USMNT

Preview: USMNT v Honduras

While giving up a last-minute goal is never a good thing (even physics-embracing outliers like Enner Valencia’s), the U.S performed fairly well against Ecuador in Landon Donovan’s final game for the national team. The rest of the squad was fairly youthful, though, and now the big guns are being called in.

Coming in

Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Matt Besler, Jermaine Jones, and Graham Zusi all join up, along with Sean Johnson. The field players all started at the World Cup for the U.S. and are on MLS squads headed or fighting for the playoffs, so Klinsmann is clearly placing more emphasis on this game than the last even if the quality of the opposition is not necessarily improved.

Going out

Making way for the new arrivals are John Brooks, Landon Donovan, Luis Gil, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan, and Joe Gyau. It is remarkable how swiftly Gonzalez has fallen out of favor as a starter. Prior to the World Cup, he seems a lock to partner Matt Besler, but didn’t start any game at the tournament, and doesn’t look likely to again any time soon. Gyau, injured in the Ecuador game, appears to have a torn lateral meniscus, though may only miss as little as four weeks, according to reports.

Honduras

Names like Oscar Boniek Garcia and Luis Garrido are well known in MLS circles, and Andy Najar now plays in Belgium for Anderlecht, but most of the Honduras squad plays club soccer in the Honduran domestic league. Honduras played in the World Cup, in the same group as Ecuador, in fact, though finished the bottom of that group with three losses and only one goal scored to seven against. It wasn’t a good tournament. This was somewhat surprising, given the relative quality of their qualifying performance, but not unusual given their previous World Cup showings. Honduras is also coming off of a loss to Mexico on Thursday night, 2–0.

Predictions

With much of the U.S. “first team” being called in to join veterans like Jozy Altidore and Mix Diskerud, and playing at home, the U.S. are the heavy favorite. Honduras has scored only four goals in their last ten games, while the U.S. has 15 in the same number. 2–0 to the U.S.A.

One Comment

  1. Kind of surprised that Ibarra was not one of the players sent back to his club.

    Will be interesting to see if JK just wants to see more of him in camp or if he is going to give him some game time against Honduras.

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