A perennial contender, Panama continues its quest for a first CONCACAF Gold Cup title in its sixth straight tournament appearance and seventh overall. Two years ago, the Panamanians twice beat Mexico en route to reaching its second-ever final, where it lost 1-0 to the United States.
Panama also earned a berth in the 2005 championship match, overcoming invited squads South Africa and Colombia in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, but ultimately falling to the Americans on penalty kicks after a scoreless stalemate.
In all, the Canaleros have been ousted by the U.S. in the last five Gold Cups, each time by one goal or fewer.
Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez has many talented players at his disposal. Midfielder Gabriel Gomez is again expected to play a key role. The 31-year-old, who helped Herediano to the 2015 Costa Rican Verano title in May, has competed in the Gold Cup five times and scored the game-winning goal in a famous 2-1 victory over the U.S. in 2011.
The squad also features forwards Blas Perez (team-record 10 career Gold Cup goals) and Luis Tejada (eight career Gold Cup goals and 2005 MVP). Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and central defender Roman Torres, who struck for a pair of goals in the 2014 Central American Cup, will anchor a defense that has conceded one goal or fewer in 10 straight Gold Cup games entering this year’s edition.
Panama qualified for this year’s Gold Cup by finishing third in the 2014 Central American Cup.
Trinidad & Tobago
PPL Park, a state-of-the-art 18,500-seat Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium, serves as home to Philadelphia Union. Since opening its doors on June 27, 2010, it has hosted numerous events for multiple sports. In October 2014, the CONCACAF Women’s Championship finals were held there as the United States, Costa Rica and Mexico earned berths to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Two years earlier, the MLS All-Stars squared off against English-power Chelsea before a crowd of 19,236. PPL Park has been recognized on multiple occasions, winning awards from Mid Atlantic Construction Magazine for “Best Sports/Recreation Project of the Year,” the Delaware County Planning Commission for outstanding land projects in the County and the NCS4 Facility Achievement Award that honors venues that excel in safety and security operations.
City: Chester, Pennsylvania
Past Gold Cups:first-time venue
Field Size: 120 x 75