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ASN Weekly Debate

Can the United States Get a Good Result in Honduras?

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon get into it on whether the Americans can earn a point or three in San Pedro Sula. They also discuss the approximate worth of the match against Canada. Think small.
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
February 01, 2013
5:08 AM
Noah Davis: Okay New Mexico, so here's what I don't understand about the Canada game: Jurgen Klinsmann kept harping on how he wanted to see how the players performed against international competition but after the game, he's all "this didn't change any opinions because we already had a three-week camp." Clearly, a lot of this is messaging through the press (also: things you say after an uninspiring performance) but what is the truth here?

Ryan O'Hanlon: I would hope that the truth leans toward what he said after the game, right? One soccer game is one soccer game: way too small a sample to really be that indicative of anything. So, you'd think a few weeks of training would provide way more insight into a guy's game than just one, positively-stale friendly. At the same time, though, you play soccer to win actual soccer games, and games are different than training sessions, so you can't completely dismiss it either, I don't think.

Davis: Nice hedge answer. I don't think the Canada game matters at all, especially for the central defenders. It was a boring game against a bad team. Frankly, I rather hope Klinsmann and the coaching staff don't put too much stock in anything that happened. My real question is why they continue to be so shocked when Canada comes out defensively and stays that way.

O'Hanlon: I'm not so sure. There's some merit to playing an exhibition-game against a bunkered-in team because it's a CONCACAF-specific scenario for the US—and this is really the perfect way to prepare—but this wasn't the full team, and it's really just not the best environment to "see what you have." Basically, these January friendlies are more important to fans than anyone else.

Davis: Playing Canada guarantees that they are, that's for sure.

O'Hanlon: Well, it's a way to show something—however misleading that may be—to fans. Like: Benny Feilhaber is maybe still pretty good!

Davis: But the fans—no offense to the fans—don't matter. I'm sorry, but playing Canada is a waste of time.

O'Hanlon: All right, so no more games against Canada. That's pretty much the most important thing we've learned, then.

Davis: Honestly, I would be happy with that as a result. I'm so tired of watching American teams not score against Canada. Moving on from Anger Island, let's talk Honduras. ASN readers think it's going to be a tight match. Your thoughts?

O'Hanlon: I agree. Honduras is possibly-good, and San Pedro Sula is not an easy place to play. Anything more than one goal separating the two teams would be pretty surprising.

Davis: That's such a bold prediction.

O'Hanlon: No more predictions from me. Never again. I was six goals off in my Canada prediction.

Davis: True. Samsonite, that was terrible. Also, I missed by four goals. I think the U.S. can score on Honduras, but I also think Honduras can score on the U.S. I'll say 2-2, which is probably a good result for both teams.

 O'Hanlon: Yeah, maybe they'll do one of those gentleman's ties, where you just agree to tie that game. That would be horrible but also some weird form of progress. If I had to rank all of the qualifying games on some difficulty scale, I'd probably put this one second... ahead of Mexico at the US. A tie would be a positive thing for the US, as boring as that is to say.

Davis: In the past cycle, I would have put it third behind Mexico and Costa Rica. But now that Michael Orozco destroyed the Mayan magic of Azteca and Costa Rica decided to build a stadium with not-concrete as the surface, I'll say second behind Mexico.

O'Hanlon: Despite it looking—emphasis on "looking" and on "I don't know what I'm talking about"—like a good bet for a tie, it should be a pretty exciting/fun/terrifying game.

Davis: The game in Honduras last time was absolutely my favorite one of the Hexagonal. It was exciting and the crowd was great. Really respectful of the U.S. if you can believe that. Plus, everything we predict doesn't happen, so we'll have a result.

O'Hanlon: You're welcome, everyone.

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. Sometimes, there are Little Debbie's Snack Cakes.

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