Panama’s final World Cup squad includes six MLS players

Panama will play at their first World Cup.

Panama’s final World Cup squad includes six players from Major League Soccer, though Columbus Crew SC’s Cristian Martinez missed the final cut.

The Central American nation named its final 23-man squad on Wednesday ahead of its first-ever appearance at the World Cup.

Five of the eight defenders on the team play for clubs in the United States: the New York Red Bulls’ Fidel Escobar and Michael Murillo, the San Jose Earthquakes’ Harold Cummings, Adolfo Machado of the Houston Dynamo and Roman Torres of the Seattle Sounders.

Also included is Earthquakes midfielder Anibal Godoy, but there was no room for Columbus’ 21-year-old Martinez, who had been named to the 35-man preliminary roster.

Martinez has started 10 games for Columbus this season — though he is currently suspended after he slapped an opponent on Sunday — and he last played for Panama’s senior team in 2016.

Jose Luis Rodriguez, a 19-year-old midfielder, made the squad after only debuting for the national team in Tuesday’s friendly draw with Northern Ireland, but his Gent teammate Ricardo Avila was only named to the reserves alongside Roberto Nurse and Miguel Camargo.

Panama’s final squad:

Goalkeepers: Jose Calderon (Chorrillo FC), Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucharest), Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco FC)

Defenders: Felipe Baloy (CSD Municipal), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes), Eric Davis (DAC Dunajska Streda), Fidel Escobar (New York Red Bulls), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo), Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Luis Ovalle (CD Olimpia), Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders)

Midfielders: Edgar Barcenas (Cafetaleros de Tapachula), Armando Cooper (Club Universidad de Chile), Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), Gabriel Gómez (Bucaramanga), Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador), Alberto Quintero (Universitario de Lima), Jose Luis Rodriguez (KAA Gent)

Forwards: Abdiel Arroyo (LD Alajuelense), Ismael Diaz (Deportivo La Coruna), Blas Perez (CSD Municipal), Luis Tejada (Sports Boys), Gabriel Torres (CD Huachipato)