Pappa, Johnson, Barouch to head on international duty

Pappa, Johnson, Barouch called to represent national teams

Marco Pappa - GMNT

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Heading into the team’s third phase of 2012 preseason camp, due to international absences, the Chicago Fire will be without the likes of Sean Johnson, Marco Pappa and Orr Barouch for most of the team’s stay in Charleston, S.C. from February 22-March 3.

Sean Johnson will be back in U.S. U23 national team camp in Dallas, Texas from February 19 - March 1 as the team begins its final preparations for next month’s CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers. Johnson joins DC United keeper Bill Hamid as the only two backstops in the team that will face FC Dallas (February 22), NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions (February 24) and the Mexico U23s (February 29).

One of the key members of the Guatemalan national team, Fire midfielder Marco Pappa has been called in for a pair of friendlies with los Chapines as they visit Paraguay in Asuncion on February 22 and Guyana in Georgetown on February 29.  Pappa and Guatemala will use both friendlies as preparation for the side’s World Cup qualifying semifinal round opener on June 8 at Jamaica.

Having earned three international appearances for the Israel U21s since debuting at England last September, Orr Barouch has been recalled for the side’s friendly match vs. Ukraine on February 29 in Ha Moshava, Israel. Barouch has played a key role for his country in his first three international appearances helping to setup two goals and will look for his first strike against Ukraine as the team continues its preparations to host the 2013 UEFA U21 Championships.

All three players are expected to rejoin the Fire ahead of the team’s final Carolina Challenge Cup match on March 3 vs. the Charleston Battery.