PANAMA CITY, Panama - For Panama Head Coach Hernan Dario Gomez, the Canaleros' two upcoming friendlies will provide a good test ahead of this summer's 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Panama first face Denmark on Friday in Brondby and then Switzerland next Tuesday March 27 in Lucerne, in what should be a fairly good reflection of Panama's first two World Cup matches in Group G against Belgium and England.
"Denmark is a big team like Belgium, like England," said Gomez to reporters at Panama City's Tocumen International Airport on Monday morning prior to departing for Denmark.
"Switzerland is another team that has progressed a lot. They have good players, so we are practically playing the World Cup in these matches," added Gomez.
The matches mark the first time Gomez has had a chance to be with the full national team since last November's friendlies versus Iran and Wales.
The Colombian manager admitted that Panama are likely to show some rust.
"The first thing for me is getting back with the players, being with them, talking with them. These are risky matches because we're not all that prepared," said Gomez.
Still, the upcoming friendlies are reminders that Panama are richly deserving of using these matches to prepare for the most important ones of all this summer in Russia.
"Panama has already played these type of World Cup matches and that is the reward for qualifying. You play five or six matches before the World Cup, you're guaranteed three in the World Cup, and if you advance there are more. This is part of forming the future of Panamanian football," concluded Gomez.