USA vs. Honduras: Hondurans Who Pose Biggest Threat to USMNT in Gold Cup Semis

Ryan Tolmich@@R_TolmichCorrespondent IIJuly 23, 2013

Honduras has a real chance of stopping the USA's historic win streak
Honduras has a real chance of stopping the USA's historic win streakScott Halleran/Getty Images

The United States Men's National Team is currently on it's greatest run of all time, as they enter Wednesday's Gold Cup Semifinal against Honduras riding a nine match winning streak. 

The US has faced little adversity on their way to the Gold Cup Semis, but that is surely about to change as they head towards a clash against the always tricky Hondurans.

The Yanks will need to bring their A-game if they hope to move on to the tournament's finale, with a potential place in the 2017 Confederations Cup providing plenty of motivation.

Here are a few players the United States will have to keep a close watch on if they hope to advance to the final game.


Andy Najar

2010 MLS Rookie of the Year and former DC United prodigy Andy Najar is one of the straws that stirs the Honduran drink.

Najar, who became the first homegrown MLS player to move abroad when he secured a move to Belgian club Anderlecht in January, has already netted this tournament. The tricky winger scored the deciding goal in what would end up being a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica in the tournament's quarterfinals.

While Najar is only 9 caps into his international career, he comes with tournament experience, as he featured for Honduras at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Najar will also have a bit of added motivation, as he chose to play for the nation of his birth, despite being eligible to represent his adopted home of the United States due to his residence in Alexandria, Va. 

The United States will need to always keep an eye turned towards the right side of the pitch, as containing Najar will be a necessity. 


Rony Martinez

The 24-year-old Martinez may not be experienced at the international level, but if his club form is anything to go by, the United States will need to be wary of the Honduran forward.

Martinez was the top goalscorer in the Liga Nacional de Honduras, the top division of Honduran soccer, as he netted 12 times this season while on loan to Honduran club Real Sociedad.

Martinez was able to show some of that goalscoring prowess in the July 9th contest against Haiti, as he was able to net his first international goal.


Jerry Palacios 

While Palacios may not be as well-known as his brother, current Stoke midfielder Wilson, he is still someone the United States will need to contain.

Palacios brings with him a wealth of experience, as he has played for eight different clubs from China to Costa Rica. Palacios has made only 16 appearances for Los Catrachos, but his four goals include a hat-trick against El Salvador in 2004.

Palacios also has a history of scoring against the United States, as he found the back of the net in a 3-1 friendly victory for the Hondurans back in 2010. 

As the great George Santayana once said, "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it". The United States will have to remember Palacios' goal from 3 years ago, and make sure it doesn't happen again.


What do you think? Does Honduras have a chance of ending the United States' historic win streak? Have your say below!