Marco Pappa won’t be going back to the only MLS club he’s ever known after all.
The Seattle Sounders acquired the Guatemalan midfielder Friday by using their No. 1 allocation ranking after Pappa opted to return to MLS following one season with Dutch side SC Heerenveen. The Chicago Fire, where Pappa spent his first five seasons in the league, had expressed interest in brining the 26-year-old back but held the eighth allocation spot. Chicago manager Frank Yallop said Thursday that Seattle’s asking price to move up in the order was too steep.
Pappa will be added to the roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
“Marco is a proven and established player who has been very productive in this league,” Sounders sporting director Chris Henderson said in a statement. “He has the technical quality to create chances for himself and his teammates at any moment. Marco has been able to adapt his game to the International level. He is a high-character guy who brings excitement and quality to our midfield.”
Pappa played 11 matches for SC Heerenveen of the Dutch Eredivisie in the 2012-13 season after transferring from the Fire. With the Fire, he made 112 appearances with 26 goals and 16 assists.
Pappa had a breakout season in 2010 when he led the Fire with seven goals and added five assists in 25 appearances, earning MLS All-Star and Goal of the Year honors. He scored a career-high eight goals in the 2011 season and was named an inactive MLS All-Star. In his final season in MLS, Pappa recorded six goals and five assists in 22 appearances.
A native of Guatemala City, Pappa has made 30 appearances for the national team, scoring five goals with three assists. He has three goals in 15 World Cup qualifiers, including one goal against the United States in 2012.
Pappa is scheduled to join the Sounders for preseason training in Tucson, Ariz.