PANAMA CITY, Panama – The goal of any football club during a transfer window is to sign players who can make an immediate impact and improve the team.
If its first preseason matches are any indication, Panama’s CD Universitario’s three new arrivals are all a hit.
Ahead of the 2018 Apertura and 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League, Universitario inked three players during the summer transfer window -- GK Gianfranco Cao, DF Oliver Fula and renowned FW Cristian Fabbiani -- and the trio is already paying dividends.
Argentine stopper Cao has already proved a steady hand in goal, not conceding a goal in his first two appearances: the first half of a 2-1 preseason win on July 7 versus Costa Rica’s Santos de Guapiles and then the first half of a 0-0 draw with fellow Panamanian side Plaza Amador on July 11.
Fula has also made a big splash upon arriving to Universitario. It took the Colombian just minutes to get his name on the scoresheet, as he struck for Universitario’s first goal in the 2-1 win over Santos.
Fabbiani was not far behind either, as the former Newell’s Old Boys and River Plate man also tallied in the first half of the 2-1 triumph against the Ticos.
Coupled with a 1-0 victory against San Francisco on July 19 thanks to an Isidoro Hinostroza score, Universitario is off to a solid 2W-1D-0L 3GF, 1GC record in preseason with its Apertura season opener versus Sporting San Miguelito just two weeks away on July 28.
That will then be followed by Universitario’s second ever participation in the SCL, in which it will face Diriangen of Nicaragua in the first leg in Costa Rica on August 1 before returning home to Panama City for the second leg on August 7.