Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say about how the club could deal with his absence:
"We have different options," he said. "I think Lamar Neagle can play there. We’ve used Kenny Cooper in a wide position before. We’ve used Barrett wide. Kovar, Sean Okoli: young players have shown they can play there as well. We’ll make a decision on that. It changes us a little bit because Pappa, his style of play is different than all those guys. But that’s neither here nor there because we have enough players with experience playing there."
On why Pappa was called in now after a long absence: You don’t know the story as to why he hasn’t been called up. I think part of it was because he was with the team in Holland, and he was trying to make his mark there, so he maybe didn’t want to go away to the national team at that time point. It’s been a while since the Gold Cup for them, they’ve really been out of World Cup qualifying for a while so there were no urgent games that he needed to be part of. I think that’s more the reason than they say, oh all of a sudden he is somebody we should be looking at again. I think Marco has always been in their plans, always been in their pool, and these games are important games because they qualify them for the Gold Cup, so it doesn’t surprise me. … It’s good for him. He’s at a stage for him now where a very dominant player for Guatemala was Carlos Ruiz, and he’s no longer there. And Marco is a guy who can step into those shoes and become a leader of that team, and he can sort of be the guy who takes that team to the next level. That’s what Carlos did for a number of years, and I think that’s the shoulders now that Marco has to be prepared to bear that weight.
Here's the club's press release:
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Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Marco Pappa has been called into the Guatemala National Team for the 2014 Copa Centroamericana from September 3-13. Pappa will miss Seattle's match at Chivas USA on September 3 and against Real Salt Lake on September 12.
Guatemala begins Group B play on September 3 against El Salvador at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The tournament continues on September 7 against Belize at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and group play concludes on September 10 against Honduras at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The Knockout Stage will be held at the Los Angeles Coliseum on September 13.
Pappa, 26, has been capped 31 times by the Guatemala National Team, scoring six goals with three assists. He has scored three goals in 15 World Cup Qualifiers, including one goal against the United States in 2012. Pappa has recorded three goals and three assists in 22 MLS appearances for Sounders FC this season, including the game-winning assist in Saturday's 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
Sounders FC visits Chivas USA on Wednesday, September 3. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.