Boyhood dreams are about to come true for two of the New York Red Bulls brightest young defenders.
On Monday March 14th, Panama released its 35-man provisional roster for its first-ever World Cup appearance next month in Russia - and on the list, which included 7 Major League Soccer players, were Red Bulls defenders Michael Murillo and Fidel Escobar.
The 22-year-old Murillo has made 32 appearances for the Red Bulls since initially signing him on a loan deal in 2017. As the starting RB for the team, he scored two goals in 17 MLS games and was named RBNY Newcomer of the Year. The team bought his contract shortly after the season and made him the permanent starter.
Escobar, 23, who the Red Bulls acquired on an 18-month loan deal with Sporting San Miguelito in July 2017, has struggled to break into the Red Bulls first team and is currently on a USL loan spell with New York Red Bulls II. However, he demonstrated his absolute cannon of a leg with a goal in his debut for the reserve side in a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Murillo and Escobar were both featured in the MLS documentary “Panama’s Impossible Dream: Los Canaleros at the World Cup”.
The two Panamanian defenders are scheduled to depart the Red Bulls on May 21st as World Cup preparation kicks into high gear.
Former RBNY defender Rafa Marquez was named to the 35-man preliminary squad for Mexico.