Panama to use Gold Cup experience for World Cup qualifier

Panama City, Aug 22 (IANS) Panama's football coach Julio Cesar Dely Valdes said his team will make the most of its experience in the Gold Cup in July to advance in the qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Dely Valdez Wednesday said it was important for his players to continue their level of performance in the Gold Cup, held in the United States, where Panama surprised everyone by taking second place, reports Xinhua.

The coach said he will also evaluate Panama's performance in the Concacaf (Confederation of North American, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) pre-World Cup Championship, where the team is in fifth place for just three slots to the World Cup and has the possibility to take fourth in a runoff against New Zealand for a final slot.

Dely Valdez, a former player in Uruguay, Italy, France and Spain, added that though they don't know what Jamaica's line-up will be, they are ready to defeat the Caribbean team Sep 6 and improve their own chances of qualifying. Panama also play Honduras Sep 10 at home.

The coach said the winner will be the team that makes the least mistakes. He added that he will announce the line-up for upcoming games after making changes to the original roster following defender Leonel Parris' leg fracture Sunday in a national match and the absence of defender Felipe Baloy and forward Blas Perez in the match against Jamaica, as both were benched for collecting yellow cards.

Dely Valdes Tuesday called on 12 players, who play for foreign teams, to join the national team for its matches against Jamaica and Honduras.

According to the Panamanian Football Federation (Fepafut), the 12 players, who must be in Panama by Sep 2, include three playing in the United States, two each in Colombia, Mexico, Spain and Uruguay, and one in Poland.

The line-up includes goalkeepers Jaime Penedo (US' Galaxy) and Luis Mejia (Uruguay's Fenix), defenders Luis Henriquez (Poland's Lech Poznan), Felipe Baloy (Mexico's Santos Laguna), Roman Torres (Colombia's Millonarios) and Roberto Chen (Spain's Malaga CF), and defenders Alberto Quintero (Mexico's Lobos BUAP), Amilcar Henriquez (Colombia's Deportivo Independiente Medellin) and Jairo Jimenez (Spain's Elche Ilicitano), as well as forwards Cecilio Waterman (Uruguay's Fenix), Blas Perez (US FC Dallas) and Gabriel Torres (US Colorado Rapids).

Fepafut said the national team will begin training Monday with players from the Panamanian League, whose names will be announced over the weekend.


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