[USA-HONDURAS] The USA opened its World Cup year with about as a bad performance as one could have imagined.
It began when captain Jimmy Conrad was sent off in the 18th minute and it got worse when Honduras put three goals past goalie Troy Perkins.
After wholesale substitutions, it got better for the USA in the last half hour, but all the Americans could muster was a goal by Clarence Goodson, and they fell, 3-1.
Only former UCLA teammates Jonathan Bornstein and Benny Feilhaber went into the game with relatively secure berths in the U.S. 23 for the World Cup, but you couldn't say anyone else grabbed one of the half dozen of so spots still available.
You couldn't blame inexperience for the poor showing. Eight of the starters have 10 or more caps.
For veterans like Conrad and Jeff Cunningham, their World Cup hopes may have evaporated. Chad Marshall certainly didn't help himself with a poor game in the middle.
Up front, Ryan Findley played the whole game and showed some good things, but he certainly isn't the answer to replace Charlie Davies.
On the other, Hon duras, which had fell to the USA a record four times in 2009, look inspired in front of a largely pro-Catracho crowd of almost 19,000.
Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda benefited from having available as many as six players projected to start this summer in South Africa.
Jan. 23 in Carson, Calif.
USA 1 Honduras 3. Goals: Goodson 70; Pavon (pen.) 19, Jerry Palacios 38, Espinoza 52.
USA -- Perkins, Wynne, Marshall (Pearce, 60), Conrad, Bornstein, Kljestan (Bedoya, 60), Beckerman (Casey, 60), Feilhaber (McCarty, 77) Rogers (Davis, 60), Cunningham (Goodson, 46) Findley.
Honduras -- Escober, Sabillon, Norales, Johnny Palacios, Izaguirre, Turcios, Martinez (Garcia, 68), Espinoza (Acevedo, 90), Guevara (M.Valladares, 56), Jerry Palacios (Nunez, 61), Pavon (Welcome, 78).
Yellow cards: USA -- Conrad 6, Conrad 18; Honduras -- Jerry Palacios 9.
Red card: USA -- Conrad 18.
Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico).
Final score: USA 1 Honduras 3.
94th minute: Casey wide from close range after being fed by Findley.
90th minute: HONDURAS SUBSTITUTION-Acevedo for Espinoza.
90th minute: Bedoya header off McCarty's corner goes across the area and wide.
89th minute: Findley taken down on the edge of the area. Escobar does well to save Davis' free kick.
88th minute: Perkins stops Nunez on a breakaway.
84th minute: Olé, Olé, Olé. The Honduran fans celebrate as the Catrachos play keep away ...
Tonight's attendance: 18,626 boosted by a large contingent of Catracho supporters.
79th minute: Honduran keeper punches out Bedoya after good U.S. buildup with Davis.
78th minute: HONDURAS SUBSTITUTION-Welcome for Pavon.
77th minute: USA SUBSTITUTIONS-McCarty for Feilhaber.
70th minute: GOAL-Goodson scores on header off Davis corner kick for the USA. HONDURAS 3-0.
68th minute: HONDURAS SUBSTITUTION-Garcia for Martinez.
61st minute: HONDURAS SUBSTITUTION-Another former U.S. prep and college player, Nunez, comes on for Jerry Palacios.
60th minute: USA SUBSTITUTIONS-Casey for Beckerman, Pearce for Marshall, Bedoya for Kljestan, Davis for Rogers.
56th minute: HONDURAS SUBSTITUTION-Melvin Valladares comes on for Guevara.
56th minute: Beckerman shoots wide.
52nd minute: GOAL-MLS and former college star Espinoza makes it 3-0, finishing a three-player combo to the far post. HONDURAS 3-0.
51st minute: Kljestan hits free kick way over the bar, drawing boos from the Honduran fans at the HDC.
50th minute: Rogers hits woodwork with shot from distance.
49th minute: More danger work from the Catrachos.
46th minute: U.S. SUBSTITUTION-Goodson replaces Cunningham.
42nd minute: Better corner by Feilhaber but good defending by Honduras.
38th minute: GOAL-Johnny Palacios makes it 2-0, heading home Pavon's cross. Terrible defending by Rogers on the wing and Marshall in the middle. HONDURAS 2-0.
37th minute: Izaguirre finds Johnny Palacios, who comes close.
33rd minute: Another U.S. corner taken poorly by Rogers ...
32nd minute: Good work by Wynne on the right side but cross goes nowhere.
29th minute: Honduras pressure is giving the USA all kinds of problem.
26th minute: Catrachos ask for but don't get handball on Pavon's shot Wynne blocks.
21st minute: First good U.S. chance: Marshall header skips over bar.
19th minute: GOAL-On second attempt, Pavon converts again from the penalty spot. HONDURAS 1-0.
18th minute: Pavon's goal from the penalty spot called back for encroachment.
18th minute: Conrad is given a second yellow card and red for taking down Jerry Palacios running into box after Palacios had released the ball to Pavon on the right side.
9th minute: Jerry Palacios is given the game's second yellow for a dive in the box.
6th minute: Conrad picks up first card for breaking up Catracho counter off U.S. corner.
5th minute: Feilhaber makes a nice run into the box, leading to the game's first corner.
4th minute: Perkins comes out to cut out cross.
1 Troy Perkins (Valerenga)
4 Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
14 Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew); 60th minute: Heath Pearce (FC Dallas)
15 Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards) (18th minute: red card)
12 Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA)
16 Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA); 60th minute: Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro)
7 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake); 60th minute: Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids)
5 Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus); 77th minute: Dax McCarty (FC Dallas)
14 Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew); 60th minute: Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
19 Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas); 46th minute: Clarence Goodson (IK Start)
17 Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
12 Donis Escober (Olimpia)
23 Mauricio Sabillon (Marathon)
5 Erick Norales (Marathon)
6 Johnny Palacios (Olimpia)
21 Emilio Izaguirre (Motagua)
19 Danilo Turcios (Olimpia)
15 Walter Martinez (Marathon); 68th minute: Oscar Boniek Garcia (Olimpia)
17 Roger Espinoza (Kansas City Wizards); 90th minute: Mariano Acevedo (Marathon)
20 Amado Guevara (Olimpia); 56th minute: Melvin Valladares (Real Espana)
16 Jerry Palacios (Marathon); 61st minute: Ramon Nunez (no club)
9 Carlos Pavon (Real Espana); 78th minute: Georgie Welcome (Motagua)