Roman Torres has been named to Panama’s 35-player provisional World Cup roster, the federation announced on Monday. Injuries have forced Torres to miss the last four Seattle Sounders matches and since he was unlikely to be declared fit before the May 26 match against Real Salt Lake, has been allowed to work with his preferred doctors in Colombia in an attempt to be ready for the World Cup.
Even if Torres isn’t 100 percent fit, he seems like a fair bet to make the final 23-man roster, which is due on June 4. Torres is a virtual folk hero in Panama, as it was his goal that effectively punched Los Canaleros’ ticket to their first-ever World Cup (and eliminated the USMNT).
Panama (ranked 55th in the world by FIFA) is a long shot to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, as their group also includes Belgium (3rd), England (13th), and Tunisia (14th). Panama’s final group stage match is June 28.
Assuming he makes the team, the earliest Torres would likely return to play for the Sounders is the July 4 match at the Colorado Rapids. The Sounders play six matches between now and then.
Although Kim Kee-hee was left off South Korea’s provisional World Cup roster, it is expected that Nicolas Lodeiro (Uruguay) and Gustav Svensson (Sweden) will be named to theirs. It’s entirely possible neither of them would play again for the Sounders before the World Cup.