Canada to play Panama in June friendly




Canada's men's national team announced today that it will face Panama in an international friendly match on June 6, 2008 in Panama City. The match will be played at the Rod Carew National Stadium with a 20.30 kick-off. The friendly will act as a tune-up to their first 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines on 15 June.

"The Panama game will be part of our preparations for the qualifying process through 2008," says head coach Dale Mitchell. "It will provide us with a quality CONCACAF opponent in a tough place to play."

This will be the first "friendly" match between the two sides, although they have faced each other four times in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (1996 and 2000). Canada posted draws in both of their visits to Panama City (0:0 in 1996 and 2000), but came away with victories in both matches at home (3:1 in Edmonton and 1:0 in Winnipeg).

Mitchell is currently preparing for the upcoming run to the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010. While CONCACAF's first phase of 2010 World Cup Qualification began in February, Canada will wait until the second phase to play their first two games against Saint Vincent & the Grenadines.