Soccer

World Cup Team Profile - Honduras

Group: E

Confederation: CONCACAF

Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez

Captain: Noel Valladares (Olimpia)

Full Honduras Roster

The Road to Rio: A big part of Honduras’ qualification strategy rests on Estadio Olimpico being one of the most hostile soccer environments in the world. They limped through third-round qualifying, but held the hammer, finishing up with a home date against Canada.

Most Canadian soccer fans remember what happened next, since it was ugly. An 8-1 thrashing sent Honduras to The Hex and ended Canada’s dreams of Rio two years before the World Cup even kicked off.

Honduras wasn’t great from there on, but they were good enough. They racked up just one road win (at the Azteca, no less!) but were also undefeated at home, racking up a perfectly average 15 points out of 30. Ordinarily that might have been cause for concern, but Mexico’s struggles gifted Honduras the third automatic berth and sent them to their second straight World Cup.

Last World Cup appearance: South Africa 2010 (Group Stage)
First World Cup appearance: Spain 1982 (Group Stage)
Previous World Cup appearances: 2
Best World Cup finish: Group Stage (2 – Spain 1982, South Africa 2010)

Ask any Canadian fan what he knows about Los Catrachos and it will likely be that they handed Canada its worst defeat in 20 years during World Cup qualifying.

That was an abherration, though, and Honduras might have wanted to bank a few of those goals for a rainy day because, heading into Brazil, the biggest question mark surrounding Los Catrachos is whether or not they can do what they couldn't do in 2010 and that's score at the World Cup. This will be Honduras's third trip to the World Cup and they have yet to win a game. Drawn into a different group, the chances to break that duck in Brazil might have been greater, as they will be hard pressed to do so in Group E.

This team is certainly not without its quality, though. Primarily employed as a full-back in the BPL, Hull City's Maynor Figueroa, who will be paired with San Jose Earthquakes' Victor Bernardez, has been a stalwart centre-back for the national team. Left-back Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) has pace to burn and could be the team's main offensive threat. Emergin striker Carlo Costly (Real Espana), a favourite of Suarez's, could have something to say about that, though. If Wilson Palacios (Stoke City) can sort out his fitness and rebound from a lacking of playing time during his club campaign, Suarez will have another dependable option in the centre of midfield alongside Olimpia's Luis Garrido and behind winger Roger Espinoza (Wigan).

Still, Los Catrachos could simply be in over their heads against the attack of France and bullish midfield of Switzerland.

It was an accomplishment for Honduras to make a second-straight World Cup and a testament to the national set-up's hard work, but this is perhaps the apex of what they're able to achieve. A more realistic goal in Brazil than qualifying for the Round of 16 might just be to avoid embarrassment.



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