Panama’s first-ever World Cup squad will have an unusual look to it after coach Hernan Gomez named three players as “guests” on top of his final 23-man squad.
Gomez named a provisional 35-man selection in order to maximise his choices and had been expected to wait for as long as possible before whittling it down.
But, four days prior to the June 4 deadline, the head coach has made his final selection.
Veterans Jaime Penedo, Gabriel Gomez, Blas Perez, Felipe Baloy and Luis Tejada have all made the cut, while Ismael Diaz is also present despite not playing a competitive game since January 7 due to a knee problem.
The 21-year-old former Porto youngster is held in high regard and was enjoying a strong campaign with Deportivo La Coruna’s reserve side before suffering the injury.
— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) May 30, 2018
Aside from the 23-man squad, Gomez has also taken the odd step of naming Roberto Nurse, Miguel Camargo and Ricardo Avila as guests to travel with the team.
All three were present in the preliminary squad, but Nurse was the only one regularly called up in qualifying, sitting on the bench in 10 games and featuring twice. Camargo played one qualifier, while Avila appeared in none.
Panama get their Group G campaign under way against Belgium on June 18, before also facing England and Tunisia.
Panama’s final 23-man World Cup squad:
Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucharest), Jose Calderon (Chorrillo), Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco); Felipe Baloy (Municipal), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes), Erick Davis (Dunajska Streda), Fidel Escobar (New York Red Bulls), Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo), Luis Ovalle (Olimpia), Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders); Jose Luis Rodriguez (Gent), Edgar Barcenas (Tapachula), Armando Cooper (Universidad de Chile), Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), Gabriel Gomez (Atletico Bucaramanga), Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador), Alberto Quintero (Universitario); Abdiel Arroyo (Alajuelense), Ismael Diaz (Deportivo La Coruna), Blas Perez (Municipal), Luis Tejada (Sport Boys), Gabriel Torres (Huachipato)
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