Archive for the ‘Honduras’ Category

Bradley Names 24-Man Roster For World Cup Qualifiers

May 24, 2009

BRADLEY NAMES 24-MAN ROSTER TO TRAIN FOR FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS AGAINST COSTA RICA AND HONDURAS

CHICAGO (May 24, 2008) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a roster of 24 players that will train in advance of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras. The U.S. will be seeking its first-ever victory away to Costa Rica when they meet at Estadio Saprissa in the fourth match of the 10-game final round of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Kickoff on June 3 is set for 8 p.m. MT, and the match will be broadcast live on the ESPN Networks and Galavision.

Three days later, the city of Chicago will host its first World Cup qualifier when the U.S. welcomes Honduras to Soldier Field (tickets). More than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the USA’s third home match of the final round, where the U.S. will face the team who delivered them their last home loss in World Cup qualifying, a 3-2 defeat on Sept. 1, 2001, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The match will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Fans can follow both matches live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

The U.S. is in first place in the final round hexagonal with an undefeated 2-0-1 record. Costa Rica sits one point behind, while Honduras holds the third position. The top three teams will automatically qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. “Clearly these next matches are very important in our efforts to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who is 9-1-1 overall in qualifying action. “Both teams have been very good throughout the qualifying process. We are certainly aware of the challenges of playing in Costa Rica, and Honduras has produced some great results, including two wins against Mexico. We are excited for the start of a very competitive summer for our team.”

The U.S. team will begin assembling on May 26 in Miami, and depart June 1 for San Jose. Several players will join camp following weekend club competition, including 2008 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Tim Howard, who will lead Everton against Chelsea in the FA Cup final on May 30 at Wembley Stadium, and DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, who can win the Scottish league title later today and will play in the Scottish FA Cup final against Falkirk next weekend. José Francicso Torres will arrive late if Pachuca reaches the finals of the Mexican league playoffs, and the MLS-based players will travel to Miami following their league matches this week.

The roster boasts nine players who have appeared in all three of the USA’s final round qualifiers, including seven who have started every game. Three players: Michael Bradley – the ussoccer.com Man of the Match after scoring a pair of goals in the 2-0 win against Mexico – DaMarcus Beasley and Heath Pearce are tied with nine starts during the 2010 qualifying campaign. Following his record-setting hat trick in the 3-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago on April 1 in Nashville – he is the youngest U.S. player ever to put in three goals in a game – Jozy Altidore now leads all U.S. attackers with five goals in this World Cup qualifying cycle.

Bradley, Brian Ching and Clint Dempsey all have four goals each. Dempsey is one game shy of his 50th appearance for the United States. Landon Donovan is the leading capwinner on the roster with 108 international appearances, the USA’s all-time leader in goals and assists is one goal shy of tying Brian McBride for the most career goals in World Cup qualifying (10). He recorded assists on all three of Altidore’s goals against Trinidad & Tobago, improving his career tally to 36 assists.

The U.S. defense has produced eight shutouts through 11 matches in this cycle. Tim Howard has presided over five clean sheets, while Brad Guzan has picked up the remaining three. Team captain Carlos Bocanegra has been an anchor in central defense alongside Oguchi Onyewu, who is playing Anderlecht on Sunday in the second leg of a playoff to determine the Belgian league champion.

Frankie Hejduk, a veteran of four World Cup qualifying cycles, has started all three final round matches at right back, providing a goal and an assist in the 2-2 away draw in El Salvador, marking the first time the U.S. has come from behind by two goals to earn a point on the road. In addition to the 24-man roster, two players have been invited to participate in their first camp with the full team: Aston Villa defender Erich Lichaj and Kaiserslautern goalkeeper Luis Robles.

Following the two qualifiers, the U.S. will depart June 8 for South Africa to begin preparations for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. The final 23-man roster for the event will be announced June 7 in Chicago. The United States has been drawn into a powerful Group B along with reigning world champions Italy, five-time World Cup winners Brazil, and reigning African Cup of Nations winners Egypt for the tournament, which will be played from June 14-28. The U.S. kicks off action against Italy on June 15 at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane/Pretoria, and then faces Brazil on June 18 in the same venue.

The United States finishes group play on June 21 against Egypt at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. The U.S., along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago, is competing in the 10-game round-robin format through Oct. 14, 2009, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 14/18 against the fifth-place finisher in South American qualifying.

ROSTER BY POSITION

GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 5/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton: 9/7 SO)

DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 19/2), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA: 1/0), Danny Califf (Midtjylland: 4/0), Jay DeMerit (Watford: 1/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 17/2), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 14/1), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 9/0), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United: 2/1), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC: 0/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Freddy Adu (Monaco: 5/1), DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers: 24/6), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach: 9/4), Maurice Edu (Rangers: 4/0), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus: 0/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 9/0), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids: 13/0), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca: 4/0).

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Xerez: 6/5), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 15/6), Charlie Davies (Hammarby: 1/1), Clint Dempsey (Fulham: 15/4), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 28/9)*numbers indicate all-time World Cup Qualifying caps/goals

Head Coach: Bob Bradley (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) All-time Record: 24-8-4 World Cup Qualifying: 9-1-1

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U.S. UNDER-20 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM DRAWS HONDURAS 0-0 TO STAY ON TOP OF GROUP A AT CONCACAF U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP

March 9, 2009

BACOLET, Tobago (March 8, 2009) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team played to a scoreless draw against Honduras in Group A action on Sunday night at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago.

The draw keeps the U.S. atop of the group with four points. Jamaica, after a 2-1 win against El Salvador, has three points, Honduras has two points and El Salvador has one. All four teams are still in the running to advance to both the semifinals of the tournament and the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

The U.S. controls its own fate and can secure advancement as one of the top two teams in the group with a win or tie against El Salvador on Tuesday, March 10. Kickoff for the USA’s final group match is 7 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET). Before the U.S. kicks off, Jamaica and Honduras will play their final group game and the match could have major implications for the Americans. If those two teams tie, the U.S. would also be able to advance with a loss to El Salvador.

“As we had anticipated, the game against Honduras was very tough,” said U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen. “We are happy that we were able to put ourselves in a good position to determine our own fate heading into our last game against El Salvador.”Honduras kept the U.S. under pressure throughout the game and in just the fifth minute, Roger Rojas nearly gave the Central Americans the lead. Mario Martinez, who was dangerous on the left wing throughout the game, hit a low driven ball across the goal mouth. Rojas got a foot to it but ussoccer.com Man of the Match Brian Perk made a great reaction save, the first of many for him on the night, to keep the game scoreless.

The U.S. was able to regroup during a break in play in the 35th minute when the stadium lights went out, leaving the venue completely dark. Following the 10-minute delay, the U.S. came out firing, creating some of their best opportunities of the night. Sheanon Williams created three dangerous opportunities with his long throw-ins, but Honduras did well to defend in their own goal area to clear them away. Brek Shea earned a U.S. free kick in the 36th minute, setting Dilly Duka up from about 25 yards, but Duka’s shot missed the target.

Continuing the pressure, Peri Marosevic set up Jared Jeffrey by holding the ball up and laying it off to the midfielder about 20 yards from goal. Jeffrey smacked a one-timer that went high over the net, leaving the game scoreless heading into the half. Similar to the start of the game, Honduras came out of the locker room firing. This time it was Erick Salvador Andino who ripped a shot from long range that forced Perk into a one handed save as he was able to tip the ball over the crossbar. Honduras would finish the game with 11 corner kicks. In the 60th minute, midfielder Billy Schuler, who had entered the game just minutes earlier, was issued a straight red card for a tackle against Jose Israel Fonseca, forcing the U.S. to play a man down for the remainder of the game.

Despite being down a man, second-half substitute Brian Ownby was able to spark the U.S. attack with his speed down the right wing. In the 70th minute, he dribbled through a pair of Honduras defenders and played the ball across the goal looking for Shea, but it was just out of reach. Honduras had an opportunity to take a late lead when Jose Francisco Valladares surprised the U.S. defense by hitting a shot from long range that just missed the far post. In stoppage time, a pair of corner kicks were cleared out by the U.S. defense just seconds before the final whistle ended the game scoreless.

The match was the eighth meeting at the U-20 level between the USA and Honduras in CONCACAF qualifying. Honduras has won half of the encounters, while the United States has been victorious just once.The U.S. will be looking to secure a berth in a record seventh-straight FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The 2009 edition of that tournament will be held from Sept. 24-Oct.16 in Egypt.

The U.S. has also clinched the top place in Group A and will advance to the semifinals on March 13 at Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad, against a Group B opponent to be determined. Group B consists of Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. The third-place game and final will be held on Sunday, March 15. With 11 FIFA U-20 World Cup appearances, the U.S. has qualified more than any other CONCACAF nation, but has never won the regional crown. In 2005 and 2007, when CONCACAF qualifying was held as two groups at two separate venues, the U.S. has won their group. In the previous three editions in 1999, 2001 and 2003, the U.S. qualified for the World Cup as the second-place finisher in their respective group.

Lineups:

USA: 24-Brian Perk; 4-Sheanon Williams, 22-Gale Agbossoumonde, 2-Kyle Davies (capt.), 3-Anthony Wallace; 8-Jared Jeffrey, 10-Dilly Duka, 12-Bryan Arguez (16-Billy Schuler, 53); 7-Danny Cruz (15-Brian Ownby, 58), 9-Peri Marosevic, 23-Brek Shea Subs not used: 5-Aaron Maund, 6-Amobi Okugo, 11-Jorge Flores, 13-Tony Taylor, 18-Josh Lambo Subs not available: 1-Sean Johnson, 14-Sam Garza Head coach: Thomas Rongen

HON: 1-Francisco Javier Reyes; 3-Angel Gabriel Castro, 4-Wilmer Crisanto Casildo, 5-Jose Israel Fonseca, 7-Mario Roberto Martinez, 8-Reinieri Joel Mayorquin (capt.), 10-Erick Salvador Andino, 11-Roger Fabricio Rojas (19-Jose Francisco Valladares, 83), 13-Ronald Edgardo Martinez (6-Esdras Isai Padilla, 54), 16-Johnny Harold Leveron, 20-Alfredo Antonio Mejia Subs not used: 2-Porfirio Andres Boquin, 12-Jose Alberto Mendoza, 14-Cristhian Josue Altamirano, 17-Erick Ernesto Zepeda, 18-Julio de Jesus Ocampo, Subs not available: 9-Julio Ernesto Canales, 15-Antony Ruben Lozano Head Coach: Eugenio Emilio Umanzor

Next Stage of US World Cup Qualifying Starts Feb. 11th Against Mexico

November 22, 2008

Courtesy of US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Nov. 22, 2008) — The United States will continue its bid to qualify for its sixth consecutive World Cup finals on Feb. 11 against Mexico at home. The final round draw for 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying was announced this morning from Johannesburg, South Africa.

The U.S., along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago, will compete in the 10-game round-robin format from Feb. 11-Oct. 14, 2009, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 14 and Nov. 18 against the fifth-place finisher in South American qualifying.

Drawn as Team 6 in the Final Round format, the U.S. faces a tricky road to South Africa as they open up against their biggest rival in the region at home and never has any consecutive home dates. The U.S. plays a fairly balanced schedule, bouncing between home and away matches, only to have back-to-back away games late in the qualifying stretch for Matches 8 and 9. Venues for the USA’s five home matches will be announced as they are finalized.

All of the match dates for Final Round qualifying are scheduled to take place on dates set aside for international play on the FIFA Coordinated Calendar for 2009. [Opponent Capsules]

After playing Mexico, the U.S. kicks off their away schedule of the qualifying campaign against El Salvador on March 28, and then returns home on April 1 to face Trinidad & Tobago. The halfway point for the Hexagonal arrives in June, with the U.S. facing Costa Rica away on June 3 and then returning to the U.S. to host Honduras on June 6, which will complete the first half of the Final Round. The Costa Rica match was moved from June 10 to June 3 to accomodate the USA’s participation in the Confederations Cup.

The second stand-alone date of the Final Round falls on Aug. 12 with the U.S. traveling to the unfriendly confines of Mexico. The U.S. will have two straight double dates, starting with hosting El Salvador on Sept. 5 before heading to Trinidad & Tobago on Sept. 9. The three teams that will automatically advance to the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be decided on the final double date, which begins for the United States on Oct. 10 away to Honduras. The U.S. concludes the final round on Oct. 14 at home against Costa Rica.

The United States has qualified for five consecutive World Cup finals, amassing a lifetime record of 53-31-28 in World Cup qualifying play. With a record of 34-6-11 on U.S. soil, the team has lost only one home qualifier since 1985.

The U.S. advanced to the final round hexagonal as winners of Group 1, going 5-1-0 in the semifinal phase. The United States captured their first-ever road qualifying win in Guatemala, then defeated Cuba in the team’s first visit to the island nation since 1947. At home the U.S. continued to dominate, collecting a convincing 3-0 shutout victory against Trinidad & Tobago and a 6-1 win against Cuba that saw the U.S. qualified before the round’s conclusion. Dating back to the start of the second round, the U.S. won six consecutive qualifiers, setting the record for most consecutive games won in one cycle (set during qualifying for Germany 2006). The U.S. also posted three straight road victories in qualifying for the first time ever.

The U.S. and Costa Rica are nearly evenly split throughout the series history, each team maintaining dominance on home soil. The U.S. has never won a qualifying match in Costa Rica, going 0-6-1 lifetime. The teams met in the final round of 2006 World Cup qualifying, with the U.S. turning in one of their finest performances of the stage in the 3-0 win on June 4, 2005, in front of a raucous crowd in Salt Lake. With the U.S. already through to Germany, the Ticos returned the favor by earning a matching 3-0 scoreline on the return leg in San Jose on Oct. 8 at Estadio Saprissa. Costa Rica breezed through to the Final Round as the only team in CONCACAF that remains undefeated in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Ticos manhandled Group 3 that included El Salvador, Haiti, and Suriname, pumping in 20 goals while surrendering only three.

The U.S. has dominated the series against El Salvador, with only a single blemish on the 13-1-4 lifetime record. The U.S. has been particularly imposing in World Cup Qualifying, posting an unbeaten 4-0-2 record. The teams last squared off in the semifinal phase of qualifying for Germany, the U.S. collecting a pair of 2-0 wins in Foxboro and San Salvador. El Salvador has been in it since the first round, pounding Anguilla by an aggregate score of 16-0 before getting past Panama in the second phase in a series that included an impressive 1-0 win in Panama City. Drawn with Costa Rica, Suriname and Haiti, the Salvadorans comfortably took second place in Group 3 while posting a 3-1-2 record.

The U.S. and Honduras have one of the more unusual histories between CONCACAF teams in qualifying. While they have played only four times, three of those matches took place in Honduras. The teams met in the final round of qualifying for Korea/Japan, the U.S. pulling off a 2-1 a win in San Pedro Sula on the strength of goals by Clint Mathis and Earnie Stewart. Then on Sept. 1, 2001, in Washington, D.C., a quick goal by Stewart looked promising for the U.S., but Honduras stormed back to a 3-2 win to hand the U.S. their last home loss in World Cup qualifying to date. Coincidentally, it was the Honduras home loss to Trinidad & Tobago coupled with the U.S. win against Jamaica on Oct. 7, 2001, that guaranteed the USA’s ticket to Korea.

Honduras had one of the hardest mountains to climb in qualifying and can proudly claim they reached the summit. The Catrachos were drawn into the most difficult of groups along with Mexico, Jamaica and Canada. After narrowly losing out away to Mexico in the opening game, Honduras reeled off three straight wins before falling to Jamaica in Kingston, setting up the dramatic final day. Needing a win to guarantee their place in the final round, the Hondurans pulled off a 1-0 shutout to vault past Mexico and claim first place in the group.

While Mexico holds a major lead in the all-time qualifying series, the U.S. has most certainly pulled even in the modern era. The United States has not lost at home to Mexico in a World Cup qualifier since 1972, and played two of their most memorable games in the previous two hexagonals. In the ‘Guerra Fria’ in Columbus on Feb. 28, 2001, goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart lifted the U.S. to a 2-0 victory, a result that would be repeated a few times over. On Sept. 3, 2005, it was Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley’s turn to tally as another 2-0 victory booked the USA’s ticket to Germany. It’s been another story in Mexico, where the United States has never won (0-12-1), the lone draw coming Nov. 2, 1997, in Mexico City.

Playing their first three games of the Semifinal Round at home after hurricane damage forced Jamaica to switch their schedule, Mexico quickly grabbed nine points. After a loss to Jamaica away, the Mexicans were twice forced to come from behind to earn a point against already-eliminated Canada, setting up an intriguing final match day. They were leading the group on points, but a slip in Honduras combined with a big Jamaica victory could have seen them eliminated from competition. An own goal sank their efforts in the 1-0 loss in Honduras, and Jamaica nearly pulled off the miracle when they won 3-0 against Canada. Tied on points, it was Mexico who inched through to the final round on goal differential.

The U.S. holds a 14-2-3 lifetime record against Trinidad & Tobago, with the series dating back to 1982. The U.S. can also claim 10 shutouts against the Soca Warriors, with six of those coming on home turf. It has been more than 12 years since Trinidad & Tobago have scored during their travels to the U.S., with the last goal coming during a 3-2 loss in 1996 in Anaheim, Calif. The U.S. has owned the series in World Cup qualifying (9-1-2), although T&T will be buoyed by the 2-1 win on Oct. 15 in Port-of-Spain, their first-ever in qualifying against the United States. The teams met in the 2006 edition of final round qualifying; in fact, they met on the opening day of the group. Goals by Eddie Johnson and Eddie Lewis gave the U.S. a nice three points on the road to start the hexagonal, and then Brian McBride did the business in the 1-0 win on Aug. 17, 2005, in East Hartford.

Seeming to be battling Guatemala from the get-go for the second spot in the semifinal group, the teams shared the spoils by each earning a draw on the world. T&T capitalized on the penultimate matchday of the round, defeating the U.S. for the first time in World Cup qualifying history while Guatemala disastrously lost at Cuba. Already in the driver’s seat, the Soca Warriors ended all doubt by winning handily at home against the Cubans to move on to the final round.

The U.S. reached the Semifinal Round of qualifying after defeating Barbados by an aggregate score of 9-0 in the second round. The U.S. easily handled the visitors 9-0 on June 13 in Carson, Calif., the eight-goal win earning the record as the largest margin of victory ever in U.S. Men’s National Team history. The U.S. than fought through a rain-soaked field to win 1-0 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, six days later.

Following is the complete Final Round schedule:

CONCACAF Final Round of 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule
Date Opponent Home / Away (Venue TBD)
Feb. 11 Mexico Home
March 28 El Salvador Away
April 1 Trinidad & Tobago Home
June 3 Costa Rica Away
June 6 Honduras Home
Aug. 12 Mexico Away
Sep. 5 El Salvador Home
Sep. 9 Trinidad & Tobago Away
Oct. 10 Honduras Away
Oct. 14 Costa Rica Home

Suazo Linked To Roma

August 3, 2008

David Suazo, arguably the most dangerous striker in CONCACAF, has been linked to AS Roma. The Honduran’s agent, Giovanni Branchini, mentioned yesterday that a move from Inter to Roma was “possible.”

New Inter boss Jose Mourinho is in the middle of a house cleaning in which he has his eyes on a few of his old Chelsea players, but the club must unload some talent to make room for any new signings. At the same time, injuries to several key defensive players also has the nerazzurri looking for a stop-gap option in central defense.

Suazo, who scored 95 goals in eight seasons at Cagliari, has seen limited playing time since coming to Inter in 2007, scoring only 8 last season in 27 mostly substitute appearances. Meanwhile, Roma are in the market for a striker and reports out of the Eternal City indicate Luciano Spalletti has his eyes on Suazo.

Suazo reportedly prefers to stay at Inter but if the “Special One” puts him on the auction block, he could do worse than a stint at Stadio Olimpico.
UPDATE: As of Monday morning, La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that Bologna is also interested in acquiring Suazo.