Teenager Yenith Bailey
is back on goal for Panama, which faces the USA Friday in Olympic qualifying in Houston. 1. A
repeat of 2019 Women's World Cup qualifying is unlikely.
Panama opened play at the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a 6-1 loss to Costa Rica. In October 2018, the Canaleras upset
Mexico, 2-0, in group play to reach the semifinals, where they lost to Canada, 7-0. But Panama was only a shootout away from qualifying for the World Cup for the first time, falling to Jamaica on
penalty kicks are a 2-2 tie. Another shot at qualifying came in an intercontinental playoff, but Panama fell to Argentina in a two-leg series for the final World Cup berth to France.
2. Star keeper Yenith Bailey is now playing in Paraguay.
Yenith Bailey, the Golden Glove winner at the 2018 Concacaf championship, is back
with Panama. Only 17, Bailey received lots of interest from college coaches after making 12 saves in the 5-0 loss to the USA, but they were stymied because she doesn't speak English. Bailey says she
won't surprise the USA this time, but she feels she is a better keeper, having experience abroad with Paraguay's Libertad/Limpeno, which she joined last summer. 3. Head coach Kenneth Zseremeta is back in charge a second time.
Panamanian Kenneth Zseremeta, 53, is in his second stint coaching the national team. He was
previously in charge of the Canaleras from 2002-07. He is best known for his work in Venezuela, which finished fourth at the 2014 and 2016 U-17 Women's World Cups. USA vs. Panama:
: USA 9-0
: USA 5-0