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Ro-Ro ready to run gringos out of the country
by Paul Kennedy, February 4th, 2013 11:40PM

TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014


[HONDURAS-USA] It might be coached by a German blond, but the one thing you wouldn't call the U.S. national team is a team of blonds. But that's how Honduran forward Roger Rojas characterized Jurgen Klinsmann's gringos, whom he hopes to run out of San Pedro Sula's Estadio Olimpico when the Catrachos host the USA in Wednesday's Hexagonal opener (TV: BeIN Sport, BeIN Sport en Espanol, 4 p.m. ET).

As the Catrachos began to gather in San Pedro Sula, Ro-Ro, as he's called in Honduras, gave the local press a few choice words to latch on it:

“Our fort is the Olimpico, and we hope, as we say, that the ‘gringos’ feel this pressure and those blondies leave here red-faced and leave Honduras scared.”

Confidence in the Honduran camp is high. The Catrachos qualified for the 2010 World Cup, reached the quarterfinals at the 2012 London Olympics men's soccer competition and won their semifinal group in World Cup 2014 qualifying with an 8-1 win over Canada in the final game.

That game was played in the afternoon like Wednesday's game will be. Temperatures are expected to reach 89 degrees with a chance of rain in San Pedro Sula, so the humidity will high.

Nothing is going to keep the Estadio Olimpico from being packed for the 3 p.m. kickoff local time. The Honduran government declared the afternoon a national holiday so workers can get to the game.

By late Monday afternoon, all the Catrachos had arrived for training except Carlo Costly and Jorge Claros, who were flying in from Greece and Scotland, respectively.

One of the late arrivals was Roger Espinoza, whom the Honduran media call "Kung Fu." No player knows the USA better than Espinoza, who attended high school in Denver, played college ball at Yavapai JC and Ohio State and spent the last five years in MLS with Sporting Kansas City before joining English club Wigan in January.

Espinoza, for one, wasn't about to underestimate the USA.

"Tactically, physically, emotionally and mentally, they are very gifted," he told Honduran journalists. "We played against them many times, but the important thing is that we worry about ourselves, not them."

Honduras Starting XI
√ Noel Valladares (Olimpia)
√ Arnold Peralta (Vida)
√ Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)
√ Maynor Figueroa (Wigan/England)
√ Juan Carlos Garcia (Olimpia)
√ Luis Garrido (Red Star/Serbia)
√ Roger Espinoza (Wigan/England)
√ Oscar Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo)
√ Mario Martinez (Seattle Sounders)
√ Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution)
√ Carlo Costly (Veria/Greece)

  1. Keith Wendel
    commented on: February 5, 2013 at 8:41 a.m.
    How is this Rojas comment not considered racist? If a US player made comments about "running the darkies out" there would be an uproar.
  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: February 5, 2013 at 11:36 a.m.
    Oh come on don't tell me you actually give a rat's rear about what he is saying Keith, this is an International match and you are ALWAYS gonna get a bit of "Us and Them" crap thrown around... the fact is that they need to play this up as being up against the big bad E.E.U.U. ... and really it is more for home consumption. What we are sending down there is a several Black players (Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Sean Johnson, Tim Chandler, Jermaine Jones, Danny Williams, Maurice Edu, Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson) a few Latinos (Omar Gonzalez, Herculez Gomez, Jose Torres, Edgar Castillo, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey)... hey that's more than half the team right there... really rather light on Blonds on this side at least... roll with it Keith, if the guy isn't playing to the local crowd, then he clearly doesn't really know our side all that well... which I seriously Doubt, but if that is so... hey Great!! ... (ICE)
  1. Doug Martin
    commented on: February 5, 2013 at 11:43 a.m.
    It's all code words to the faithfull to make noise, to be intimidating in the stadia, to block the U.S. team bus, disrupt the Hotel etc. The shame of it is that CONCACAF will not have proper security at the game for visiting fans. Even if the USSF tries to do something CONCACAF will not back up visiting fans to go to Central America, the shame is on the match agent appointed by FIFA and CONCACAF for not doing their jobs well. Hopefully Soccer America can publish the name of the FIFA match officer who is charged with security for the game. Look to see more tickets then the legal limit sold, with walkways blocked etc. in stadium.
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: February 5, 2013 at 8:47 p.m.
    FIFA could do fine by making an example out of one of these Nations if things get that bad and the safety of one visiting fan or player is compromised. Hand down the "Death Sentence" if need be............not holding my breath here.....

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