Former Philadelphia Union midfielder Gabriel Gomez made his World Cup debut for Panamá on Monday as Los Cañaleros faced off against heavily-favored Belgium. While Panamá was on the wrong side of a 3-0 result, Gómez was literally perfect, completing 100 percent of his 46 passes.
100% - Entre los jugadores que completaron el 100% de sus pases en un partido de Copa del Mundo desde 1966, Gabriel Gómez es el tercero con mayor cantidad (46/46). Gavilán. #Rusia2018 pic.twitter.com/Av6m9qXqDO— OptaJavier (@OptaJavier) June 18, 2018
Gómez spent just one season with the Union in 2012, earning a reputation as a free-kick specialist. He scored six goals in 24 appearances, including this chip over the goalkeeper in a match against the Harrisburg City Islanders.
After leaving Philadelphia, Gómez has spent time with six clubs in Panamá, Costa Rica, and Colomb he currently plays for Atlético Bucaramanga on loan from Costa Rica’s Herediano. He has amassed 143 caps for Panamá during his almost 20 years of playing professional soccer.
At age 34 this will most likely be Gómez’ last time at the World Cup, although México’s Rafa Márquez played in his fifth on Sunday at the age of 39 so anything is possible. Panamá are long shots in the tournament, and will need results against Tunisia and England in order to advance. They’ll face off against England at 8 a.m. Eastern Time (3 p.m. Moscow Time) this Sunday in Nizhny Novogorod.
Prior to Gómez, Costa Rican David Myrie was the only previous player to play for the Philadelphia Union and appear in a World Cup.