Rave Report: Pappa chooses number 10
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
Seattle's new playmaker joins a long, successful list, Toronto and Dallas continue makeovers and Montreal makes its first offseason addition.
Sounders FC has had some award-winning figures wear the No. 10 jersey in its brief MLS history.
Freddie Ljungberg was Seattle’s first player to wear the No. 10 shirt, earning MLS Best XI honors in 2009 when his two goals and nine assists propelled Sounders FC into the playoffs. In 2011, Mauro Rosales donned the No. 10 and earned MLS Newcomer of the Year honors, netting 12 goals and 34 assists in three seasons in Rave Green.
Now, Marco Pappa adds his name to the list after the Guatemalan international chose to wear No. 10, fully embracing the pressure that can come with wearing the most sought-after number in soccer.
“Pressure, huh?” he shrugged. “Number 10 has special responsibilities on the field, but I’m still just one of the players and I hope I can bring some skill to the team.”
Seattle Head Coach Sigi Schmid, for one, isn’t concerned that the aura around the jersey number will be too heavy a burden to bear for the veteran playmaker.
“He’s a player who has been around the league, so he knows what he’s doing,” Schmid said. “With that, brings a little bit of responsibility, but guys thrive under that as well.”
Pappa wore No. 16 in his five seasons with the Chicago Fire, accumulating 26 goals and 16 assists in 112 matches. Fifth-year forward David Estrada has worn the 16 jersey for his entire time in Seattle.
JULIO CESAR IN TORONTO
Toronto FC continued its offseason makeover on Friday, signing Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar on loan from Queen’s Park Rangers in England’s Championship.
The 34-year-old World Cup hopeful played seven seasons at Inter Milan, winning the Serie A title five times. His time in Italy was highlighted by the UEFA Champions League title in the 2009-2010 season. A veteran of 228 matches in Italy’s top division, Julio Cesar also has 77 caps for the Brazilian National Team. He was the starter in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was the top goalkeeper in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
He joins a lengthy list of additions in Toronto that includes midfielder Michael Bradley, forwards Gilberto and Jermaine Defoe and former MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario.
ESCOBAR JOINS DALLAS FORWARDS
In 2009, Sounders FC mined the Colombian ranks to bring in former Deportivo Cali striker Fredy Montero and the young forward went on to set the standard for goal-scoring in Seattle. FC Dallas is looking to mimic that success with the signing of another former Deportivo Cali forward, bringing Andres Escobar on loan from Dynamo Kiev.
The 22-year-old played 12 matches with the Colombian U-20 National Team, prompting a move to one of Ukraine’s top clubs in 2011.
He is joined in Dallas by former Colorado Rapids midfielder Hendry Thomas, who was sent in a trade on Wednesday in exchange for allocation money. A former Premier League midfielder with Wigan Athletic, Thomas played 35 matches over two seasons for Colorado before rejoining former coach Oscar Pareja in Dallas.
IMPACT ADDS URUGUAYAN FORWARD
In what has been an otherwise quiet offseason in Montreal, the Impact signed Uruguayan forward Santiago Gonzalez on Friday. The 21-year-old had five goals and two assists in 14 games for Institucion Atletica Sud America in the 2013 Apertura of the Uruguayan Primera Division.