New York Red Bulls striker Derrick Etienne Jr. earned the 6th cap of his young career for the Haiti national football team while backup defender Fidel Escobar made his case for Panama’s starting XI in the World Cup.
In their first game of 2018, Les Grenadiers got walloped in a 4-0 loss to Argentina. Etienne (aka The Haitian Messi) started the game on the bench and was subbed in at the start of the second half. But it was Lionel Messi (aka The Argentine Messi) who stole the showwith a hat-trick and an assist to Sergio Aguero to secure the easy win.
The next match for Haiti, barring any new changes to their schedule in the next few months, will take place on September 10th against Sint Maarten in the 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League.
Ahead of their first-ever World Cup appearance, the Panama national teamhad a friendly in Panama City against Northern Ireland.
While Red Bulls center-back Fidel Escobar was given the starting nod for the game, right back Michael Murillo was relegated to the bench and did not see the pitch.
The game ended in a 0-0 draw with Escobar playing all 90 minutes of the tie.
Unlike Murillo, who between club and country play appears to have solidified himself as a permanent starter for Panama, Escobar has had a rougher go of things in the past year and appears to be fighting to earn his spot in Panama’s starting XI for the team’s group stage matches in June.
However, Escobar and Murillo are both guaranteed to at least have the chance to play in the starting lineup as Red Bulls announcers Steve Cangialosi confirmed on Twitter that both had been named to the final 23-man roster for Panama.
Panama confirms @NewYorkRedBulls Michael Murillo and Fidel Escobar have made the final 23-man World Cup roster. They’ll open the tournament versus Belgium June 18.— Steve Cangialosi (@CangyManMSG) May 30, 2018