Forward Rolando Blackburn (red jersey) was named to Panama's roster for the 2017 Copa Centroamericana. (Photo: Adid Jimenez/Straffon Images)
PANAMA CITY, Panama – Panama named Saturday a 23-player roster for the upcoming Copa Centroamericana, which it will host January 13-22, 2017.
The squad features numerous stars of the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. Forward Rolando Blackburn has three goals and recently helped Saprissa to the 2016 Costa Rican Invierno title, while Arabe Unido midfielder Jose Gonzalez is the competition’s joint-top scorer with five goals.
In addition to Gonzalez, Arabe Unido – the current Panamanian champion – is well represented in the selection. Forward Enrico Small, the 2016 Panamanian Apertura’s top scorer with 16 goals; and midfielder Edgar Yoel Barcenas, who has two goals and three assists in the SCCL, were among others to earn spots.
The Canaleros, whose only Copa Centroamericana title came in 2009, open against Belize on January 13.
The Copa Centroamericana is the championship for the region’s national teams and also serves as a CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying competition. The top four finishers in the round-robin tournament will qualify for the 2017 Gold Cup and the fifth-place team will meet the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup fifth-place side -- either Haiti or Trinidad & Tobago – in a two-game playoff for the last Gold Cup berth.
GOALKEEPERS: Jose Calderon, Alex Rodriguez
DEFENDERS: Azmahar Ariano, Harold Cummings, Eric Davis, Roderick Miller, Michael Murillo, Luis Ovalle, Angel Patrick, Jan Carlos Vargas
MIDFIELDERS: Edgar Yoel Barcenas, Armando Cooper, Ricardo Buitrago, Anibal Godoy, Jose Gonzalez, Amilcar Henriquez, Josiel Nuñez, Alberto Quintero, Óscar Villarreal
FORWARDS: Abdiel Arroyo, Rolando Blackburn, Enrico Small, Tony Taylor