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Bulls Abroad: Panama schedule four friendlies as WC prep - Murillo & Escobar could miss up to six games

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The Red Bulls could find themselves strapped for defender depth to start the Summer.

MLS: Eastern Conference Knockout Round-New York Red Bulls at Chicago Fire Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 2017 the New York Red Bulls appeared to have gotten an absolute steal in the transfer windows by landing two of the Panama national team’s best defenders - Michael Amir Murillo and Fidel Escobar. But fast forward to the upcoming MLS season and the team is poised to find themselves without their prized defenders for quite a while.

In preparation for their first appearance in the World Cup this June, Panama have scheduled four friendlies against quality UEFA opponents.

Panama will play at Denmark on March 22, at Switzerland on March 27, home against Northern Ireland on May 29, and at Norway on June 6.

The Red Bulls have a home game against Minnesota United (March 24) in between Panama’s March friendlies - a game Murillo and Escobar will likely miss if called up. The two friendlies are also sandwiched in between games at Real Salt Lake (March 17) and Orlando City SC (March 31) - which the pair might not be available for.

Should the pair be named to Panama’s preliminary squad, they will be forced to undergo a mandatory rest period from May 21 to May 28 - which means they will miss a home game against the Philadelphia Union (May 26). The May and June friendlies will also likely make them miss an away game against the New England Revolution (June 2), as well as against the Columbus Crew (June 9).