Rapids forward Gabriel Torres called up by Panama for World Cup Qualifiers
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Wednesday, August 21, 2013) – Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres has been called up by the Panamanian National Team for upcoming World Cup qualifiers in September, facing Jamaica at home on September 6 and visiting Honduras on September 10. Torres was one of 12 foreign-based players announced as part of the Panama squad by head coach Julio Dely Valdes on Wednesday, and will join his country following the Rapids match against Sporting Kansas City on August 31.
“One of the reasons we signed Gabriel was because of his performance on the international level, and high-intensity matches like these only help him grow as a player,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “We are proud to see our players representing their countries and wish Gabriel the best of luck with Panama in these qualifiers.”
Torres, 24, was signed by the Rapids on August 8 as the club’s first-ever Designated Player, and made his MLS debut on Saturday, August 17 in Colorado’s 2-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC. A native of Panama City, Torres scored five goals in the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup, tied with Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski of the United States for the most in the tournament. He has a total of seven goals for Panama in his 40 appearances representing his country.
Panama is currently in fifth place in the six-team CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group, holding a 1-2-3 (W-L-T) record and trailing Honduras by one point and Mexico by two points with four games remaining. The top three teams in the CONCACAF region qualify automatically for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with the fourth place team playing a two-game series against New Zealand for a spot in the tournament. Panama faces Jamaica on September 6 at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, and Honduras on September 10 at Estadio Olimpico Metropoitano in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
The Rapids have a week off before returning to action on Saturday, August 31 at 6:30 p.m. MT at Sporting Kansas City, with the live coverage on Altitude featuring Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa starting at 6 p.m. MT. The next home match for Colorado comes on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. MT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; for more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.ColoradoRapids.com or call 303-825-GOAL.