The coach of the Panamanian national team, Hernán Dario "Bolillo" Gómez, presented the list of the 23 players that will go to the 2018 Russia World Cup, the surprises being the departure of Ricardo Ávila and the additions of the youths José Luis Rodríguez and Ismael Díaz.
Ávila, who is a member of the first team of Belgium’s Kaa Gent and took part in the two European tours of Panama, will go as a reserve with the Panamanian team, while his teammate Rodriguez ended up convincing the coach in these two weeks of workouts.
"Rodriguez is the player that the team needs," "Bolillo" said in the presentation of the historic first roster of the Panamanian cast in a World Cup.
The Panamanian strategist remained with his core players of experience Jaime Penedo, Gabriel Gómez, Blas Pérez, Felipe Baloy and Luis Tejada, all over 30 years of age, which raised the level of the coaching staff.
In total there are 20 "legionnaires" and three players from the local tournament that make up the cast.
"These older players are at our level, they are communicative and they do and know how to manage a group," said the Central American helmsman.
The so-called "Prince" of Panamanian football, Ismael Díaz, also slipped into the list of the 23 players who will go to Russia.
"Ismael is a professional, a boy who works hard," said Gómez about the Fabril de España player.
At first, Gómez felt some fear in the case of Ismael due to his injury, but in the end Díaz knew how to show the coach that he was necessary for the Panamanian team.
Out of the list were also Roberto Nurse and Miguel Camargo, two regulars in the Panama squad taken out in the qualifying process towards the Russia World Cup.
"I had 35 and could only take 23," said the strategist, adding that the Panamanian Football Federation (Fepafut) authorized him to take the three as reserves of the team in case something happens.
"The federation allowed me to take all three of them as reserve players, it is important to have them close, in case something happens," he added.
He added that now it will depend on the clubs of each of the players.
Panama will travel on June 1 to New York, where it will make a connection to go to Oslo, where it will complete its final match against Norway in preparation for the World Cup on June 6, to arrive the next day to Russia.
The Panamanian team was put in Group G of the 2018 Russia World Cup along with Belgium, against who they will debut in the joust on June 18, England and Tunisia, which they will face June 24 and 28, respectively.
Goalkeepers: Jaime Penedo (F.C. Dinamo, Bucharest), José Calderón (Chorrillo F.C., PMÁ) and Alex Rodríguez (San Francisco F.C., PMÁ)
Defenses: Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo, USA), Michael Amir Murillo (NY Red Bull, USA), Felipe Baloy (Municipal, GUA), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes, EU), Fidel Escobar (NY Red Bull, EU), Román Torres (Seattle Sounders, USA), Eric Davis (DAC Dunajska Streda, SVK) and Luis Ovalle (Olimpia, HON).
Midfielders: Gabriel Gómez (Atl. Bucaramanga, COL), Aníbal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes, EU), Alberto Quintero (Universitario de Deportes, PER), Armando Cooper (Universidad, CHI), Valentín Pimentel (Plaza Amador, PMÁ), José Luis Rodríguez (Kaa Gent II, BEL) and Edgar Yoel Bárcenas (Xolos de Tijuana, MEX).
Forwards: Blas Pérez (Municipal, GUA), Luis Tejada (Sport Boys, PER), Gabriel Torres (Huachipato, CHI), Abdiel Arroyo (LD Alajuelense, CR) and Ismael Díaz (Fabril, ESP).