A perennial powerhouse, Panama continues its quest for a first CONCACAF Gold Cup title in its fifth straight tournament appearance and sixth overall. The Panamanians have progressed to the knockout stage in four of their five attempts. To do so again, they have to get past group foes Mexico, Canada and Martinique.
Panama’s best Gold Cup showing came in 2005, when it got past invited squads South Africa and Colombia in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, before falling to the United States on penalty kicks in the final after the two sides played to a scoreless stalemate.
Panama was also ousted by the United States in each of the next three competitions, all by one goal, including a 1-0 semifinal loss in 2011.
The Canaleros’ success isn’t exclusive to the Gold Cup. Heading into a schedule of three June games, they occupied first place in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying.
Head coach Julio Dely Valdes has many productive veterans from whom to select a roster. Mexico-based striker Luis Tejada is tied for sixth on the all-time Gold Cup scoring list with eight goals. The Toluca standout was named the best player of the 2005 Gold Cup.
The squad also features FC Dallas forward Blas Perez and D.C. United midfielder Marcos Sanchez, as well as Municipal goalkeeper Jaime Penedo. Defender Felipe Baloy wears the captain’s armband and plays for back-to-back CONCACAF Champions League runner-up Santos Laguna.
|13||Defender||Jean Carlos Cedeño|
|14||Midfield||Juan De Dios Perez|