Fire's Pappa to transfer to Dutch club

The Chicago Fire has agreed to terms to transfer Marco Pappa to Dutch club SC Heerenveen, and the midfielder will join the team immediately rather than at the end of the MLS season as previously planned.

“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. 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, 24, came to the Fire on loan from CSD Municipal on July 30, 2008. He started 101 of his 112 MLS regular season games and recorded 26 goals and 16 assists.