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Bulls Abroad: Michael Amir Murillo called up to Panama squad for June 2017 World Cup qualifiers

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Costa Rica and Honduras are next up in World Cup qualifying for Panama and Murillo.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying continues in June. Panama has named a 22-man squad for its games on June 8 (Costa Rica away) and June 13 (Honduras at home), including New York Red Bulls defender Michael Amir Murillo. Though not considered a must-start player for his national team, Murillo has been a squad regular for Panama since making his debut for Los Canaleros in 2016.

Murillo made his first-team debut for RBNY on May 3, playing the full 90 minutes of a 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City. Three days later, he was in the starting lineup again for RBNY's 3-0 loss to Philadelphia Union. Both losses were on the road, where the Red Bulls have been lackluster of late (to put it mildly - they have lost their last five road games and haven't scored on their last three away-days).

It isn't yet clear whether RBNY head coach Jesse Marsch regards Murillo as the first choice at right back in his lineup, but the 21-year-old did not look out of place in his MLS appearances to date, albeit in the context of games in which his team was comfortably beaten in the end.

The June international break will not affect RBNY's league campaign: the team has no MLS matches scheduled between June 3 and June 18. The Red Bulls will, however, likely be without Murillo for the start of their 2017 US Open Cup campaign. MLS teams enter that tournament in the fourth round, which is scheduled for June 13-14.

In CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, Panama is currently third in the six-team table - from which the top three are guaranteed spots at Russia 2018.