The Fire’s return to JELD-Wen Field for Sunday night’s encounter against the Portland Timbers will mark a career milestone for midfielder Marco Pappa should he step on the field in the match. As there’s little reason to believe he won’t play a part in the game, the Guatemalan international is set to the 15th player in team history to appear in 100 MLS regular season matches for the club.
“I actually found out his morning that Sunday would be number 100,” Pappa joked with Chicago-Fire.com Wednesday. “I came here in 2008 and have played a lot of games, I guess I lost track.”
With an appearance Sunday the 24-year-old midfielder will become the second-youngest player in Fire history to reach the century mark, behind only former teammate Justin Mapp, who achieved the milestone at the age of 22 in a 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Wizards on April 21, 2007.
Having originally joined the club on loan from Guatemalan side Municipal in 2008, Pappa was bought out right by the Fire following the 2009 campaign. His two goals in nine matches so far this season have moved him into a two-way tie with Damani Ralph and Dema Kovalenko for fifth on the club’s MLS goal scoring list at 22 goals.
“I’m really happy with hitting 100 games. I’ve learned a lot of things here – both in soccer and in my personal life I’ve matured and I’m thankful to the Fire for that.”
With the team achieving a better start than its seen the past two seasons, Pappa hopes he’ll continue to move up the appearance chart this season
“I hope I can keep playing more games. It’s a good feeling to play for this club.”
His next target will be to pass former Fire defender and current color analyst Evan Whitfield, who sits 14th on the appearance list at 103 games.