61113_isi_panama_gcjla0619011051 Jose L. Argueta/isiphotos.com
Opposing Viewpoints

Panamanian Press Provide Insight on La Marea Roja

If you're like a lot of ASN readers, you've devoured plenty of content about the United States national team, but what do you know about the Panamanian side? We spoke to two men who know it well.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
June 11, 2013
6:07 PM

YOU'RE AN AMERICAN SOCCER NOW reader (or at least we hope you are). You know all the angles we’re talking about here. But what’s the buzz with the opposition?

We chatted with Panamanians Enrique Arosemena, of television station TVN, and Alonso Solis, from somoslasele.com, a website dedicated to obsessively tracking the national team (sound familiar?) to find out.

ASN: What is the general outlook in Panama in regards to this match?

AS: I believe that there’s a lot of anticipation that it will be a win. It’s urgent that Panama wins or at least draws. If they lose, it really complicates their situation in the Hex.

EA: It’s a complicated match, but there’s the confidence that if they can play a good match they can win like they did two years ago, the date when Panama won here. There’s also the perspective that the United States has stayed at the same level, which inspires confidence because Panama has improved. However, it bears repeating that the power in CONCACAF football is in Mexico and the United States. Keeping that in mind, we’re confident that Panama can get the win Tuesday.

ASN: How important are center backs Felipe Baloy and Roman Torres?

EA: They’re very important. Panama is coming off a 0-0 draw with Mexico and the marking of players like Chicharito and other dangerous forwards on the Mexican team was an important factor. I believe they’ll also be an important factor in this match. Jaime Penedo, a very good goalkeeper, also could be important.

ASN: What happened with Blas Perez and how will Julio Dely Valdes deal with his absence?

EA: He has complicated gastroenteritis. He vomited in the first half and halftime of the match (against Mexico). He won’t be here. They hope he’ll be ready for the match against Costa Rica, but that’s what happened. He’s very sick. We have new players, young players who haven’t been tested, but it’s a good opportunity.

AS: Well, there’s (Luis) Tejada, who is great. There’s (Rolando) Blackburn and there’s Gabriel Torres. The manager has options or he can include more midfielders. It’s a situation that doesn’t worry me because there are players on the bench.

ASN: What’s something American fans should know about the Panamanian team but don’t?

EA: Well, the heart that they put into it and also the relationship they have in the locker room. They have a great atmosphere. They have a good relationship; they’re a group of friends. I believe that Julio Dely Valdes has a solid locker room.

AS: I believe they’re players who enjoy dressing fashionably. They like the brands like Armani, Dolce & Gabbana—they like the very nice brands.

If you speak Spanish or just want to thank these guys for their insights, you can follow Enrique @earosemenatv2 and Alonso’s site at @somoslasele

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