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Two draws for Honduras and two draws for the US men’s national team.
It hasn’t been an exciting start to Concacaf’s final round of World Cup qualifying for either squad and on Wednesday, we’ll see if their team will be able to earn their first win of the Octagonal.
Looking at the United States, fear is beginning to creep in for fans.
After failing to qualify for the previous World Cup, a sudden lack of wins has brought immediate (but early) worries this month.
As for Honduras, two points earned away aren’t exactly sending warning signs across their fanbase just yet, but they will feel slightly disappointed about the recent 0-0 draw with El Salvador.
There will be pressure for the USMNT to push for a win, but like many other teams in the region, Honduras shouldn’t be taken lightly.
They haven’t gone through a defeat just yet in World Cup qualifying, but there’s no doubt that the summer provided the USMNT with high expectations that they haven’t reached this month.
Following a Concacaf Nations League title and a 2021 Gold Cup trophy, the sky appeared to be the limit for the young but promising American roster.
Qualifying for the next World Cup was not only just a given for many but also a potential platform that could continue to elevate the next generation of USMNT players.
And yet, after two matchdays in World Cup qualifying, they find themselves with two draws and no wins.
There’s enough individual talent to eventually claim that first victory that could turn things around, but nonetheless, it might not arrive on Wednesday.
Up against Honduras, the United States will face a team that isn’t too far behind other giants in the Concacaf region.
Depleted by positive Covid-19 cases and numerous injuries, Honduras went through the latest Gold Cup tournament with a depleted roster.
Far from their best, they were still able to qualify for the quarterfinal stage of the competition.
Things are different now for Honduras, and with plenty of star players and crucial playmakers now fully healthy, they should be able to legitimacy push for a potential spot in the next World Cup.
Striker Anthony “Choco” Lozano is back in the mix, Romell Quioto is fully healthy, and long-time defender Maynor Figueroa also appears to be 100% fit.
Unlike during the Gold Cup, if players like these are back to full fitness, then Honduras will undeniably be a dark horse against teams like the United States in the near future.
There’s much to like about the USMNT.
With a growing list of budding stars emerging from their structure, there’s an immense amount of buzz and commotion about what they could all eventually accomplish.
That said, this inexperience comes at a cost as well.
Away from their usual comforts at club level, many of these young names haven’t gone through the trials that World Cup qualifying provides.
Hostile crowds, long travel and unfamiliar pitches have always been puzzles that clearly continue to bewilder the USMNT in 2021.
And when you consider that the average of their starters in World Cup qualifying has been around 24, it might take some time before they truly pick up lessons from this crash course.
In their last 15 World Cup qualifiers at home, Honduras have only earned two defeats — one to Mexico in 2015 and another to Panama in 2016.
Honduras don’t tend to have many problems at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, and in the last two meetings with the USMNT at the venue, they’ve been undefeated with one win and one draw.
This is the norm for them in recent years, and with the United States going through some growing pains, it seems unlikely that Honduras will falter on Wednesday.
|Honduras vs United States Information|
|Teams||Honduras vs United States|
|Location||Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano (San Pedro Sula, Honduras)|
|Time||Wednesday, September 8th at 7:30pm PT/10:30pm ET|
|How to Watch||Paramount+|
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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