Tag Archives: Panama national team

Red Bull Rewind

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Well!

Where has the time gone?

At first, I just thought to myself, “Self, let’s just take a few minutes to breathe. You’ll get those recaps on the games against the Colorado Rapids and Atlanta United in a day or two.”

It was Mother’s Day weekend, the New York Red Bulls were on the road, and I was watching the games as a fan, the first with the darling gents of the Seeing Red podcast at a sports bar, the other from the comfort of my bed. Both games were wins (1-2 and 1-3, respectively).

And… well… I got complacent. I tossed aside the analysis and the critiques. Because hey! They won! This is what they’re supposed to do. And they’re just gonna keep on doing it! No big deal.

But then the road got a little bumpy. A loss in Foxborough. Then a resounding win against NYCFC (again). A draw in Columbus. A scrappy win against Seattle (I missed that game entirely– thanks, life!). And then a devastating fall in the Open Cup to… the Philadelphia Union. The same team that was able to keep RBNY down in league play really got their number in the single elimination tournament.

While the Red Bulls were called the favorites of the tournament after making it to the finals last year, the heavy roster rotation and intensified schedule got the better of the team. Five games in eleven days is just not the norm. The team seemed frazzled, disjointed. Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra was back, as were Tim Parker and Tyler Adams. But it was like they were all carrying an albatross through the first half. They buckled under the weight. The Union were not so encumbered by expectation. The result, in hindsight, was inevitable.

There are two awards left to claim: the Supporter’s Shield, which RBNY have claimed twice before, and the MLS Cup, which has eluded the Red Bulls even since they were the New York/ New Jersey MetroStars. But is their confidence shaken? Have tempers flared? Has the team philosophy taken a hit?

Oh, and did I mention the rumors? With the semi-surprising departure of NYCFC manager Patrick Vieira for OGC Nice in France, the rumblings that Jesse Marsch will be called to RB Leipzig in Germany have grown to a dull roar. Or is it Tyler Adams, who impressed in Ireland and France during the International Friendlies, who needs to brush up on his German? Either (or both) is fine with me. It’s a credit to the organization.

This week has seen a much-needed break for the team as the World Cup began in Russia. It is a source of pride to see Fidel Escobar and Michael Amir Murillo represent Panama. But MLS shall march on. This Saturday is back at home against FC Dallas. I heard there will be fireworks. And empanadas. Frankly, I’m stoked. Back to business, everyone!

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Los Canaleros of Panama make World Cup debut

Bridget McDowell - Minnesota United FC/mlsfemale
Official Minnesota United FC Reporter

By Bridget McDowell // @BCMcDowell

Group G: June 18 kickoff

You probably haven’t heard much about Panama’s national team until the qualifiers for this World Cup. In its 80 year recorded history, this is the squad’s first World Cup appearance. What Los Canaleros lack in World Cup experience, they make up for in world-class training and experience.

Many of Panama’s best and brightest train with and play for MLS clubs. In fact, there are six MLS players (five on defense) on this national squad, most notably the 23 yo defender Fidel Escobar of the New York Red Bulls and 28 yo midfielder Anibol Godoy of San Jose Earthquakes, who have 23 and 89 caps, respectively. The up-and-comers, the ‘youth’ of a relatively old national team, play behind footballers who have been active on the Panamanian roster for nearly 20 years.

Forwards Luis Tejada (36 years old) and Blas Perez (37 years old) earned their first caps in 2001 and are the nation’s all-time goal leaders with 43 each. Then there’s 34-year-old midfielder Gabriel Gomez with the appearance record of 144 caps since 2003. These may not be the quickest strikers on the World Cup pitch, but their poise and experience brought them there.

Of course, they did get a little help from a certain higher-ranked team which lost to Trinidad & Tobago, helping Los Canaleros to secure their first ever World Cup berth. No matter how they got there, Panama seems ready to make this chance count.

On Monday, 55th ranked Panama faces 3rd ranked Belgium in the first match for Group G.

Goalkeepers: Jose Calderon (Chorrillo FC), Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucharest), Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco FC)

Defenders: Felipe Baloy (CSD Municipal), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes), Eric Davis (DAC Dunajska Streda), Fidel Escobar (New York Red Bulls), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo), Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Luis Ovalle (CD Olimpia), Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders)

Midfielders: Edgar Barcenas (Cafetaleros de Tapachula), Armando Cooper (Club Universidad de Chile), Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), Gabriel Gómez (Bucaramanga), Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador), Alberto Quintero (Universitario de Lima), Jose Luis Rodriguez (KAA Gent)

Forwards: Abdiel Arroyo (LD Alajuelense), Ismael Diaz (Deportivo La Coruna), Blas Perez (CSD Municipal), Luis Tejada (Sports Boys), Gabriel Torres (CD Huachipato)

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