Arabe Unido making most of preseason with SCL on horizon
Action of the friendly match between AD San Carlos and Arabe Unido in the Carlos Ugalde Alvarez Stadium in Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy Deportivo Arabe Unido)
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COLON, Panama – No strangers to CONCACAF competition, Arabe Unido of Panama is making the most of its preseason ahead of the 2018 Apertura and 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League.

The three-time Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalists and 2017 SCL semifinalists convened back on June 15 to begin preparation for the upcoming competitions and already has four preseason matches in the books prior to its domestic season opener on July 28 versus Alianza.

The club has also been busy in the transfer market, with four new players arriving this summer.

FW Alexis Palacios was the first to ink a deal, as the 23-year-old Panamanian will give Arabe Unido pace and power on the right flank.

DF Mauricio Castano was next to join the club, giving the Arabe Unido defense a skilled and steady 25-year-old left back.

The club still fancied to bolster its attack, so it added a pair of Colombians, 23-year-old FW Faber Gil and 27-year-old Raul Penaranda. The two are already impressing having each scored a goal in preseason.

On the field, the results in preseason have been positive. On June 30 Arabe Unido squared off against Brazilian giants Palmeiras and went toe-to-toe with the legendary South American club in a narrow 2-0 defeat.

That was followed by a strong 2-0 win over Panama’s Costa del Este in which DF Luis Canate and Gil scored for the home side.

Last Thursday July 12 the club traveled to Costa Rica for a series of friendlies and picked up a solid 2-1 comeback win over Carmelita last Friday thanks to goals from MF Jorge Grant and a sensational curling right-footed strike from Penaranda.

Two days later a goal from MF Jonathan Murillo earned Arabe Unido a satisfactory 1-1 draw with AD San Carlos.

Speaking earlier this month in a press conference, Arabe Unido Head Coach Carlos Ruiz highlighted the importance of the team’s Costa Rica trip.

“To get the boys to do some preseason abroad is very good for them, as they get out of their environment and try something different,” said Ruiz.

Arabe Unido will kick off its 2018 SCL campaign at home on July 31 versus Arnett Gardens of Jamaica, before traveling to Kingston for the second leg on August 9.