Sounders FC Owner Joe Roth issues apology for comments at business meeting

Sounders FC Owner Joe Roth issued an apology Friday following the comments he made about the Central American nations of Guatemala and Nicaragua during the Alliance Annual Business Meeting.

Roth was one of four Sounders FC leadership figures who met with Season Ticket Members during the club’s Annual Business Meeting on Thursday night, and made the comments during his opening remarks at the start of the evening.

"I sincerely apologize for the irresponsible comments I made after misidentifying Marco Pappa’s home country at last night’s Alliance Annual Business Meeting,” said Roth. “These comments do not in any way reflect my values or what I believe. As our fans know, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind from any members of our organization, and I deeply regret my poor judgment.”

Roth was joined on stage by Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer, Chief Operating Officer Bart Wiley and General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey to assess the 2015 season and answer questions from fans. Roth has been with the organization since its founding in 2007 and subsequent MLS launch in 2009.

Sounders FC supporters group La Barra Fuerza Verde issued a statement Friday stating that it was disappointed by Roth's comments during the year-end event.

“We will be reaching out to the Sounders Front Office to express our disillusionment with these statements,” the statement read, “and to work towards resolving these issues to ensure that our club remains a welcoming environment for supporters of all backgrounds.”

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