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Pappa optimistic over Guatemala's Gold Cup chances

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Chicago Fire midfielder Marco Pappa is feeling good about Guatemala’s Gold Cup chances.

The winger, who joined the Guatemalan national team for a pre-Gold Cup camp this past Sunday, told MLSsoccer.com after the Fire’s 2-2 home draw against San Jose on Saturday that he’s confident Guatemala will get past Honduras, Jamaica and Grenada in group play and advance to the knockout rounds.

“I’m excited because it’s a big opportunity for me to play for my national team,” said Pappa, who could see time in Wednesday’s friendly against Venezuela in Guatemala City. “We know we have hard games and we are looking forward to the competition.

“We know we have a hard group with Honduras, Jamaica and Grenada, but we know we have a good chance because two teams go to the next round,” he added. “I think we’ll get through.”

While Pappa’s relishing the chance to play in CONCACAF’s biggest tournament, he’s not as excited about leaving the struggling Fire for at least three games.

“It’s hard because we haven’t had good results,” he said, “so I don’t feel happy to go [in that respect]. But it’s an honor to be with the national team. I hope that the guys here do their best to have good results.”

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at sam.h.stejskal@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.