Justin Simons (pictured) is on Panama's roster for the Central American under-20 qualifying competition, which starts on July 8, 2016. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
PANAMA CITY – Panama under-20 national team head coach Leonardo Pipino announced Monday the selection of 20 players for the upcoming Central American qualifying tournament for the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship.
The Panamanians will host the five-team competition that is slated take place at the Estadio Maracana in the El Chorrillo section of Panama City, Panama, from July 8-16, 2016. The top three finishers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the host will advance to the CONCACAF event next year in Costa Rica.
The squad features Columbus Crew SC midfielder Cristian Martinez, who has scored one goal in two Major League Soccer outings. He also appeared in a pair of U.S. Open games, netting once.
Additionally, Pipino included two players from Panama’s 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup roster: midfielders Justin Simons (1 game, 0 goals) and Adalberto Carrasquilla (0 games, 0 goals).
The Canaleros will open the Central American event against Nicaragua on July 8.
GOALKEEPERS: Samuel Baptista (Chorrillo FC), Juan Loaiza (Chievo Verona Academy), Marcos Melendez (Tauro FC)
DEFENDERS: Andres Andrade (San Francisco FC), Cesar Blackman (Chorrillo FC), John Del Busto (San Francisco FC), Moises Gil (CD Plaza Amador), Jiovany Ramos (San Francisco FC), Javier Rivera (Tauro FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Chamell Asprilla (Dep. Arabe Unido), Ricardo Ávila (Chorrillo FC), Adalberto Carrasquilla (Tauro FC), Jorge Gutierrez (Tauro FC), Cristian Martinez (Columbus Crew/USA), Milciades Molina (Plaza Amador), Alberto Quiñones (Alianza FC), Justin Simons (San Francisco FC)
FORWARDS: Leandro Avila (Chorrillo FC), Isidoro Hinestroza (San Francisco FC), Luis Zúñiga (Costa del Este FC)