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Joe Roth apologizes for comments at Alliance meeting

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Fans called for apology after Roth's flippant comments about Guatemala and Nicaragua

Sounder at Heart / Mike Russell

Seattle Sounders FC released an apologetic statement on behalf of owner Joe Roth after his comments during last night's Alliance meeting describing Guatemala and Nicaragua as "cocaine distributors."

Roth had mistakenly identified Marco Pappa as being from Nicaragua rather than Guatemala, and when corrected he noted offhand that both countries were cocaine distributors.

After an outcry from fans, including an official statement from Emerald City Supporters Latino subgroup Barra Fuerza Verde, the Sounders front office released the following statement on behalf of Roth: "I sincerely apologize for the irresponsible comments I made after misidentifying Marco Pappa's home country at last night's Alliance Annual Business Meeting. 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 has been majority owner of the Sounders since joining the ownership group in 2007, but it was also announced at the Alliance meeting that owner Adrian Hanauer would replace Roth as majority owner.