Gomez called up by Panama for World Cup Qualifying

Midfielder to depart following Saturday’s match at Toronto FC

Gomez free kick

Photo Credit: 
Donald Montague

Chester, Pa. (May 25, 2012) - Philadelphia Union midfielder Gabriel Gomez has been called up by the Panamanian National Team for World Cup qualifying, the club announced today. Gomez, who serves as Panama’s captain, will depart on Sunday following the Union’s match at Toronto FC tomorrow (4:30 p.m. ET on The Comcast Network) and return to Philadelphia following Panama’s match against Cuba on June 12.

Due to a break in Major League Soccer action, Gomez will not miss any League games but will miss Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup game against the Rochester Rhinos as well as Union exhibition matches against Reading United (June 9) and the Harrisburg City Islanders (June 12).

Panama will face Jamaica in two friendlies on May 27 and June 1 before taking on Honduras on June 8 and Cuba on June 12 in World Cup qualifying.

The central midfielder, a former U-20 World Cup player, made his debut with Panama’s senior national team against El Salvador on February 9, 2003. Since then, Gomez, who turns 28 on May 29, has been capped 75 times, notching eight goals. Gómez’s last five tallies with the Red Tide came in 2011, helping Panama reach the 2011 Gold Cup semifinals. Gómez was one of Panama's top players in the tournament, scoring a penalty kick goal against the US in a group stage upset.

Gómez signed with the Union on December 21, 2011 from Mexican side Indios de Cuidad Juarez and has made an immediate impact, becoming the Union’s leading goal scorer with four tallies.