By: Gary L. Moody Jr. | Photo: Ric Kruszynski / ISNSoccer
While American soccer fans are focused on the match WCQ USA vs. Panama match in World Cup qualifying, one of Panama’s top young talents is already plying his trade in MLS with Columbus Crew SC. Cristian Martinez, a talented midfielder from El Chorrillo, Panama City, is one of just nine current Panamanian players competing in MLS. While Martinez may not have the notoriety of past Panamanian stars like Jaime Penedo, Blas Pérez, and Luis Tejeda right now, he is indeed a star in the making. The 20-year-old is just waiting for his opportunity.
Martinez has been impressive in eight regular season appearances (one start) with Crew SC this season. He also made a start for FC Cincinnati while on loan in addition to providing a game-winning assist for Ola Kamara in a friendly between Crew SC and Eintracht Frankfurt.