New York City FC's Tony Taylor (pictured), who played in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup for the USA, has committed his international future to Panama. (Photo: Mike Lawrence/isiphotos.com)
PANAMA CITY, Panama – Panama welcomed a new face into the national team set-up in the form of forward Tony Taylor.
Born to Panamanian parents, the 27-year-old played with the United States at the youth level, but has elected to join the Canaleros for his senior football. He has an opportunity to earn his first cap on October 11, when Panama faces Mexico in an international friendly in Bridgeview, Illinois.
“First off, I wanted to say thank you to FEPAFUT (Federación Panameña de Fútbol) for this opportunity,” said Taylor, who plays for New York City FC in Major League Soccer. “I am very happy to be here. Happy to be with my country and I am here to work a lot and to give all my heart, all my soul for the country and put Panama on top. I am going to keep doing my job day to day to help the team win.”
Taylor played college soccer in the United States and made three appearances in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, scoring in a 4-1 win over Cameroon. His professional debut came in 2010 with Portugal’s Estoril Praia, also play for Atletico Clube (Portugal) and Omonia Nicosia (Cyprus), before joining MLS’s New England Revolution in 2014. NYC FC acquired him in the in the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft.
He’s ready, willing and able to help Panama reach its first-ever World Cup.
“Always, when I come in, I give 100%,” Taylor stressed. “I am happy to be here. I know that we have a very good group of players and a very strong squad. I am here to help the group to make it even stronger.”
In 13 games this season for NYC FC, Taylor has scored two goals in helped the second-year club clinch a playoff berth. The Long Beach, California-native believes his versatility will be an asset for Panama.
“I am available to play where the coach needs me,” finished Taylor. “Naturally, my position is as a forward and also I can play as a second forward. I am here to work and to make the most with Panama.”