Fire Notebook: Klopas dispels Pappa to Twente rumors
Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas on Tuesday threw water on rumors connecting midfielder Marco Pappa with Dutch club FC Twente, telling MLSsoccer.com that neither the Fire nor the league have spoken to last year’s Eredivisie runners-up about the Guatemalan attacker.
Multiple outlets reported last week that Twente is interested in signing Pappa, who is under contract with the Fire through the end of 2012.
“I have not had any contact from Twente,” Klopas said. “Ourselves, as a club, have not [had contact], and from a league standpoint, we have not [had contact]. There are just a lot of rumors out there, that’s just how soccer is.”
The 24-year-old Pappa scored eight goals and notched two assists in 29 games with the Fire last year.
Pardo negotiations progressing
Klopas said that contract negotiations with Mexican midfielder Pável Pardo are going well, with the Fire expecting to bring the 35-year-old back to Toyota Park next season.
“They’re moving along, they’re moving along,” Klopas said of the talks. “As we’ve stated before, I think the player wants to stay here and we want to keep him here, so I don’t think there will be ... any issues.”
Pardo, who signed with the Fire at the end of July, was a key part of the club's late season renaissance, with the two-time World Cup veteran scoring one goal and registering five assists in 13 MLS matches.
Fire decline options on three players
The Fire announced on Tuesday afternoon that they will not pick up options on midfielder Baggio Husidic and reserve goalies Jon Conway and Alec Dufty. All three players will be available for selection in the Re-Entry Draft on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.
The Fire declining Husidic’s option comes as a mild surprise. The 24-year-old signed a Generation adidas contract out of the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2009 and showed decently in his first three years with the Fire, totaling five goals and six assists in 50 league games with the club.
Husidic’s salary was likely a key issue in the Fire declining his option; according to Players Union documents, Husidic was guaranteed six figures in 2011.
Conway and Dufty played limited roles last season. Conway played six league games behind starter Sean Johnson while Dufty didn’t see any MLS action.
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org