Honduras vs. USA: American Firepower Will Prove Too Much for Honduras
Today's international soccer slate is full of interesting matchups, including Mexico taking on Jamaica and Panama hosting Costa Rica, but perhaps none will be more intriguing than when the USA heads to San Pedro Sula to take on Honduras in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match.
The young but talented Honduran squad looks to establish itself after replacing many older players from last year's World Cup squad. That being said, a pair of key injuries and the talent on the American roster make a win for the Stars and Stripes the most likely result.
Left-back Emilio Izaguirre and midfielder/defender Andy Najar, two of the best players on the team, aren't available for today's game, leading coach Luis Fernando Suarez to replace them on the roster. Najar was likely to start the game from the bench, but Izaguirre has been replaced in the starting lineup by Juan Carlos Garcia, best known for his stay-at-home defense.
Although U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann won't have star Landon Donovan to work with today, the American squad still boasts Herculez Gomez, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey up front; Tim Howard in net; and German-American Timothy Chandler playing defense.
Chandler's return to the team should provide an emotional spark after years of non-committal behavior; more than once he declined to play in tournaments that would have linked him to the American squad permanently in favor of playing for his German club team.
Meanwhile, Altidore has 17 goals in 15 games for Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in various competitions. Klinsmann has praised the forward for handling racist taunts in the past week, and his strong play and great composure may earn him an opportunity to start this game after not making the roster for two qualifying games in October.
Between Honduras' injuries and America's momentum, today's game could be a big one for the visiting side. A 2-1 victory on foreign soil would be a great way for the United States to start the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying.
For more from Christopher Leone, follow @christopherlion on Twitter.
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