Friday, October 9, 2009

USA-Honduras Preview

The United States findes itself in great position to officialy book a trip to South Africa for next summer's World Cup, but it will have a tough road this weekend if it hopes to achieve its goal.

That tough road begins tomorrow night in San Pedro Sula, as it faces off against Honduras in Estadio Olimpico. The United States currently leads the CONCACAF Hexagonal standings with a one-point advangate over Mexico. Honduras occupies the third and final automatic qualifying spot in the standings and is also three points back of the United States. Honduras needs a two-goal win on Saturday to shift the tiebreaker advantage against the US in its favor.

The USA's struggles on the road in the Hexagonal stage of World Cup Qualifying has been well documented. The USA had to struggle to come away with three points on the road against last-place Trinidad and Tobago on September 9. Ricardo Clark's strike in the 61st minute was the difference in the match as the US survived a sharp Trinidad and Tobago squad to take the full three points.

Prior to that, the US had to scrap to split points with El Salvador back in March, was thoroughly dominated against Costa Rica at Saprissa Stadium back in June and lost a nailbiter against Mexico at Azteca Stadium back in August.

To make things even tougher for the US, midfielder Clint Dempsey is unavailable for Saturday's match after he sustained an sprained shoulder while playing for Fulham last weekend. His availability for the US' final match of the Hexagonal state against Costa Rica on Wednesday is up in the air.

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