Marco Pappa - Ave Maria

Pappa joins team in Florida

Chicago Fire midfielder Marco Pappa made his way into camp Monday night after an extended visa process in Guatemala held up his arrival to Toyota Park last week.

“I don’t know why [my visa] was a couple days late,” the Guatemalan international told  “I was sad not to be with everyone at the beginning of camp last week but my mentality is always on trying to improve and do the best for my club and teammates. I’m excited to be here now.”

Heading into his fifth season with the club, Pappa re-joins the Fire as one of the longer tenured members of the team, having appeared in 107 competitive matches, tallying 20 goals and 14 assists since joining the club on loan from CSD Municipal in 2008.

Becoming a focal point of the team’s attack the past two seasons, Pappa has bagged 15 of his 20 goals since 2010 and became the fifth player in club history to record a hat trick last season, scoring all three goals in a 3-0 victory September 28 at Real Salt Lake.

“It’s a new year and I know everyone is looking forward to the season,” said Pappa. “I’m looking forward to the team making big strides throughout our preseason camp and we’re looking to be in good shape when we start the season in March.”

Jeff Crandall is the Team Writer for the Chicago Fire. Follow him on Twitter @JefeCrandall.