Gabriel Torres

AP Photo/Ron Schwane

Panama roll past Martinique, into Gold Cup quarterfinals

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Panama booked their place — along with a laundry list of out national teams — in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Gold Cup on Saturday, by way of a 3-0 victory over Martinique at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.

[ MORE: Costa Rica, Canada book quarterfinal places ]

The result not only sends the 2015 third-place finishers through to the knockout rounds, but also mathematically seals the final-eight places of the United States, Mexico and Jamaica.

Panama went ahead barely 60 seconds before halftime, courtesy of a rare friendly connection between New York City FC and New York Red Bulls players, Miguel Camargo and Michael Murillo.

Los Canaleros worked a short corner into an uncontested cross by Camargo, who found Murillo in a bit of space near the penalty spot. The Red Bulls defender did brilliantly with

[ MORE: Bradley, Altidore to be added to USMNT’s roster for KO rounds ]

Abdiel Arroyo put Panama 2-0 ahead right on the hour mark, as the 23-year-old’s shot took a wicked deflection en route to beating Kevin Olimpa.

Seven minutes later, Gabriel Torres corralled a cross from the right wing and rounded Olimpa before slotting the ball into an empty net to make it 3-0.

MLS preseason roundup: 14 teams, including Sporting KC, NYCFC, Seattle, Orlando, NE Revs in action

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With 11 games featuring Major League Soccer sides on Saturday, a roundup of all MLS preseason action:

Seattle Sounders 2-3 Sporting Kansas City

First-half goals by Graham Zusi (34th minute) and Krisztian Nemeth (39th) gave Sporting KC and early before Peter Vermes’s side locked the game down defensively before a series of mass substitutions around the hour mark.

Zusi finished a one-on-one chance against Stefan Frei after a Benny Feilhaber long ball unlocked the Sounders defense and put the U.S. national team regular in on goal. Nemeth was the beneficiary of a clever backheel by Bernardo Anor inside Seattle’s penalty area. Anor was first to the rebound of a Dom Dwyer shot saved by Frei, but rather than take the shot himself, Anor calmly flicked the ball back to Nemeth who hammered it into the back of the net.

Late goals by James Rogers (Sporting, 73rd), Victor Mansaray (Sounders, 74th) and Kenny Cooper (81st) completed the scoring. | FULL GAME ARCHIVE

New York City FC 1-1 Orlando City SC

NYCFC forward David Villa created and attempted the first real goalscoring chance of the game when he smashed the crossbar with a shot from 25 yards out in the 11th minute.

While Villa’s shot went begging, the other world superstar-turned-MLSer, Kaka, saw his first real chance of the game find the back of the net. Making his second long, strong diagonal dribble through midfield in five minutes, Kaka created space in the face of three NYCFC players and unleashed a low burner into the bottom right corner. Khiry Shelton, the No. 2 overall draft pick in last month’s SuperDraft, scored equalized in the 55th minute with a cool finish past the goalkeeper.

The two teams meet each other on March 8 in each club’s MLS debut. | FULL GAME ARCHIVE

[ WATCH: Three great MLS goals on Saturday — which was the creme de la creme? ]

Colorado Rapids 1-1 New England Revolution

Gabriel Torres opened the scoring shortly after halftime, putting the Rapids ahead with a lightning-quick run in behind the Revolution backline. Torres easily slotted the ball past the ‘keeper to finish the move.

20-year-old Diego Fagundez equalized for the Revs less than five minutes later with a stunning dribble through the Rapids backline and finish past the ‘keeper. Juan Agudelo laid the ball off to Fagundez 25 yards from goal, where the Uruguayan took a touch, dummied the first defender and glided past him before lifting his shot over the ‘keeper and into the back of the net. | FULL GAME ARCHIVE



Elsewhere in MLS preseason action

LA Galaxy 1-0 Shamrock Rovers (Ireland) — Trialist Mika Vayrynen scored the game’s only goal as the defending champions wrapped up the European portion of their preseason preparations with a .500 record. The Galaxy lost to Swedish first-division side Hammarby, 2-1, on Monday. | HIGHLIGHTS

Toronto FC 1-0 HB Koge — 22-year-old Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio scored the only goal of the game, a “patient” finish in the 53rd minute. Jozy Altidore, making his second appearance of the preseason, provided the assist for Osorio’s goal. | FULL GAME ARCHIVE

Columbus Crew 2-0 Costa Rica U-23s — Kei Kamara and Federico Higuain scored two minutes apart (16th and 18th minutes) as Gregg Berhalter’s side continued to hum right along and look the most obvious challengers to the Eastern Conference reign of the Revolution and D.C. United.

Philadelphia Union 6-0 London United — Union goalscorers: Marquez (10′), Fred (29′), Fernando (70′, 85′), Wenger (71′), Chaco (80′)

FC Tucson 1-3 Real Salt Lake — RSL goalscorers: Saborio (41′, 58′), Sandoval (68′) | FULL GAME ARCHIVE

Sacramento Republic 0-1 San Jose Earthquakes — San Jose goalscorer: Perez Garcia (51′)

New York Red Bulls 1-0 Oklahoma City Energy — Bradley Wright-Phillips set up the game’s only goal, playing a ball across the face of goal for Manolo Sanchez to hit home. | GOAL HIGHLIGHT

Charleston Battery 1-0 Houston Dynamo — FULL GAME ARCHIVE

Sunday’s MLS preseason schedule

Chicago Fire vs. Stabaek (5:30 pm ET, Portland, Oregon — ONLINE STREAM INFO)
Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (9 pm ET, Portland, Oregon — ONLINE STREAM)

MLS Saturday roundup: D.C. United hold on against Union, Whitecaps subdue Real Salt Lake

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MLS Saturday had six matches occur after the lone match on Friday saw the New England Revolution take down Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park.

Here are the match recaps.

Toronto FC 3-2 Portland Timbers: Michael Bradley was the hero when his looping set-piece ball snuck into the back of the net, presumably because goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was screened by a line of players. Nonetheless, Toronto now stands in the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot, fifth place. Full recap here.

D.C. United 1-0 Philadelphia Union: Luis Silva struck the only goal of this match in the 10th minute, and D.C. staved off the few opportunities Philadelphia possessed. United is the best team in the East by at least three points. PST recap.

Seattle Sounders 4-2 Chivas USA: Obafemi Martins unsurprisingly netted a brace. Clint Dempsey and Lamar Neagle also scored once to overpower Chivas USA, even though the Goats scored two out of the first three goals in this contest. Recap.

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Real Salt Lake: For Vancouver, one goal of this game was to slide into the fifth-place playoff position after the Portland Timbers had fallen to Toronto FC earlier in the day. Designated Player Pedro Morales had the scoring chances in this game, and at first, he trouble converting, as the Chilean’s missed a PK attempt prior to halftime. But he would redeem that miscue, burying another penalty kick endeavor to level the score at 1-1. Then, in the 78th minute, Morales was positioned around the five-yard box to redirect Steven Beitashour’s one-touch ball into the penalty area. Nat Borchers converted a headed effort in the 57th minute to notch the single score of Real Salt Lake, now faced with the opportunity to clinch a playoff berth against Chivas next week.

Columbus Crew 2-0 Montreal Impact: The Columbus Crew, hoping to walk away with three point this week, faced the Montreal Impact, a less superior team from a record standpoint because they hold the worst point total in the league beside Chivas USA. Even though the Impact maintained a 53.3 percent majority of possession, the Crew capitalized on their four shots on goal. Two minutes into the match, Ethan Finley sped past the defense rocketed a tough-angle shot into the top corner at the near post. Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare then conceded a penalty in the box to Ethan Finley, and Federico Higuain finished the excellent scoring chance to extend the Crew’s lead. Columbus jumped into fourth place with this victory, while Montreal remains in the tenth.

Colorado Rapids 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes: At Dick Sporting Goods Park, it took 84 minutes to finally have the game’s first goal, which was followed up by an equalizer ten minutes later, making this match thrilling in its dying moments. Gabriel Torres provided the Rapids with the first score of the match, tipping Chris Klute’s dipping cross into the upper netting. For San Jose, Chris Wondolowski did not net the equalizer; rather, Atiba Harris was the timely player, sizzling a left-footer just inside the box. San Jose had salvaged a point, but the Earthquakes’ playoff window is nearly closed due to their eleven-point separation from fifth place. Colorado is slightly better than California club, eight points back from the Whitecaps in the West’s final playoff post.

ProSoccerTalk’s MLS Player of the Week: Colorado’s Gabriel Torres (with video)

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Most of us can only imagine the crushing misery and heartbreak Panamanian players felt last week as their World Cup dreams drifted off into the Central American night. Truly, it must have been wrenching.

But a couple of the Panamanians got on a plane, got past their profound disappointment and professionally went about the task of getting on with it. And their clubs were the better for it.

One was in Los Angeles, where Panamanian No. 1 Jaime Penedo made two absolutely outstanding saves (among four saves overall) to preserve a scoreless draw against San Jose and put the Galaxy into a better spot for its season finale visit to Seattle. So, well done, Panamanian sir.

Unfortunately, one of Penedo’s teammates one-upped him. That was Gabriel Torres, the young Panamanian attacker whose work for the Colorado Rapids helped get the DSG Park gang a 2013 playoff spot.

Torres’ hold-up work was great all night as the Rapids eliminated Vancouver, all but officially claiming a post-season berth. (Plus, the Rapids still have a chance to move out of the fourth- or fifth-place spot, into the far more desirable third-place position.)

The club’s first Designated Player leveled Saturday’s match with a well-taken 41st minute penalty kick after Rapids defender Drew Moor was dragged down inside the 18. But it was Torres’ brilliant 77th minute strike, yet another equalizer after the visitors had pulled ahead again, that truly had everyone around suburban Commerce buzzing.

What a strike! Both in terms of greater meaning (for the club) and it terms of individual showmanship for the 24-year-old, who joined the Rapids in August. Talk about unstoppable.

Here are the highlights from DSG Park, all the goals in the Rapids’ telling 3-2 win, including Torres’ fantastic work.

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Discussing all four goal scorers from Saturday at Dicks Sporting Goods Park

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Four men got on the score sheet at Dicks Sporting Goods Park outside Denver. Clearly, the two Colorado forwards are happier tonight, as their team emerged with the victory that puts the Rapids so tantalizingly close to booking an official playoff spot. (If San Jose doesn’t beat Los Angeles on Sunday, then the Rapids are in.)

So even though the Whitecaps are surely a little bummed about being officially eliminated, there’s still something interesting of note for their goal-scorers on Saturday, too. We’ll start with them:

Vancouver Whitecaps’ forward Kekuta Manneh: The 18-year-old striker followed up on last week’s hat trick with yet another stunner, a beautiful shot from four steps outside the penalty area that was equal parts awareness and skill. Seriously, where was this kid just a little earlier in the season? Maybe if Martin Rennie had used Manneh a little more, he wouldn’t be wondering so hard tonight about his continued employment around BC Place.

Vancouver Whitecaps’ forward Camilo: Now that a third season is about to come and go without a shred of playoff success for the Whitecaps, they’ll be looking for anything to celebrate for 2013. A Golden Boot for Camilo would certainly qualify. Camilo has 19 goals, still one off the pace being set by Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio and Chicago’s Mike Magee (who had one each on Saturday to reach 20).

Yes, his goal Saturday was from the penalty spot – but so was Magee’s.

Colorado Rapids forward Deshorn Brown: The LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes is making a late push, but the Rapids’ young Jamaican striker probably wrapped up Rookie of the Year tonight with another goal and assist. That gives him a team-leading 10 goals and five assists, numbers that will be painfully hard to ignore for anyone serious about picking a rookie of the year. (And even if a voter doesn’t like Brown for some reason, Rapids’ midfielder Dillon Powers probably has as strong a case as Zardes.)

Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres: I don’t reckon that any of us can imagine the disappointment every Panamanian player must have felt Tuesday down in Panama City as the World Cup dream crumbled hideously beneath the crushing weight of two late U.S. goals. And  yet Torres was able to put the tremendous heartbreak behind him and score two vital goals for his new club.

There was nothing wrong with the first goal from Torres, signed in August; that was a well-hit penalty kick.

But his second goal was an absolute stunner, a 77th-minute match-winner that Torres cannoned into the upper left corner.

Here are all five goals from all four goal scorers at DSG Park:

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