Written by Timothy Nyangacha
34-year-old forward Luis Tejada, who currently plays for the club Juan Aurich in the Peruvian Primera Division, will be a player to watch on the Panamanian national team, whose nickname is Los Canaleros (The Canal Men)  . He was born in Panama City, Panama and made his professional debut with the club América de Cali of the Colombian Primera A league in 2007 . According to ESPNFC, he briefly played with the Major League Soccer team Real Salt Lake starting in December 2006, but was released in May 2007 after playing just one game . He also played for Toluca and Veracruz of the Mexican Liga MX between 2012 and 2014 before his current time with Juan Aurich .
Panama, ranked 52nd by FIFA, will surely need his goal-scoring abilities if it hopes to advance far into this year’s COPA America . He scored a goal in their most recent Copa America Qualification match that occurred on January 9th, 2016 . The Panamanian national team has shown some signs of progress, rising in FIFA rankings from 70th in 2009 to its current ranking of 52nd.  Los Canaleros were runners up in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, losing to the United States 0-1:
Later that year, Panama nearly qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil but agonizingly conceded two goals in stoppage time to the United States, losing 2-3 and consequently failing to qualify:
Nevertheless, optimism remains concerning the Panamanian national team. Reflecting on Panama’s defeat to Costa Rica in November 2015, Tejada spoke with a reporter from FIFA.com in March 2016:
“We just need to make that step, because sometimes we get everything right and then we go and trip up right at the end. We have to win these types of matches to change our history. And as soon as we do that, then we’ll start winning titles and qualifying for World Cups.” 
Perhaps Panama will do just that in this year’s COPA America.
How To Cite This Article: Nyangacha, Timothy. “Panama: Luis Tejada.” Sites.duke.edu., accessed MM/DD, YYYY, http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/tournament-guides/copa-america-centenario-2016-guide/players-to-watch-at-the-copa-america-centenario-2016/panama-luis-tejada.
 “FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.” Fifa.com., accessed 04/13, 2016, http://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/associations/association=pan/men/index.html.
 “L. Tejada.” Soccerway.com., accessed 04/13, 2016, http://us.soccerway.com/players/luis-tejada/7399/.
 “Real Salt Lake Releases Tejada.” Espnfc.com., last modified May 10, 2007, accessed 04/13, 2016, http://www.espnfc.com/story/429238/real-salt-lake-releases-tejada.
 “Tejada: Panama Need to Take that Final Step.” Fifa.com., last modified March 25, 2016, accessed 04/13, 2016, http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/y=2016/m=3/news=tejada-panama-need-to-make-that-final-step-2772527.html.