Coming off a strong semifinal round, where it won its group ahead of Mexico, Jamaica and Canada, Honduras certainly has demonstrated it has
the talent to claim one of the three automatic berths from Concacaf to next year's World Cup finals in South Africa, but the Catrachos, hit hard by injuries and suspensions, open the Hexagonal
Wednesday with a tricky match at Costa Rica on Saprissa Stadium's artificial turf
A poor showing as host of the Digicel Uncaf Cup, where it finished third behind Panama and Costa
Rica, has damped the mood in the Honduran camp on the eve of the opening Hexagonal game.
Coach Reinaldo Rueda
took his players to train on
artificial surface in Bogota, the capital of his native Colombia.
Three MLS players -- Roger Espinoza
(Kansas City), Amado Guevara
(Toronto FC) and Ivan Guerrero
(D.C. United) -- were among the players with the national team in Bogota to prepare for the match
against the Ticos.
Dallas youth product Ramon Nunez,
now with Mexican club Pueblo, was also among the 21 players called up Rueda.
European-based stars Maynor Figueroa
of English club Wigan and David Suazo
of Portugal's Benfica also got callups.
On the other hand, veterans Carlos Pavon
, Dani Turcios
and Julio Cesar "Rambo" de Leon
were dropped because of injuries, and Wilson Palacios
and Carlos Costly
, who both play in England, are suspended. HONDURAN ROSTER: Goalkeepers:
Noel Valladares (Olimpia), John Bodden (Victoria). Defenders:
Mario Beata (Marathon), Osman
Chavez (Motagua), Oscar Boniek Garcia (Olimpia), Ivan Guerrero (D.C. United, MLS), Emilio Izaguirre (Motagua), Marvin Chavez (Marathon), Victor Bernardez (Anderlecht, Belgium). Midfielders:
Mariano Acevedo (Marathon), Mario Cesar Rodriguez (Real Espana), Amado Guevara (Toronto FC, MLS), Hendry Thomas (Olimpia), Ramon Nunez (Puebla, Mexico),
Emil Martinez (Shanghai Shenhua, China), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan, England), Roger Espinoza (Kansas City Wizards, MLS). Forwards:
(Marathon), Walter Martinez (Alaves, Spain), Carlos Will Mejia (Marathon), David Suazo (Benfica, Portugal). USA vs. HONDURAS:
The USA and
Honduras have only met in two qualifying competitions. The Americans won and tied in a pair of meaningless games in Honduras in 1965, and the USA and Honduras split in 2001 -- the Americans winning
in San Pedro Sula and the Catrachos prevailing before a pro-Honduras crowd at Washington's RFK Stadium.