Panama begins training for Copa Centroamericana
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Panama players and staff (pictured) gather during a training session on December 26, 2016, in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Federación Panameña de Fútbol)

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Panama's preparations for next month’s Copa Centroamericana opened Monday afternoon with a light training session at the Estadio Luis Ernesto “Cascarita” Tapia.

Under the direction of assistant coach Edgar Carvajal, the session included stretching exercises, 30 minutes of running and small-space work.

"I’m happy to return with to national team,” said midfielder Valentin Pimentel, who has recovered from a broken hip suffered in a Copa America Centenario match against Argentina on June 10, 2016.  “This training fills me with confidence and security to face what is coming.  Competitiveness is good inside the team.”

The squad will continue training on Tuesday, but, by permission, Rolando Blackburn, Armando Cooper, Roderick Miller and Tony Taylor won’t join in until January 2.

Panama will host the Copa Centroamerica to be played January 13-22, 2017