USA vs Honduras

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Post by Swanhends Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:31 pm

4 pm EST....bow bow

I will not be watching because I have class :facepalm:

United States (projected): Tim Howard; Timmy Chandler, Geoff Cameron, Carlos Bocanegra, Fabian Johnson; Danny Williams; Graham Zusi, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones; Clint Dempsey, Hérculez Gómez.

Honduras (confirmed by coach Luis Suárez): Noel Valladares; Arnold Peralta, Víctor Bernárdez, Maynor Figueroa, Juan Carlos García; Óscar Boniek García, Roger Espinoza, Luis Garrido, Mario Martínez; Jerry Bengtson, Carlo Costly.


SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras -- From a player's perspective, the U.S.'s final-round World Cup qualifying opener here on Wednesday against Honduras is probably the most physically challenging test of any of the 10 qualifiers they'll play in 2013. Because this is the only single-round fixture date, some players like Clint Dempsey had to play 90 minutes on Sunday for their European clubs, fly to Miami on Monday to join the national team and then fly again to Honduras on Monday night.

"These single-fixture dates that fall in the middle of our seasons are always a challenge," said U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley, who played in Italy for Roma over the weekend. "It's important for every guy to come in with the right mentality and be ready from the time that plane lands in Miami. We have a good group of guys who have the experience of doing this for a few years. When you get ready for games like this when so much is on the line, you don't need a whole lot of motivation. There's a real sense on our team of excitement where we can see the World Cup on the horizon."

Dead legs and jet-lag will only be part of the equation in Wednesday's game (4 p.m. ET, BeIN Sport). So will the afternoon kickoff time, the better for the Hondurans to take advantage of the 85-degree heat. And so will the intimidating sold-out stadium, made possible by a national holiday being declared in Honduras for the game.

WAHL: Hexagonal storylines and predictions

"It's hard," said U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who played on Saturday in England for Everton and will get in two training sessions with the U.S. before the game. "You're trying to catch up on your rest with the jet-lag. It's not a lot of time to train and game-plan, but that's why the last couple years have been important. You build up that trust so you can get together at the drop of a dime and put it all together."

Make no mistake, Honduras is a tough opponent. The *Catrachos* qualified for their first World Cup in 28 years in 2010, and their team on Wednesday will include several of the players who reached the quarterfinals in last year's Olympics, beating Spain and losing 3-2 to Brazil along the way. Honduras has more athleticism and force than their Central American counterparts, combined with more traditional Latin American skill on the ball. It's why players such as Maynor Figueroa, Roger Espinoza and Wilson Palacios have been good fits in the hard-running English Premier League.

That said, the U.S. has enjoyed more World Cup qualifying success in Honduras than in Mexico and Costa Rica over the years. The Americans won at Honduras in 2001 (thanks to a majestic Clint Mathis free kick) and in 2009, a wild 3-2 victory that clinched the U.S.'s berth in World Cup 2010. For all the insecurity outside the stadium here—the U.S. State Department considers San Pedro Sula the world's most violent city—the atmosphere inside the Estadio Olímpico is friendlier and less openly hostile than in Mexico and Costa Rica. That's partly due to the running track and moat between the fans and the field, but Hondurans also seem more welcoming in general.

How will this game look? Expect a lot of pressure from the Hondurans, as well as some from the U.S., and keep a close eye on Bradley, whose bombing runs from midfield have become even more common in Italy lately. If there's going to be one other difference-maker for the U.S., it's Dempsey, who has been in good scoring form of late for Tottenham Hotspur.

As for Honduras, its lineup figures to have more current MLS players (four) than the U.S. (one). The punishing midfielder Espinoza has made a seamless transition so far from Kansas City to the Premier League, and Costly and Bengtson have been effective scorers at times for Honduras.

Earning a tie and leaving Honduras with a point would be a decent result for the U.S., even if Klinsmann says his team has come here to win three. But as Howard said on Tuesday, "I think a draw is always O.K. on the road in CONCACAF. But having said that, given that we have a few road games, it would be good to pick up a win somewhere along the way. Tomorrow would be a good win."

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Post by Swanhends Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:25 pm

USA vs Honduras Gzwxbelj:iphone
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Post by Motogp69 Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:58 pm

Why Cameron, why?
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Post by Catracho Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:16 am

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DAT BIKE!!!!!! Chandler SUCKKKSSS, IS THIS THE GUY WHO WAS WAITING FOR A GERMAN CALL-UP?? PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTT
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Post by McLewis Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:41 am

Big players all looked pretty flat to me. Bradley was probably the best of the bunch, but that's not really saying much. So timid, so disjointed.

This team played with no balls or endeavor. Just let Honduras control the tempo for large portions and that defense.....sweet goodness....just suspect all around.

Changes will have to be made for the Costa Rica game. Can't be going to the Azteca in this type of form.

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Post by Swanhends Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:55 am

McLewis wrote:Big players all looked pretty flat to me. Bradley was probably the best of the bunch, but that's not really saying much. So timid, so disjointed.

This team played with no balls or endeavor. Just let Honduras control the tempo for large portions and that defense.....sweet goodness....just suspect all around.

Changes will have to be made for the Costa Rica game. Can't be going to the Azteca in this type of form.

to be fair, a lot of our better players played as recently as Sunday with their clubs
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Post by VendettaRed07 Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:36 am

Wow.. That sucked...Well mexico drew against Jamaica at home.. So that makes this loss a bit easier to deal with
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Post by Swanhends Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:40 pm

VendettaRed07 wrote:Wow.. That sucked...Well mexico drew against Jamaica at home.. So that makes this loss a bit easier to deal with

Costa Rica drew as well...Very lucky for us
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Post by donttreadonred Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:19 pm

Swanhends wrote:
VendettaRed07 wrote:Wow.. That sucked...Well mexico drew against Jamaica at home.. So that makes this loss a bit easier to deal with

Costa Rica drew as well...Very lucky for us
FWIW, I think the problems go far deeper than simply the points dropped. Mexico and Jamaica drawing in their first fixture leaves the group wide open. A loss in the first match of the Hex is certainly not desirable, but it's far from the end of the world.

What concerns me more was the dour attacking play and fragile, error-prone defense. If Honduras was able to carve us open, what do you think Mexico is going to do. Hernandez will have an absolute field-day up against Cameron and Gonzalez. Honduras' second goal exposed and highlighted a lack of leadership, understanding and reaction-time/pace in our current CBs.

I believe the problems in attack can be solved by line-up changes and possibly a little bit of hair-dryer treatment. However, it's the lack of form and absence of true leadership in defense that worries me most. This must get fixed if we want to qualify for our seventh straight World Cup appearance.
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