Five Things to Know About: Panama

Presented By Thorne
USWNT takes on Panama
USWNT takes on Panama

The USWNT will continue the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament on Jan. 31 vs. Panama at BBVA Stadium in Houston. Here are five things to know on Panama:

Roster by Position

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Yenith Bailey (Club Libertad Limpeño, PAR), 12-Sasha Fabrega (Tauro FC), 20-Nadia Ducreux (Costa Del Este)        

2-Rebeca Espinoza (Universitario), 3-Yomira Pinzon (CD Pozoalbense, ESP), 4-Hilary Jaen (Tauro FC), 6-Maria Murillo (Atletico Nacional, COL), 8-Katherine Castillo (Universitario), 14-Maryorie Perez (Tauro FC), 15-Ana Rodriguez (Cai), 19-Arlen Hernandez (Universitario)   

MIDFIELDERS (5): 5-Yerenis De Leon (Universitario), 7-Maria Guevara (Universitario), 10-Aldrith Quintero (Tauro FC), 11-Marta Cox (Universitario), 17-Gabriela Villagrand (Angelo State University, USA)                         

FORWARDS (4): 9-Amarelis De Mera (Tauro FC), 13-Susy Cassinova (Plaza Amador), 16-Gloria Saenz (Cai), 18-Keisilyn Gutierrez (Universitario)

USA vs. Panama

This will be the third meeting between the USA and Panama with the previous two coming in Women’s World Cup qualifying tournaments in 2002 and 2018. Panama competed in the final round of the 2002 and 2006 Concacaf qualifying tournaments, meeting the USA in 2002, a 9-0 loss in Seattle, Washington, in a game that saw Tiffeny Milbrett tie a U.S. record with five goals in a single match. Shannon MacMillan scored twice, while Tiffany Roberts and Abby Wambach also scored. The teams met most recently during the 2018 World Cup Qualifying tournament, a 5-0 win in Cary, N.C. as Carli Lloyd bagged a hat trick and Samantha Mewis and Christen Press scored. It was Lloyd’s most recent hat trick. Panama, which was one of the biggest movers in recent FIFA rankings, is up to 53rd in the world.

How They Got Here

This is Panama’s second Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament after also participating in 2004. Panama qualified for the final round of the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament by winning its Central American group with a 3-0 victory against Honduras and a 3-1 victory against Guatemala during matches in Panama City last October. Against Honduras, Panama got second minute goal from Yomira Pinzón and first half scores from Marta Cox and Karla Riley. Against Guatemala, Riley and Cox (on a PK) scored again and Natalia Mills added a goal.

Openine Game of Group A at 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying

Panama opened the Olympic Qualifying tournament with a 6-1 loss to Costa Rica. The Ticas scored two early goals, but Panama pulled to 2-1 on an excellent finish by Katherine Castillo at the end of the first half. Costa Rica put the game away with four second half goals, all in the final 23 minutes of the match. Panama was out shot 23-12 by Costa Rica but was almost even on ball possession. Panama will need a result against the USA or will likely be eliminated from advancement.

Despite Missing World Cup, It Was A Historic Qualification Campaign

Panama opened the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship, which was the World Cup qualifying tournament, with what can be described as an upset victory against Trinidad & Tobago, but the 3-0 performance in the win was also impressive. Panama out shot T&T 20-10 and got goals from Marta Cox, Kenia Rangel and substitute Erika Hernandez. The victory was just the second for Panama in the history of the Concacaf Women’s Championship. Panama then fell to the USA, 5-0, but rebounded to beat Mexico 2-0 in another historic upset to finish second in the group and earn a berth to the Semifinals. Panama then lost 7-0 to Canada in the Semifinal and tied Jamaica 2-2 in the Third-Place Match, only to fall in PKs to lose out on an immediate World Cup berth. Panama then also lost to Argentina in a two-leg playoff series for the final World Cup berth to France.