Over the past few weeks, Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid has said that Seattle was in pursuit of a midfielder who could make a difference for the club in 2014. On Friday, they landed that target when they acquired two-time MLS All-Star Marco Pappa through the allocation process.
The 26-year-old Guatemalan midfielder is a left-footed playmaker who plays primarily on the left side, but is dangerous in any attacking midfield role. In 112 MLS matches from 2008-2012, he had 26 goals and 16 assists before his transfer to Heerenveen in Holland during the 2012 season.
“We’re excited. Marco Pappa is a player that did very well in this league with Chicago,” Schmid said. “We were pleasantly surprised with the opportunity and we’re excited to have Marco.”
In his first full season in MLS in 2009, Pappa had five goals and four assists in 30 matches. He followed that up with seven goals and five assists in just 25 appearances in 2010, including three straight matches with goals in June. That performance earned him MLS All-Star honors and he started for MLS against Manchester United. He continued his standout ways in 2011 with eight goals and two assists in 29 matches, including a late-season hat trick against Real Salt Lake. Pappa then earned another All-Star nod as an inactive player in 2012 when he had six goals and five assists in 22 matches before his departure for Heerenveen in August.
“He’s a wide player and we lost a little bit there with Mauro (Rosales) and Steve (Zakuani) leaving. He’s a left-footed player. He’s very dangerous on free kicks. He’s very good on his service of the ball from wide positions. He’s got a good shot from distance,” Schmid said. “He’s got experience in this league. He knows what this league is all about. He knows what the travel is in this league and I think he’s a guy who can help us.”
In 366 minutes over five matches against Sounders FC, he scored two goals – one in 2009 in a 1-1 draw and the other directly off a corner kick in a 2-1 Seattle win in 2012.
He adds another talented piece to the Seattle midfield, which already features U.S. National Team players Brad Evans and Clint Dempsey and 2012 MLS Best XI defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso.
“Marco is a proven and established player who has been very productive in this league. He has the technical quality to create chances for himself and his teammates at any moment,” Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson said. “He is a high-character guy who brings excitement and quality to our midfield.”
Pappa is scheduled to join the team in training camp in Tucson, Ariz.