Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Traditional intensity is likely
by Ridge Mahoney, July 8th, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[USA-HONDURAS] The site and the names have changed but once again the U.S. and Honduras will play an important soccer match in a stadium rife with history.

For their second match in the Gold Cup, the countries will field relatively inexperienced teams Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel, Galavision) at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. compared to the ones that met a month ago during the Hexagonal.

When they played June 6 in Chicago, Honduras scored in the fifth minute after Clint Dempsey stumbled over the ball in midfield, and though the Americans fought back to win, 2-1, they needed a Landon Donovan penalty kick and Carlos Bocanegra header from a set play to notch that victory.

"I'm expecting them to come out for the first 10-15 minutes with a flying start, really putting pressure on us," says U.S. forward Charlie Davies, who watched that match from the bench but has since gained a starting spot. "But I think we'll settle into the game well, and we just have to play our game and we'll be successful."

In its Gold Cup opener, Honduras scraped past Haiti, 1-0, with a goal by Carlos Costly, the scorer for his country at Soldier Field. Osman Chavez, Walter Martinez and Costly started for Honduras that day, and Georgie Welcomecame off the bench. They are the only players on the Gold Cup roster who played at Soldier Field.

"We deserved more than we got, but now we have the challenge again to face them," Welcome said. "We know all the Honduras fans are with us. We've been training hard these couple of days for this match coming up."

U.S. coach Bob Bradley has added midfielder Benny Feilhaber to the Gold Cup roster, adding his name to that of Davies and a few others carried over from the Confederations Cup. Against Honduras in Chicago, Feilhaber replaced Pablo Mastroeni at halftime. His insertion added some spark to the midfield, though Mastroeni had hardly erred in his holding role.

"It gives us a little bit of cover in the midfield," said Bradley. "I think after the Confederations Cup he needed a little bit of time. And like all of these guys, we need to balance our needs with the needs of his club and the ability of the player to get back to his club at a good time so that he can earn playing time and continue to move forward."

The Americans moved forward at will while thrashing Grenada, 4-0, in their Gold Cup opener, with Kyle Beckerman and Logan Pause blotting thrusts through the middle and playing wide balls that enabled them to dominate the flanks. Though Honduras is far from full strength, it can be stubborn to break down in midfield.

"This is going to be a much better test," said Bradley.  "We expect that this is the game for putting ourselves in position to win the group."

Feilhaber is a likely candidate to replace either Beckerman or Pause for this Honduras match, though Bradley has also used him at right mid. Bradley might also try to find a spot for Santino Quaranta, who has played in several midfield roles for D.C. United this season and would certainly enjoy making his return to the national team in front of his hometown fans.

"I think he has matured as a player and a person," said Bradley of Quaranta, whose candidacy to make the 2006 team was derailed by injury and lack of fitness.  "You can tell that he's very excited to have this opportunity at this time. We all feel like he's shown well for D.C. during the second half of last season and early this year, and it's very good to have him with our national team."

The only holdover on either team from the infamous World Cup qualifier played at RFK eight years ago and won by Honduras, 3-2, is U.S. right backSteve Cherundolo. More than 54,000 fans, many of them Honduran, turned RFK into a blue-and-white party zone that day; the crowd and stakes will be smaller this time, and the Honduran players are thousands of miles away from a nation riven by political crisis.

"The situation is only one motivation for us," Coach Reinaldo Reina told concacaf.com. "We always wanted to do well in the tournament. The other situation is that everyone is thinking about their family, their parents, their sisters, their brothers, so there's some worry there."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Messi Update: Argentine star moving uncomfortably but no broken bones    
Lionel Messi injured his back and ribs in a Copa Centenario warmup game for Argentina against ...
Copa Centenario: Castillo replaces Chandler on U.S. roster    
The USA has called in Edgar Castillo to replace Timmy Chandler on its roster for the ...
MLS Countdown: Kaka recalled by Brazil for Centenario    
The announcement came a day too late to benefit the Philadelphia Union, but Orlando City midfielder ...
U.S. Abroad: Gonzalez's Pachuca has edge in Liga MX final    
Omar Gonzalez, who was passed over for a spot on the U.S. Copa Centenario team, started ...
BeIN Sports adds special Copa Centenario coverage    
One vital aspect of soccer's increased television exposure is how events are treated by non-rights holders ...
USA-Bolivia: Will youth movement continue?    
Christian Pulisic has already impressed his coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, enough that he's in contention to start ...
What They're Saying: Jozy Altidore    
"When Haiti qualified, I just thought it'd be a cool thing, because they haven't qualified for ...
TV Report: Fox network twinbill draws 1,613,000 viewers    
Last Saturday's FA Cup-MLS doubleheader on Fox reached a combined 1,613,000 viewers. Manchester United's 2-1 overtime ...
Concacaf turns to NBA for new CEO    
In another step to rehabilitate itself after five years of scandal, Concacaf hired Philippe Moggio out ...
Women's players' strike motions go to judge for decision    
Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman took under advisement competing motions for summary judgment made by attorneys for ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives