US Soccer faces off against Honduras on Saturday to take a berth in the 2010 World Cup. The US squad only needs one more win and they’re in and from the looks of it this won’t be the easiest match they’ve ever played.
The constant threat of political unrest in Honduras has put a big green cloud over this match in a place where the Hondurans haven’t lost during this qualifying tournament. I know people think the absence of Clint Dempsey and a swell of national pride in Honduras is enough to beat the Americans, but I’m not buying it.
Clint Dempsey is a MAN amongst boys when he’s on the field, but his absence alone will not kill the US. Nope, his absence coupled with the absence in mind and spirit of Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore will kill this US squad.
Landon Donovan is the legacy on the US Team. Landon Donovan is the old guard that protects the drawbridge and the moat. If he’s still in the line-up and present emotionally the US will have some fight in them. If Landon doesn’t show up emotionally, then the US will see the ball in their end more than they’re used to. It’s that simple.
Jozy Altidore is the fire. You know, the cavalry, the infantry, he’s the runner. If Jozy is firing on all cylinders and he’s all over the place can anyone explain to me how the Hondurans expect to defense him? Anybody? No takers? I thought so. IF Jozy is on it the U.S. will have a strong drawbridge and a strong cavalry…that’s more than enough to defeat the Hondurans.
“Well, what about Honduras’ national pride?” Listen, I know every other country in the world expects EVERYTHING from their National Soccer team, but in a country that could crumble at any minute do you really think a swell of national pride is enough to vault players over a U.S. Team filled with guys who know their house is going to be standing tomorrow? We don’t wonder if rioters are going to loot our house if they get mad at the government tonight. The unfortunate reality in Honduras is that the players on this team ARE dealing with that stuff and you can’t blame any of them for NOT being in the mental condition to play a very serious Soccer match.
I wish the Hondurans all the best…I hope they and their families are safe, but they have no chance. Mentally, this is just too much (and all it takes is one goal from the two headliners…)
U.S. – 2 Honduras – 0