Panama's Eric Torres (red jersey) takes on Graham Zusi of the USA during the match for third place at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Just days ahead of its opener in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Panama is dealing with some personnel matters in the defensive side of the field.
The Canaleros will face host Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Friday without left-back Eric Davis, who has a quadriceps injury and will not be replaced.
"There is a tear of the tight quadriceps muscle, so we talked to coach Hernan (Gómez), who said it was not optimal for Eric to play,” said Gerinaldo Martinez, Panama’s team doctor.
Also of concern is the status of center-back Roman Torres. The Seattle Sounders standout missed most of the Major League Soccer season recovering from an ACL tear. He then sat out the recent two-legged MLS Cup playoffs quarterfinal series against FC Dallas with muscular problems.
According to Martínez, the 30-year-old’s health has improved and he is nearing a return.
“Roman was doing side work and has progressed well,” Martinez commented. “His club has been taking care of him as much for themselves as for us in the national team.”
Panama, which is seeking a first-ever World Cup berth, will be making its third ‘Hexagonal’ appearance.