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Honduras squad falling apart ahead of clash with U.S.

Jun 14, 2013, 10:28 AM EST

Jerry Bengtson AP

When the U.S. Men’s National Team plays Honduras in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in Salt Lake City next Tuesday, the away side will be much more patchwork than originally thought.

It was already known that Honduran center back Muma Bernardez would be suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

This morning, they’re dropping like flies.

It’s come out that Bernardez’s defensive partner Maynor Figueroa will miss the clash due to injury, per Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy:

The Figueroa injury isn’t any real surprise – he hasn’t featured in months since injuring his groin in April playing for Wigan.

However, the surprises are coming. Telemundo’s Andres Cantor is reporting via Twitter that Revolutions striker Jerry Bengtson has left the team for undisclosed reasons and will not take part in the U.S. match:

A report on MLSsoccer.com has suggested Bengtson was so furious at being left out of the team’s 2-0 win over Jamaica that he had a spat with manager Luis Fernando Suarez, and then left the team on his own for Boston when the rest of the squad made a flight connection in Houston on their way to Salt Lake City.

Finally, Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated has reported that Houston Dynamo midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia could also miss the match with an injury:

Bernardez, Bengston, and Boniek Garcia all started in the 1-0 loss to Costa Rica last Saturday.  Bengtson, however, did not play in their 2-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday, while Boniek Garcia grabbed both goals. Bengtson was the only Honduran to score when they last faced the United States, a 2-1 victory for the Stars and Stripes.

The U.S. team shouldn’t really make too many changes if any regarding this news, but it’s a positive for the home side ahead of a hugely important match.

Three points would give the U.S. nine of a possible nine points during this round of qualification matches and would put them in an absolutely wonderful position atop the hexagonal group with almost guaranteed qualification only 4 matches from the finish.

  1. charliej11 - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I think JK has to impress on them, how big of a must win game this is. Not that they can’t make it while losing…..they can.

    It is more letting golden opportunities slip away that come back to bite you.

  2. midtec2005 - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    There’s certainly no excuses now…

  3. shadowking1 - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    FOCUS – the team needs this BIG TIME! After an okay game against Jamaica, and a better one against Panama, it would be disastrous to take the foot off the pedal. Having a bad game against Honduras would severely impact the promising progression.

    I would like to see how the “born again” USMNT would do against a full strength Honduras. It cannot just be a wimpy win against this weakened Honduras.

    It’s not just about making it to Brazil now – it’s all about starting to dominate games.

  4. schmutzdeck - Jun 14, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    shadowking1,

    With all due respect you are way overstating the case.

    The Honduras game represents 3 points. A win means the US will have 13 points with 4 games left to go.

    Usually, 16-17 points is about what the third place team gets. A tie in all 4 games or one win and a tie probably gets them qualified. Two wins probably wins them first place in the Hex.

    “Dominating” games against weak opponents might be satisfying to the fans but the World Cup is a year and quite a few games away. Crushing a disorganized Honduras would mean three points and would be great but otherwise has little bearing on how the team will do in Brazil.

    A win of any description, dominating or otherwise, will be sufficient to maintain the team’s growing confidence and consistency.

  5. nbcrollaround - Jun 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Panamas team has undoubtedly played in harsh conditions, but I can’t help but wonder if the gigantic crowd, huge NFL stadium, and ESPN’s in your face cameras didn’t give the U.S. an advantage.

    Here’s to Rio Tinto showing up and being loud.

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