Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres guarantees: Panama will make 2014 World Cup | SIDELINE
He probably doesn't know who Joe Namath is, but Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres is now Panama's version of the former New York Jets quarterback after offering up a "guarantee."
Torres will likely feature for his club team in Saturday's nationally televised match vs. Seattle Sounders (10ET, NBCSN), but then his attention will quickly turn to helping Panama qualify for its first-ever World Cup -- or at least advance to a World Cup playoff -- in the final two CONCACAF qualifiers.
"Yes, we're going to be in Brazil," Torres guaranteed Marca when asked if Panama will qualify to the 2014 World Cup.
Panama currently sit in the fourth spot of the CONCACAF Hexagonal, which would be good enough for a home-and-home playoff against New Zealand. But their final two games come against the two powers of the region.
On Friday night Panama will travel to the Estadio Azteca against a desperate Mexico side needing all three points. That will be followed by a home game against the US national team, which has already qualified to Brazil.
But the Panamanians are heading to Mexico full of confidence: They defeated Mexico twice in the summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup and tied them in the qualifier held at Panama City.
"The pressure is on them," Torres told Marca. "We've shown we can beat Mexico."