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USMNT vs. Honduras: The Pregame Tailgate

Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

Following a holiday weekend filled with criticism and World Cup doubt, the U.S. Men’s National Team returns to action on Tuesday for a vital World Cup qualifier.

Tuesday’s match in Honduras will be a big one for the USMNT, who enter the day in third place but on relatively shaky ground. A win will ease a lot of the doubt that comes from a 2-0 loss to Costa Rica while putting the USMNT back on track. A loss? Well, that makes the qualifying process much more complicated.

SBI will be providing commentary on the match tonight, so please feel free to join us as we discuss tonight’s World Cup qualifier a bit closer to kickoff.

In the meantime, catch up on all of the week’s news heading into kickoff and feel free to offer some pregame predictions, comments and analysis in the comment section below:

SBI takes a look at who the USMNT should start on Tuesday. (READ)

The USMNT is prepared for all of the challenges that come with visiting Honduras for a vital World Cup qualifier. (READ)

Bruce Arena hinted that MLS players could feature prominently due to the heat in Honduras. (READ)

Christian Pulisic’s best position is up for debate heading into Tuesday’s match. (READ)

Replacing Jozy Altidore will be a tough task for the USMNT. (READ)

SBI takes a look at what to watch for when the USMNT faces Honduras. (READ)


  1. If ever there was a game that needed a big response. A win and we significantly increase our odds to qualify (without playoff). A loss would devastate our odds to qualify. A draw would be slightly better than a push given our positive GD but still in danger.

    Thing is, we know Bruce prefers a 442 and we know he prefers to largely bypass the midfield using long balls over the top or out wide. This is BA football. Question is will he change these tactics against Honduras and do something he’s not accustomed to doing in such a critical game?

    Not sure either choice is best. Wholesale tactical changes seems to confuse our players whether it was under JK or BA. Stay the same and we run the chance of being figured out again and get little creativity, linking or overlapping as happened last game which only created 2 shots on goal all match.

    My opinion is that the 442 diamond can be a good formation if you have a strong CDM who can not only defend and shield the CBs but receive the ball and turn up field looking to distribute to an attacking line player. Bradley hasn’t been quick enough at turning up field and making the touches to get around pressure at the international level in a year or two IMO. The CDM is crucial in a 442 diamond and we don’t have it. Every time we try to trot it out even against the Concacaf minnows of the GC we get outnumbered in midfiled effectively taking the middle of the pitch away from us to move the ball through effectively and link with the AM and FWs which leads to us resorting to over the top balls or only using the wings but we haven’t been overlapping well so forget that.

    Therefore, I think we need to go back to the 4231, a 433, or even a 352 like we saw in Azteca to better fit the players we have in the pool. This unfortunately means some regulars might not always be starters though and that seems to be the problem.

    I think since his first camp BA has gotten the preferred formation wrong for our talent and he’s too wedded to it. Hopefully he changes but again our players seem to get confused by tactical/formation changes.

    On another note and flame me all you want but I was and still am a JK supporter. He might of not gotten everything right but his results from the last WC and the Copa spoke for themselves. He had a vision for US soccer that we saw glimpses of such as wins in Germany, Mexico, Italy, advancing out of that WC group, Copa semis, Linking and passing and shots created all were better and against better competition. Before this last CR match I was really wondering if Bradley and others just quit on him in the first two qualifiers which would of look awful for the players to quit during a Mexico and CR qualifier, but after Friday it seems they are what the are.

    I’d still like to keep JK in the US Soccer system somehow but it seems he was run off for being to German which is silly, he and his family are more American now than German really. Would really love to see JK in more of a Technical Director role in tuture which suits his visionary skills and allows him to use his connections with clubs in Europe to help players with moves, and he’s shown a knack for identifying talents too.

  2. Other than getting a result, which is the only thing that matters today, this team needs to find its identity. There seems to be no leader, no toughness, and no willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of the team. All of those were traits that made us the hard to beat team we used to be. We need to pick a team and a formation, and start to gel and become more than the sum of our parts. There has been way too much experimentation, both in lineup and in player pool. I do not care who is the best forward or defender, but who works best with what we want to do as a team? We have seen all qualifying round that lesser talent can be greater teams if the commitment is there. Somehow our team is almost always less than its parts. That comes down to passion, heart, desire, and sacrifice. Rant over, lets go USA!

    • Toughness- especially in the midfield? Jermaine Jones- we miss you. And replacing Jozy Altidore is not a tough task- he was useless against CR. Rather see Morris and Wood and keep Dempsey as the supersub- he’s too slow on the ball and holds on too long when we already have Nagbe/Pulisic on the field.


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