Columbus Crew SC’s Cristian Martinez Receives International Call-Up From Panama’s Under-20 National Team

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20-year-old midfielder earns call-up ahead of 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Costa Rica

COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that midfielder Cristian Martinez received an international call-up from the Panama Under-20 National Team and Head Coach Leonardo Pipino. Martinez is set to represent Panama at the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, which takes place in Costa Rica beginning February 17.

Panama will be one of 12 participants for the tournament, which helps determine which CONCACAF teams qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea. Los Canaleros are in Group B with the United States, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Haiti. Panama opens its campaign in the tournament on Saturday, February 18 in San Juan against the United States. In 2015, Panama reached the final of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship and qualified to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Entering his second season with the Black & Gold, Martinez has become a regular with Panama’s U-20 side in recent years. Last June, he wore the captain’s armband for the Canaleros in two friendly matches against Peru. 2016 also saw him earn his first cap for the Panama senior side, making his debut as a substitute in a 1-0 win against El Salvador (February 18). Martinez earned a second cap later that year as a starter in a match against Nicaragua (March 16).

Under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, the club will be in Central Ohio at SuperKick in Powell from February 13 – February 15 for the second camp of its 2017 preseason. Following the time in Ohio, the club travels to Charleston, South Carolina to participate in the 2017 Carolina Challenge Cup. More information on Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017 season at MAPFRE Stadium is available at columbuscrewsc.com.

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