In the Panama preview for this summer’s Copa America Centenario tournament, we look at the team’s schedule of games as well as the squad roster. We also predict how far the team will advance in the competition, as well as more information on their star player.

Panama preview:

Manager: Hernan Dario Gomez

Captain: Felipe Baloy

Panama preview: Squad:

GOALKEEPERS (3): José Calderón (Plantense, HON), Jaime Penedo (Saprissa, CRC), Alex Rodríguez (San Francisco, PAN)

DEFENDERS (6): Felipe Baloy (Atlas, MEX), Harold Cummings (Alajuelense, CRC), Fidel Escobar (Sporting, PAN), Luis Henríquez (Tauro, PAN), Adolfo Machado (Saprissa, CRC), Roderick Miller (San Francisco, PAN)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Ricardo Buitrago (Juan Aurich, PER), Miguel Camargo (Mineros de Guayana, VEN), Armando Cooper (Árabe Unido, PAN), Aníbal Godoy (San José Earthquakes, USA), Gabriel Gómez (Cartaginés, CRC), Amílcar Henríquez (América, COL), Valentín Pimentel (La Equidad, COL), Alberto Quintero (San José Earthquakes, USA)

FORWARDS (6): Abdiel Arroyo (RNK Split, CRO), Martín Gómez (San Francisco, PAN), Roberto Nurse (Mineros de Zacatecas, MEX), Blas Pérez (Vancouver Whitecaps, CAN), Luis Tejada (Juan Aurich, PER) Gabriel Torres (Zamora, VEN)

Panama preview

Panama preview: Overview:

While Panama will fancy their chances of picking up a win at this centenary edition of the Copa America, the draw did little to enrich their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages.

That’s because after an opening game against Bolivia, Gomez’s men will face last year’s runners-up Argentina, followed by finalists Chile in their last group game. It means Los Canaleros will have to produce something very special indeed if their Centenario stay is to extend beyond June 14, when they face the holders.

Panama showed they could be competitive at the Gold Cup last summer, although finding a better blend in their play is imperative. In the tournament they didn’t actually lose a game inside 90 minutes, drawing their three group matches before knocking out Trinidad & Tobago on penalties in the quarter-finals. But they didn’t win a game in normal time either.

In that competition they went toe-to-toe with eventual winners Mexico—who beat Panama in extra time in the semi-finals—and the United States, toppling Jurgen Klinsmann’s men on penalties in the third place playoff. With players like Gabriel Gomez, Jaime Penedo and Blas Perez to call upon, there’s a clearly gritty spine to the Panamanian XI.

There needs to be more than just determination in a testing Group D, though. The manager must find a way of ensuring his team are a threat to opposition defences and perhaps that’s why he’s included 18-year-old Ismael Diaz in the squad. The Porto B man is a raw prospect, but has also shown in his two appearances at international level he can add an edge going forward.

There is a lot of experience in this group, which should serve Gomez well when delivering his tactical instructions. Even so, a lot will need to go the way of this set of players if they’re to take anything from those final two games.

panama

Panama preview: Group Fixtures:

Monday, June 6

Panama vs. Bolivia, Orlando, FL, 7pm ET; FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

Friday, June 10

Argentina vs. Panama, Chicago, IL, 9:30pm ET; FOX, UniMas, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

Tuesday, June 14

Chile vs. Panama, Philadelphia, PA, 8pm ET; FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

SEE MORE: Schedule of all Copa America games on US TV and streaming

Panama preview: Key Player:

Gabriel Gomez – With 122 caps to his name, Gomez has made more appearances for Panama than any other player. And in a team which is set to contain plenty of footballers in the latter stages of their career, his industry in the middle of the park will be so important.

Granted, at 31 Gomez himself is a little past his absolute peak. But he typically saves his finest performances for when he dons Los Canaleros’ jersey and was a key influence in their run to the semi-finals of the Gold Cup. Crucially, he’s playing regular football too, on loan at Cartagines in Costa Rica from Herediano.

As a defensive midfielder, his ability to shield back four against the likes of Chile and Argentina—who each possess players who will roam dangerously in that space—will be given a major examination.

Panama preview: Verdict:

Group Stage Elimination – Not only are Chile and Argentina formidable outfits, but even Bolivia have shown signs of improvement lately; it’s going to be very tough for Panama. A lack of energy in advanced areas coupled with an inconsistent defensive set-up means they won’t be able to withstand the quality they will come up against in the United States.

Panama home jersey

panama-home-jersey-copa-america

For the country’s first appearance at the Copa America, Panama will wear this limited edition jersey. The traditional red home jersey has a white band on the left front, bordered by thin blue stripes. “Limited Edition 2016” is printed on the inside collar in gold. “Panama” is printed on the outside. NB Dry technology for dry comfort. 100% Polyester.

Find out how to order the Panama home jersey today.

Panama away jersey

panama-away-jersey-copa-america

For the country’s first appearance at the Copa America, Panama will wear this limited edition jersey. A blue band runs down the front, bordered by thin red stripes. “Limited Edition 2016” is printed on the inside collar in gold. “Panama” is printed on the outside. NB Dry technology for dry comfort. 100% Polyester.

Find out how to order the Panama away jersey today.

Read all of the Copa America team previews

• Argentina team preview
• Bolivia team preview
• Brazil team preview
• Chile team preview
• Colombia team preview
• Costa Rica team preview
• Ecuador team preview
• Haiti team preview
• Jamaica team preview
• Mexico team preview
• Panama team preview
• Paraguay team preview
• Peru team preview
• United States team preview
• Uruguay team preview
• Venezuela team preview

If you have any questions about the Panama preview, let us know in the comments section below.

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