World Cup 2010

Reports: USA to face Honduras in January friendly

USA Crest HondurasCrest

If you are wondering who the U.S. men's national team will be lining up for friendlies in 2010, it appears the first of those opponents has been lined up, while another potential opponent has surfaced.

According to reports out of Honduras, the U.S. men's national team will face fellow World Cup participant Honduras on Sunday, January 24 at Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

The meeting would be the first for the sides since the Americans posted a 3-2 victory in San Pedro Sula on Oct. 10 to clinch their World Cup place. That win by the Americans was their fourth of 2009 in four meetings between the teams this year.

The Americans are also reportedly trying to finalize a friendly with Northern Ireland, with the match potentially being played in March or May.

Before you get too upset about the Americans not lining up a tougher, or less familiar opponent, it should be noted that the date in question is not a FIFA fixture date, which means European-based players do not need to be released by their clubs, making the list of potential opponents a much smaller one.

This particular friendly will likely be used to test out MLS and Scandinavian-based Americans. Some of those players will be fringe players trying to move their way up the depth chart. Honduras will also likely field a mostly domestic squad of candidates fighting for their own places on the Honduran World Cup team.

With neither team expected to have its European-based players (at least players from leagues in season), the friendly is more likely to resemble one of the two Gold Cup matches the teams played last July. The United States defeated Honduras twice during the Gold Cup fielding a team made up mainly of MLS players, while Honduras also fielded a team made up mainly of domestic players.

The U.S. team's first chance to field its full squad and take on a full-strength opponent will come on March 3rd, 2010, which currently stands as the lone FIFA fixture date on the calendar. A friendly against the Netherlands has been rumored (and has been listed on FIFA's website for months), and was expected to be finalized this month, but has yet to be announced officially. As for Honduras, the 'Catrachos' are considering March friendlies vs. Turkey or Greece, while a match against England might materialize in May if the English can't land a Mexico friendly.

A potential Northern Ireland match is an interesting proposition because while it fulfills a desire to face another team from the UK, and a team with a somewhat similar style to England, Northern Ireland also faced Slovenia, a USA World Cup opponent, in World Cup qualifying. Northern Ireland defeated Slovenia, 1-0, in a qualifier in Belfast on April 1.

Those not familiar with Northern Ireland should note that the team has a solid squad that would provide a tough test, with players including Johnny Evans (Manchester United), Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) as well as Fulham teammate Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird.

What is the SBI take? Considering the limitations and lack of a FIFA fixture date in January or February, Honduras is more than a good enough opponent to give Bob Bradley a good look at some players looking to play their way onto the team. The Netherlands friendly would be Bradley's last chance to field a first-choice squad before picking his 23-man roster, and would also likely be his first chance to get a look at German-born midfielder Jermaine Jones, who is now eligible to play for the United States and who is on the comeback trail from knee surgery.

What do you think of this news? Looking forward to seeing which players are called into the U.S. team's January camp? Who will you be hoping gets a start vs. Honduras? Praying the USA-Netherlands friendly comes to fruition?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Jacopo Belbo

    so where should landycakes go? i am trying to decide what EPL team(s) would be a good fit for him, balancing quality of the side/club with the assurity of a regular Dempsey-esque starting role? Any ideas?

    Hull – Injury to Bullard? Team with Jozy? Kinda suck?

    Everton – Timmy? Great club/coaching? Too much midfield talent?

    Blackburn – Good club history? Definite starter/star?

    Birmingham – Good sized club? Probable starter?

    Sunderland – Great club size/history? Final piece to their puzzle? Regular starter?

    What do you guys think?


  • Tony in Quakeland

    There is a rumor that England will play Mexico in a pre-cup warm up. The ideal scenario will be for England to whip Mexico soundly, thus furthering their over confidence about playing the US “minnows”


  • Mike Gent

    Bob Bradley was a guest Sunday on BBC Radio 5 Live Sportsweek program. He said in addition to Holland in March USA was trying to line up friendlies with Czech Rep & Australia (likely in May). You can listen to interview on website.


  • Ken

    Hull would love to have LD in their team. If he can keep them up this season they will no doubt sign him. As for Everton they do have a lot of midfield in Pienaar and Arteta but those 2 are so prone to injury. If LD goes there he might get injure too. *cross fingers*


  • ahm

    unlikely that the EPL is the best fit. he’s mentioned that the bundesliga is officially out as a destination for him and that he was keen on playing in spain. said he speaks spanish (a factor that can’t be ignored considering it was one of the main factors gooch’s trouble getting time in milan and same with huntelaar which the president even listed as a problem for him) and he felt the open style of play would be a good fit for his skills. like you said he may have trouble starting for a team like everton but i doubt hed want to be a starter for a side like hull only to play bunker-ball in half their games. my bet’s on la liga but i couldn’t give a solid guess on where. ives earlier mentioned he’d like to see donovan at sevilla (i think you said this ives but i’m sure i’m taking it out of some context so please correct me). either way i’m excited to see where he ends up cause i honestly think he’s gonna kill it this time around


  • Bradleyis666

    This is a World Cup year so it ain’t a “Typical January friendly”. As Ives said,, “European-based players won’t be available for any January friendlies”.

    Given that the Euro based guys make up the spine of the first team this game may be the only chance for fringe guys, who may have a shot at “injury alternate” status to impress. After January, there will be only three months before May when the rosters have to be handed in. Therefore, evey game, even this glorified scrimmage, is a valuable excercise.


  • roysterer

    Well, I think it’s a fantastic idea. Honduras will give the US a challenge (even if it is the US B team vs the Honduras B team), and they’ll take it seriously because they’re gearing up for the World Cup too. Plus they aren’t likely to play dirty since they don’t want to lose anyone either and it would be totally classless after the US got them into the World Cup.


  • Rob

    Since the January game is basically a scrimage without any european players available, why not have the MLS all stars play the MLS National League team.


  • AmericanFootball

    Hope we win. Nothing worse than losing to Honduras in the Worlds eyes, no matter whose playing


  • Fred

    hopefully it will give Bradley some new info. but for the fan it will likely be a dull money burn. If you are looking for So. Cal soccer in Jan. the Interliga will be far more exciting with two games for the price of one.


  • bryan

    eh, i guess this okay. don’t really have a choice. not that many options.

    that dutch friendly better happen. and im totally pulling for the Mexico/England friendly!


  • ddub

    being a walking turnover never stopped Michael Bradley or most of the U.S. National team from getting call ups. But i’d rather have Jeff Cunningham.

    Cunningham was given one recent start, no service, and scored a cracker. Can’t do more then that.


  • ddub

    i think you have to understand that in the world of football you’re not going to prove your good enough in MLS. And football is litter with bust buys of players based largely on a 4 or 5 good performances in a world cup. he’s unproven at the highest level. He had a good confed cup but that’s not nearly the same as having a good 5 or 6 years of 70 games a year at a top club and champions league.

    The english are surely arrogant isolated knowit all pricks that don’t watch much more then their own. If Landon ever can he’ll get recognition but not before. That said if he goes up against beckham head to head he’ll embarass golden fraud.

    But Landon Donovan last really good world cup game was 7 years ago. Like it or not you prove you’re good in the top leagues in Europe. Dempsey has done it. Donovan so far has tried and failed.


  • ddub

    and it does not matter to the world what he does in MLS because MLS is not a respected league. People just need to deal with it. Cristiano Ronaldo was nothing until he got to a big league and a big club. Had Cristiano Ronaldo been playing in, oh, Honduras nobody would care.


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