61813_isi_honduras_usmntmj020613043 Michael Janosz/isiphotos.com
Direct from Utah

Honduras, Though Hobbled, Still Poses a Real Threat

Just because Los Catrachos are without several key players doesn't mean the U.S. is expecting an easy win in Rio Tinto Stadium. A hungry Honduran team will battle nonstop, according to the Yanks.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
June 18, 2013
2:11 PM
SANDY, Utah—How will Honduras line up Tuesday night against the United States? Even the visitors’ manager didn’t know as of Monday night.

Los Catrachos are missing Victor Bernardez and Luis Garrido because of yellow card suspension. Osman Chavez and Oscar Boniek Garcia are injury doubts. Jerry Bengston left the team after a spat with manager Luis Fernando Suarez. Suarez said Monday that he wasn’t in any hurry to select his lineup, preferring to wait and see how his injured players are progressing, and would make his decision on game day.

The absences are taking their toll on Honduras, but the United States won’t change its game plan because their opponent is missing players.

“It won’t impact how we approach it at all,” Michael Bradley said Monday. “It’s still Honduras, and it’s still…you have 90 minutes to go out and try to win the game. As far as who plays for them, who doesn’t, who’s injured, who ends up being able to play, it doesn’t change anything for us.”

It does change things for Honduras, who will be missing the grit brought by center back Bernardez and Garrido, a defensive midfielder who just returned from a loan stint with Red Star Belgrade. There’s still plenty of toughness on the team, notably Roger Espinoza and Wilson Palacios.

“Good players,” Bradley said of his central midfield foes. “Guys who will work hard, competitors. Guys who will look to win the battle in there so they can help their team. Obviously whoever plays in there for us will be looking to do the same thing.”


While Honduras will have a depleted back line, it still has Arnold Peralta, the strong defender who nearly completed a move to Toronto FC before the season, Celtic star Emilio Izaguirre, and J.C. Garcia, the Olimpia defender who introduced himself to the U.S. with his stunning goal in San Pedro Sula. These players can still pose a dangerous threat to the United States’ winning streak.

“We have a lot of respect for Honduras because that’s just the way it has to be. You respect your opponent. We had that experience in February, and we expect them to be very physical,” Klinsmann said at his news conference Monday. “There are going to be a lot of battles on the field all over the place, but we want to play our rhythm, we want to play our game.

“We want to be dominant hopefully on the field and take care of things the sooner the better," the coach continued. "But we know it’s going to be a hell of a lot of work. It’s going to be a tough, tough opponent. We’re talking to the team about their strength(s), weaknesses in detail, but at the end of the day I think if we approach it with the right attitude, the right commitment, and aggressiveness then I’m very positive.”

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