By DAN KARELL
Fans of Major League Soccer clubs will have plenty of players to follow at this summer’s World Cup on nations other than the U.S. Men’s National Team.
At an event in Honduras on Monday morning, Honduras National Team head coach Luis Fernando Suarez named his 23-man roster to head to Brazil. The squad includes four players currently in MLS – Oscar Boniek Garcia, Victor Bernardez, Marvin Chavez, and Jerry Bengtson – and three former standouts, Andy Najar, Mario Martinez, and Roger Espinoza.
Leading the squad is veteran goalkeeper Noel Valladares, defender Maynor Figueroa, Boniek Garcia in midfield, and the bulky forward Carlo Costly up top.
Suarez did make some surprising decisions, leaving out forward Georgie Welcome and defenders Johnny Leveron and Erick Norales from the squad. Welcome played with Honduras at the last World Cup while both Leveron and Norales have more than 20 caps each for Los Catrachos in their careers.
According to reports in Honduras, the domestic national team players will convene in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on May 12, with the rest of the squad joining on May 20. Honduras has the first of three World Cup preparation games taking place in the U.S. on May 29, where they’ll face Turkey in Washington D.C.
Next Los Catrachos will take on Israel in Houston on June 1, before finishing on June 7 with a friendly match against fellow World Cup participant England in Miami.
Honduras are in Group E with Ecuador, France, and Switzerland. Honduras’ first game is against France on June 15 in Porto Alegre. On June 20, Honduras face Ecuador in Curitiba and on June 25 Honduras take on Switzerland in Manaus.
Here is the Honduras World Cup squad:
GOALKEEPERS: Noel Valladares, Olimpia; Donis Escober, Olimpia; Luis López, Real España.
DEFENDERS: Arnold Peralta, Rangers (Scotland); Maynor Figueroa, Hull City (England); Víctor “Muma” Bernárdez, San José Earthquakes (USA); Emilio Izaguirre, Celtic (Scotland); Osman Chávez, Qingdao Jonoon (China); Juan Carlos García, Wigan (England); Bryan Beckeles, Olimpia; Juan Pablo Montes, Motagua.
MIDFIELDERS: Wilson Palacios, Stoke City (England); Jorge Claros, Motagua; Luis Garrido, Olimpia; Roger Espinoza, Wigan (England); Boniek García, Houston Dynamo (USA); Andy Nájar, Anderlecht (Belgium); Marvin Chávez, Colorado Rapids (USA); Mario Martínez, Real España.
FORWARDS: Carlo Costly, Real España; Jerry Bengtson, New England Revolution (USA); Jerry Palacios, Alajuelense (Costa Rica); Rony Martínez, Real Sociedad.
What do you think of this squad? Glad to see MLS represented on other nation’s World Cup squads? Do you plan to watch Honduras at the World Cup? Think they can qualify for the knockout stages?
Share your thoughts below.