Panama roster named for WCQ stretch run

Luis Tejada (red jersey), currently the top scorer in the 2017 Peruvian Clausura, was called up Panama for next month’s World Cup qualifiers. (Photo: Mexsport)

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Panama head coach Hernan Dario Gomez named Wednesday a 22-player roster for his team’s last two matches in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Canaleros, who currently occupy third place in the Hexagonal standings on 10 points, will face fourth-place United States (9 pts., October 6, away) and second-place Costa Rica (15 pts., October 10, home).

Victory over the Americans, combined with a Honduras (9 pts.) loss at Costa Rica the same day, will see Panama clinch its first-ever World Cup berth.

Gomez extended invitations to 20 foreign-based players, including forward Luis Tejada – the top scorer in the Peruvian first division, netting four goals for Universitario through four rounds of play.

From the Liga Panameña de Fútbol, defender Jan Carlos Vargas (Tauro FC) and midfielder Jose Gonzalez (Arabe Unido) were called-up.

The Panamanian delegation plans to travel to the USA on September 29.


GOALKEEPERS: Jose Calderon (Marathon/Honduras), Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucharest/Romania)

DEFENDERS: Felipe Baloy (Municipal/Guatemala), Eric Davis (FC DAC 1904/Slovakia), Fidel Escobar (New York Red Bulls/USA), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo/USA), Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls/USA), Luis Ovalle (Tolima/Colombia), Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders/USA), Jan Carlos Vargas (Tauro FC)

MIDFIELDERS: Edgar Yoel Barcenas (Cafetaleros de Tamaulipas/Mexico), Ricardo Buitrago (Juan Aurich/Peru), Armando Cooper (Toronto FC/Canada), Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), Gabriel Gomez (Atletico Bucaramanga/Colombia), Jose Gonzalez (Arabe Unido/Panama), Alberto Quintero (Universitario/Peru)

FORWARDS: Abdiel Arroyo (Danubio/Uruguay), Roberto Nurse (Mineros de Zacatecas/Mexico), Blas Perez (Municipal/Guatemala), Luis Tejada (Universitario/Peru), Gabriel Torres (Lausanne-Sport/Switzerland)