The end of the CONCACAF Nations League and the kick-off of the Gold Cup has made one thing very clear; Panama has become dominant team in Central America. Just shy off a third place finish, and battering Costa Rica in their Gold Cup debut, they have made a statement. This isn’t only apparent at the first team level, though.
Panama participated in the 2023 Maurice Revello (previously named Toulon) tournament in France. Their U-23 team made it to the final, steamrolling heavy favorites Mexico in a decisive 4-1 win. They became the first Central American to win the prestigious youth tournament.
The Women’s Team
La Marea Roja‘s dominance doesn’t end with the men’s teams. Las Canaleras also qualified to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. For the first time in their history, after beating Papa New Guinea and Paraguay. The tournament kicks off on July 20. The Canaleras look to advance out of a group consisting of Brazil, Jamaica, and France.
The Decline of the Rest of Central America
Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador have been on a massive decline. Honduras failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, and their recent results with a combination of drama within the federation, the Honduran National team has been on a steady decline.
El Salvador had a more promising qualifying run. However, a shocking loss to Martinique in the opening round of the Gold Cup has left more questions than answers.
As for Costa Rica, Luis Fernando Suarez has left the team in complete disarray. Mix that with an aging team who has failed to bring any promising young players, Costa Rica is left absolutely short handed.
This leaves Panama at an advantage. With their recent success and the decline of the rest of their competition in Central America, Panama can claim the throne for the time being.
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