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Bengtson departs Catrachos, Leveron recalled
by Paul Kennedy, June 14th, 2013 7:21PM

TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014


[USA-HONDURAS] If Honduras did not have enough problems, preparing for Tuesday's World Cup 2014 qualifier against the USA without its two giant center backs, Victor Bernardez (suspended) and Maynor Figueroa (injured), its leading scorer in qualifying, Jerry Bengtson, has been kicked off the team.

Bengtson was reportedly upset that he did not play in the 2-0 win over Jamaica and according to Honduran press reports, berated the team's Colombian coach, Luis Suarez.

Bengtson, who has scored seven goals in qualifying, flew from Honduras to Houston with the team, but he then returned home to Boston to rejoin the New England Revolution rather than continue with the Catrachos on to San Jose, where they are training at the Earthquakes' training facility.

Dissension in the Honduran national team is nothing new. It always has some of the best individual talent in Central America, but getting every player on the same page has not always been easy.

Carlo Costly and Bengtson, who both started in the 2-1 Honduras win over the USA in February, started in the 1-0 loss at Costa Rica on June 7, but Costly picked up his second yellow card of qualifying in the game and was suspended for the Jamaica game four days later.

Suarez chose to go with Roger Rojas as the lone striker against the Reggae Boyz, and Ro-Ro responded with a goal and an assist. With Costly, the Catrachos' second leading scorer with four goals, also back for Tuesday's game at Rio Tinto Stadium, Bengtson's departure won't be Suarez's biggest concern.

Suarez has called up Johnny Leveron, who was scheduled to start for the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday against the New England Revolution, to replace Bernardez, who picked up his second yellow card of qualifying against Jamaica.

Center back Osman Chavez is also injured, leaving only David Velasquez, who started in the 2-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday night, and Juan Pablo Montes as the other center backs.

The Houston Dynamo midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia scored against Jamaica in the first half but was injured and left the game soon thereafter. He hopes to play on Tuesday, though the Earthquakes' Marvin Chavez had a strong game in his place against Jamaica.

Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre, who was also injured, says he's ready to go on Tuesday.

The Catrachos will train through Sunday in San Jose and leave for Salt Lake City on Monday morning.

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