Marco Pappa is leaving on a jet plane sooner than expected

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Marco Pappa, who was planning to join SC Heerenveen at the conclusion of the MLS season, is going RIGHT NOW.

“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,” Chicago 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. Marco came into his own as a member of the Fire, he has been a big part of the club and we wish him the best in this next phase of his career.”

Pappa, last seen drinking a cappuccino, leads the Fire with six goals on the year and is second in assists. He signed with the team in 2009, scoring 26 goals and adding 16 assists during his tenure which saw him turn into one of the league’s most dangerous wingers. Pappa is expected to miss time with his club team to play for Guatemala in World Cup qualifying.

The timing of the departure comes as a surprise as the Fire currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Columbus and Montreal, but it gives the team some financial flexibility. The 24-year-old winger makes $135,000 on the year. He will, presumably, get significantly more in the Netherlands.

And thus ends the story of Marco Pappa: MLS Success story.

UPDATE: Steven Goff hears Mike Jeffries is out as Fire director of player personnel. Shakeup in Chicago.