Calls for Panama stadium to be named after World Cup hero

A Panama politician has suggested naming a stadium in Arraiján after defender Roman Torres, who scored the winning goal to propel his country to its first-ever World Cup.

Torres, who plays for Major League Soccer team the Seattle Sounders, scored in the 87th minute to hand Panama a 2-1 win over Costa Rica, which lifted the team above Honduras and the United States in the CONCACAF qualifying table.

The winning goal inspired local politician Dayanara Caceres to push for the naming of Panamanian Liga Nacional de Ascenso football team Santa Gema’s stadium after Torres. The player spent some time in Arraijan during his youth.

The crucial goal meant Panama qualified for the 2018 World Cup, while the US was knocked out, and Honduras will go into a playoff game against Australia.

“The stadium we have in Arraijan, that is for soccer and also for baseball, is called El Mystic, it doesn’t have a particular name,” Caceres told Mi Diario Panama.

“I thought it was the most opportune time to be able to offer the honours to this distinguished sportsman who, although he wasn’t born in Arraijan, lived here for many years and studied at the Fernando de Lesseps Institute.

“It’s an initiative to highlight the star that Roman Torres is.”

At Sounders training on Friday, Torres said: “Yes, I’ve heard (they were thinking of) naming the stadium after me. If that happens, that would be something that would be an honour. That would be really amazing for me.”

Image: Cesarofficial