Former Chicago Fire midfielder Marco Pappa joined the Guatemalan national team as it lost to the U.S. men's national team at Livestrong Sporting Park on Oct. 16. The World Cup qualifying match ended with a final score of 3-1. Prior to the game, there was a small controversy about Guatemala's officials deciding to leave Pappa out, but he was used in the second half.
Marco Pappa Controversy
Marco Pappa left the Chicago Fire earlier this season to join the Dutch club SC Heerenveen, but he is still a part of the Guatemalan national team. Before the Oct. 16 World Cup qualifying match at Livestrong Sporting Park, a report from Selecciondeguatemala.net created controversy that quickly spread online.
Initial reports from Selecciondeguatemala.net indicated that Guatemala had decided not to use Marco Pappa in the game because of changes to the midfield. The site posted a potential lineup for the match. The story was quickly picked up by MLSSoccer.com while continuing to spread to other sources, and most of them insisted that Pappa would be completely missing from the starting lineup.
Marco Pappa Appears in the Second Half
Although Marco Pappa did not appear in the first half of the World Cup qualifying match on Oct. 16, coach Ever Hugo Almeida used him in the second half. Fans may recall a similar strategy from Almeida at the June 2012 game that brought Marco Pappa into the second half against the U.S. national team. However, the results on Oct. 16 were not the same because Pappa was not able to repeat the equalizer he scored in June.
Pappa was used as a substitute in the 46th minute of the game at Livestrong Sporting Park and failed to make a significant impact. The U.S. continued to dominate the game while controlling most of the midfield. Guatemala's Carlos Ruiz scored in the fifth minute of the match, but the team failed to overcome goals from Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey. Pappa has been rumored to be struggling at SC Heerenveen, and the language barrier seems to have an impact. He has seen limited time with the reserves as he adjusts to the new club.
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Lana follows MLS, UEFA and FIFA. She has been a faithful fan of the Chicago Fire since 1998. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.
- Marco Pappa
- Guatemalan national team