocation if he does indeed sign with MLS.  Bocanegra has not come terms with the league at this point.

The Fire are still aggressively looking to add another player before the roster freeze deadline but nothing has finalized at the moment.





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  • Doesn't this mean we lose Pappa's rights should he decide to return to MLS?

  • In reply to DDT5583:


  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    my feeling is that half a season of Pappa (esp. in middle of playoff push) + future rights in event of a return to MLS > $1,500,000. Hope the front office felt the same way.

  • Hopefully, this means a major signing ASAP given the competitive nature of the Eastern division beyond the possible signing of Boca.
    With a series of crucial games coming up the Fire needs either a top flight striker, if short of that an attacking midfielder.
    The loss of Pappa is probably more critical than the loss of Pause.
    No matter what one thought of Pappa, the opposition had to be aware of him and defend against him. Nyarko could fill this spot to some degree, but the team suddenly is thin at the midfield spot.
    Paladini and Bone probably will not make the opposition quake in their boots and make the team's playoff chances more chancy.

  • When I saw the news this morning 2 things came to mind.

    If Pappa fails in Europe and comes back to MLS we wont have his rights. But maybe they asked Pappa what if secnerio in which is response was Id would so play in south america or else where than MLS.

    And I was thinking that a signing could be on the horizon. I got caught up in the Anelka, Drogba, and Boca rumors. But if I know the Fire they will be signing the Midfielder from the Netherlands they trialed last month.

  • In reply to KChance:

    Probably not.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    well but the short reply you:

    A: already know who they are going to sign. And Im mad at you that you wont tell me. lol

    B: know somthing that I dont know about that midfielder? What ever happend. Wanted too much money? Transfer fee? Etc.

  • In reply to KChance:

    Nah, they have trialists come in and out all the time. Most of them are just in for looks and they move on.

  • $400 K for Barouch - how much do you think Heerenveen had to cough up for Pappa? Sounds like there's some money there to be used. Personally, as much as I like Boca, I'd rather see us do something else with the money than pursue him (yeah, that time-worn striker thing). As others have said, we have two strong young center backs, Boca's too slow now to play outside, and he would only be around for a year or two. For a veteran in the backline, I'd gladly take Friedrich for another year if he chooses to stay - he's already in the house and has such a great presence. And I love hearing him talk about how great Chicago is!

  • In reply to Modibo:

    The offer for Pappa was significantly increased.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    So, Leon said Boca is negotiating with MLS? I'm surprised to hear that considering the transfer window is closed.

    Modibo, the rumored offer for Pappa a month ago was $600k and Leon apparently said the offer went up. It sounds like the Fire got good value for a guy who is gone in two months.

    Doug, I wouldn't think ManU would be interested in selling Chicharito because they just unloaded Berbatov.

  • In reply to iron81:

    Bocanegra also seems to have other offers as well. Signing with MLS is no sure thing. The murky contract situation for players at Rangers during the mess that has occurred over the last two months apparently presents a loop hole for him to move. A lot has to happen for Bocanegra to end up in MLS/Fire this season.

  • I know this is pie-in-the-sky thinking but what are the chances an MLS team could snag Javier Hernandez? I don't think he's even played yet for MU so he's moved down the depth chart. I know he'd cost a fortune and it would seem like a bad career move to leave Europe. But he would move the attention needle in this country like very few others.

  • In reply to Doug:

    Um, yes. That is pie in the sky thinking. In fact....I will eat two 15th anniversary scarfs if that happens.

  • In reply to Doug:

    I would sell my season tickets off. I'm only half-joking.

  • Does anyone know of any out of contract strikers or attacking mids that the fire may pursue? Michael Owen? Although I'm sure he wants to stay in England.

  • In reply to jestrada13:

    I think Owen is still out there but he may not be worth his price tag in MLS.

  • PLEASE let it be a goal scorer!!!
    Please no Boca (groan) I thought he was great when he was here and realize he is one of the best CB's the US has had...
    But he is towards the end of his career and this is a fast league.
    Plus CB is our deepest position. We need someone to score not someone to feel sentimental about. We shouldnt trade the farm for someone who will only be effective for 2 years if that.

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    I think working a trade within MLS is the most likely scenario.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Im fine with a trade involving allocation money and a 3 round pick ...don't want the Fire to get fleeced like Toronto fleeced them for McBride

  • I think some are selling Boca a bit short.
    I think he could be a top MLS defender for about the next three years.
    But the defensive line isn't where we are short at the time, we need attackers more than another defender, actually need two attackers now that Pappa left and that's our most pressing need.
    Wouldn't object getting Boca back but only under very favorable
    circumstances and if the attack issue is addressed at the same time.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Totally agree.

  • An excellent article about Peter Wilt discussing some of the AEG nonsense involved in his departure from the Fire.....

  • It should also be noted that Pappa was going to miss 1 or 2 matches down the stretch due to national team duty with Guatemala in World Cup qualifiers.

  • Washington Post's Steve Goff, reporting that Mike Jeffries is out.

    He should read Fire Confidential more often. ;)

  • Reports today indicate that Carlos Bocanegra is set to sign with Racing Santander.

  • In the end, much ado about nothing.
    Now the club can concentrate on the attacker issue and secure a playoff spot

  • They were going to put this mess in Toyota Park. Sounds like they may end up in the other Toyota stadium in San Antonio.

  • In reply to Doug:

    The San Antonio market supports NASL very well. Probably not a bad idea.

  • Would love to have some of the stuff that Leon's smoking.
    Fernandez and Alex do not equal Grazzini and Pappa, at least not on this planet. Last week I figured that the Fire were a near shoo-in to make the playoffs, now that appears to be tentative, with several clubs getting stronger and the Fire weaker. Hopefully, this is a part of a longer term plan instead of a last minute deal that makes the bottom line look could.
    The natives will be up in arms if the team doesn't make the playoffs this year.

  • I hear that there will be about 60,000 pounds of tomatoes being thrown around tomorrow at Toyota Park. Guess the red will go with the decor. Will be interested to see if it all gets cleaned up by game time on Sunday.

  • Boca goes to Racing Santander so he will not be joining the Fire..
    ...however Dempsey still hasn't found a club ....:)
    He may not get CL games in but he can play in US open cups ...-almost the same

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    It was a long shot for a player that they really didn't need so people can't be too upset about it. Better off looking for a midfielder or striker if they can get one.

  • Clint Dempsey's heading to the land of Tottenham.

    As a Chelsea fan, it'll be hard rooting against him. Regardless of his NE roots, I've always liked Clint as a player.

    On to Houston. Let's get a deal done by the roster lock date.

  • When is the lockdown date?

    Is Feilhaber available? Didnt NE get Toja ? I don't know if NE will be willing to pay both...

    Aren't they notoriously cheap?

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    September 15 is the roster freeze date, so teams have until then to make deals.

    The Revs are indeed notoriously cheap but it would seem that they would be a good trade partner due to their abundance in midfield. Either Toja or Feilhaber would be good pick ups IMO. Much of what they can do depends on what they have to give up to get one of those two guys. Most teams are probably asking for somebody like Berry in return and I doubt the Fire would do that.

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Tonight's game will be a critical test. With Columbus on the move, 3 points is really important.

    I don't think a trade that involves anyone in the starting 11 being worth it at this point.

  • It might not make a difference anyway, looks more and more the odd man out will either be the Fire or D.C. at this point. We'll need to both win the Houston game and the Columbus game to secure a playoff spot. We should have some gimmes coming up, or rather look like gimmes until Pappa left. The future would like much brighter if the team secured another attacking midfielder.
    The Galaxy have an international trialist in camp, wonder what the Fire have in theirs. It seems that when the F.O. starts to look somewhat competent, all of a sudden they look unprepared,
    total lack of anticipation.

  • Pappa's transfer made Marca's (Spain's largest soccer daily newspaper) online front page!

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