One to Watch – Michael Amir Murillo (Panama)


Overview of Player

Michael Amir Murillo is a defender, who can play at right-back and centre-back. He currently plays for MLS side, New York Red Bulls. He initially joined the Red Bulls on loan in February 2017, before agreeing to sign a permanent deal with the club in November 2017.

Before joining the Red Bulls, Murillo played at San Francisco FC, in his native Panama, for four seasons. At just the tender age of 22, Murillo is seen as an exciting prospect, and has recently been linked with a move to PSV this summer. He was also named in the team of the year for the 2018 CONACAF Champions League.

So far, he has been capped by Panama twenty-one times and has scored two goals for his country.

Overview of Nation

Panama’s biggest day came when they won the Copa Centroamericana in 2009, and they once again finished runners up of the competition in 2017. They have also finished runners up of the Gold Cup twice, in 2005 and 2013, and third place on a further two occasions.

The national side are currently ranked 55th in the FIFA World Rankings, and 48th on the ELO Rankings.

The 2018 World Cup will be Panama’s first ever World Cup appearance, having never qualified before.

They qualified for the tournament by finishing third in the fifth round of qualification, which meant they would automatically qualify for the World Cup, Panama qualified instead of USA, who failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 32 years.

Performance in Qualifying

Amir Murillo was only used occasionally to start with, often being an unused sub, by towards the end of the qualifying, and the subsequent Gold Cup and friendlies, he has stabled down the spot of the team’s first choice right back.

His form for the New York Red Bulls helped him get back into the starting eleven for his nation, and his recent performances have also shown why he’s back in it

Why He Is One To Watch

Murillo is one to watch because of his speed, one second he can be in his own half having just intercepted the ball from the opposition, and before you know it, he is already sprinting up the pitch to stick a cross in, something he has made his own back in Harrison. Murillo is also not a stranger to a goal or two, having scored six career goals, and two international goals already in his short career so far.

Murillo will be a threat against England, especially against some of our aging defenders, and his speed and skill will be a worry for any opposition players, especially the ones marking him.

Video of Player/Compliation

Murillo’s highlights for the New York Red Bulls season 2017.

FM Attributes

2018-06-10 (1)

As you can see from the screenshot of his attributes on FM above, he has good natural stamina, and pace, he can play in a number of positions including right back, right wing back and centre-back.

This isn’t the only ‘One to Watch’, we are releasing a one to watch article for every nation in the World Cup. An hour before each team kick off their first World Cup Group Stage game, we will release that nations one to watch. These can be viewed here – One to Watch for all Nations in World Cup 2018

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