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USMNT will play in Honduras Despite Political Unrest

October 1, 2009

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Per FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, the US Men’s National Squad will travel as scheduled to play their October 10 World Cup Qualifier in San Pedro Sula despite the political turmoil plaguing Honduras since President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in June.

Initial safety concerns left the option of holding the match in neighboring Guatemala but  Alfredo Hawit, secretary of the Honduran soccer federation, claimed “That match belongs to us and we won’t allow anyone to trample over us and take the game elsewhere. We played against Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago in the same climate of political crisis and nothing happened. We are going to defend tooth and nail to play this match in our country.”

As of now, San Pedro Sula, which is 100 miles from the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa, where most of the civil unrest has been centralized remains tranquil.
And although deposed leader Zelaya returned to Honduras this week, now camped out in the Brazilian embassy and calling for the dismantling of de facto leadership under Roberto Micheletti, it appears a solution is on the horizon.

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The US currently leads the CONCACAF qualifying group with 16 pts, a 1 pt lead over Mexico who follow with 15, Honduras with 13 and Costa Rica with 12, and trailing El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago.  The top 3 nations will qualify for South Africa, and the fourth placed team will face a South American nation to determine their fate for the 2010 finals.

Although no news has come from the desk of Bob Bradley, Honduras has named their squad for the match:
Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares (Olimpia), Donis Escober (Olimpia), Ricardo Canales (Motagua).

Defenders: Victor Bernardez (Anderlecht), Osman Chávez (Platense), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan), Oscar Garcia (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Motagua), Erick Norales (Marathon), Carlos Palacios (Real España), Mauricio Sabillon (Marathon).

Midfielders: Edgard Alvarez (Bari), Julio Cesar de Leon (Parma), Ramon Núñez (Cruz Azul), Amado Guevara (Toronto FC), Wilson Palacios (Tottenham), Hendry Thomas (Wigan), Danilo Turcios (Olimpia), Melvin Valladares (Real España).

Forwards: Carlos Pavon (Real España), Carlo Costly (Belchatow), Walter Martinez (Marathon), Jerry Palacios (Marathon), David Suazo (Inter Milan).

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Neil permalink
    October 1, 2009 3:59 pm

    I live in Honduras for seven years during which I got to see first hand how passionate the people of Honduras are about football. I was living in a community of around 7000 people in the North of the country and played for a small local team. That league had 7 other teams in it! Not bad for a player base of 7000 including men, women and children.

    I really hope they get the political situation sorted soon as it is having a terrible effect on the economy and businesses of many of the people I got to know and love there.

    • October 1, 2009 4:06 pm

      I heard this is causing millions of dollars of lost revenue a day in a country that is already impoverished. And although the protests have been mostly peaceful, some people have lost their lives.
      So sad.
      I hope your friends and loved ones stay safe and thanks for reading.

  2. Shortbus permalink
    October 1, 2009 9:22 pm

    I don’t see this being a problem. I think we will see a good match at the end of the day.
    The Honduran people do deserve this match in their country

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