BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Logan Pause understands that the Fire’s decision to trade Justin Mapp to the Philadelphia Union was, above all, a business move.
But that knowledge doesn’t ease the sting for the Fire’s veteran midfielder, who grew close to Mapp during the pair’s more than seven years together in Chicago.
“The first thing that pops to mind when something like that happens is that [Justin] and I came in the same year,” Pause told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “I mean its seven-and-a-half, almost eight years together. That’s a long time to spend. The first thing you think about is the relationship that you build, you know? I know that [Justin] has built a life here. He’s grown roots here and he loved being a part of this organization, so there’s a sense of sadness that you see him go.”
Although Pause is sad to see Mapp leave, he’s also excited for the new opportunity awaiting his friend in Philly.
“[I’m] kind of excited for the guy in terms of it being a great opportunity for him,” Pause said. “Sometimes, when you get an opportunity to shake things up a little bit, it gets you out of your comfort zone and it brings excitement back.”
Pause mentioned that Mapp came in to Toyota Park Tuesday morning to collect his gear and say goodbye to his now former teammates.
“He’s just a first class guy,” Pause said. “He came in and wanted to say goodbye and good luck to us and said a couple words to the guys and, you know, the hard thing to do is to face the organization and your teammates. He’s just a top class guy and all of us wish him nothing but the best going forward.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @samstejskal.