February 6th, 2013 || Posted in Pre-Game Hype

USA at Honduras Pre-Game Hype (2/6/13)

U.S. vs. Honduras
2/6/2013

San Pedro Sula, Honduras

 

It’s Hexy Time.

 

It’s been 955 days since the U.S. got knocked out of the 2010 World Cup at the hands of Ghana.  Those of us who were picked up and carried out of the bars head-in-hand have unpleasant memories of what the World Cup can do to a U.S. Soccer fan.  A euphoric and blissful state of mind can quickly turn into anguish and depression.  But, we continue to put ourselves through it, for a reason unbeknown to most.  Tomorrow, we begin our descent into the next wave of those emotions, with the U.S. beginning its’ journey to Brazil in 2014 away to Honduras.  Here we go.

In the corresponding fixture last term, the Yanks qualified for the 2010 World Cup with two goals from Conor Casey, accompanied by a stunning free kick from Landon Donovan.  Hard to believe that was 4 years ago.

Conor Casey

Neither of these players are in the team this year, but here’s the full roster:

GK: Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Sean Johnson
DEF: Matt Besler, Carlos Bocanegra, Geoff Cameron, Edgar Castillo, Timmy Chandler, Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson, Michael Parkhurst
MID: Michael Bradley, Brad Davis, Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones,  Sacha Kljestan, Jose Torres, Danny Williams, Graham Zusi
FOR: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson

As expected, a very strong (and mostly European based) team named by Jurgen Klinsmann.  15 of the 24 play their club ball overseas, (7) hail from MLS, and (2) in Mexico.  Still absent from the team is Landon Donovan, as he remains in international and club hiatus.  Stuart Holden is still not fit from a long injury layoff.  Oguchi Onyewu is still on the radar but isn’t getting enough minutes with Malaga.  Rest assured, there is plenty of attacking prowess in this team.  Jozy hasn’t scored with the national team in a year, but has been scoring goals for fun for AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivise.  We all know what Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez can do, but it will be interesting to see how Klinsmann lines these three up.

Michael Bradley will be pulling the strings in the midfield, likely alongside either Danny Williams or Jermaine Jones.  Not a lot of flanking options for the US, but one could expect Zusi to get the nod in the midfield as well.  Could this be the chance for Brad Davis to showcase his skills?  At the back, many have criticized the leaky defense, especially at the center back position.  Bocanegra has been a helluva leader for the US over the last few years, but is 33 and not getting any younger.  Can he keep the pace?  Besler and Gonzalez looked steady at the back against Canada last week.  One could expect Timmy Chandler to get cap-tied during this game…

On the other end of the park, Honduras has a solid squad from front to back.  Aging forwards may be their weakness, but don’t rule out this team’s ability to perform in big games.  Their Olympic team made an impressive run in the Olympics, even knocking off Spain.  Roger Espinoza and Maynor Figueroa are fixtures at Wigan Athletic, and we know what Andy Najar and Mario Martinez are capable of.  This will be a tough test for the U.S. however you look at it.  Here’s the full roster:

GK: Noel Valladares (Olimpia), Donis Escober (Olimpia), Jose Mendoza (Marathon).

DEF: Arnold Peralta (Vida), Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia),Victor Bernardez (San Jose), Osman Chavez (Wisla), Maynor Figueroa ( Wigan), Juan Pablo Montes (Platense), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Carlos García (Olimpia).

MID: Luis Garrido (Red Star Belgrade), Jorge Claros (Hibernian), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Alex Lopez (Olimpia), Andy Najar (D.C. United), Boniek García (Dynamo), Mario Martinez (Seattle), Aldo Oviedo (Real Espana).

FOR: Jerry Bengtson (New England), Roger Rojas (Olimpia), Carlo Costly (Veria), Georgie Welcome (Motagua)

This game is an early one – 3pm CST kickoff on BeIN Sport.  Get to your watch parties.  à www.theamericanoutlaws.com/chapters

Time to get loud, boys and girls.

SMOOCHES,

AO

——–

Michael  Bradley – “We Can See the World Cup on the Horizon”

Here are a few other good pre-games:

Here are the highlights the last time USA played Honduras in Honduras: