New York Red Bulls' Michael Amir Murillo picked up his 13th cap for his country against Nicaragua in the second round of group stage games in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Murillo is one of several players in the Panama player pool seeking to convince head coach Hernan Dario Gomez that they have a part to play in the team's efforts to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. To that end, Murillo already has a head start: he has been a regular member of Panama's squads for World Cup qualifiers recently, and started the team's last game in the CONCACAF Hexagonal (against Honduras).
But in Gold Cup, it would seem the 21-year-old right back is getting an extended run as a starter. This brings the opportunity both for his own development as a player, and to advance his standing within the national team set-up. The tournament seems to be going well for him on both counts.
Panama fell behind against Nicaragua, but the goal was the product of an exceptional shot by Carlos Chavarria - it would be harsh to attach too much blame to the Panama back line for allowing Nicaragua to score. Los Canaleros rallied quickly and had scored twice within 10 minutes of Chavarria's 49th-minute strike.
Panama held on for three points. Murillo played the full 90 minutes. Los Canaleros continued their progress toward the knockout rounds of Gold Cup 2017.