Honduras poses for a team photo prior to its September 6, 2013, World Cup qualifier at Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – With the fate of a berth at next year’s World Cup finals in its own hands, Honduras has called in 25 players to prepare for the last two CONCACAF Hexagonal matchdays.
Head coach Luis Fernandez Suarez made the announcement on Sunday, knowing that a win and a draw will guarantee the Catrachos a trip to Brazil. They will host Costa Rica on October 11 in San Pedro Sula and then travel to Kingston for a meeting against Jamaice four days later.
Two key contributors with clubs in the United States highlight Suarez’s roster.
New England Revolution forward Jerry Bengtson has a team-high eight goals in this qualifying cycle, including one in a 2-1 victory at Mexico on September 6.
Oscar Boniek Garcia is the only player to have appeared in each of Honduras’ 14 qualifiers, scoring once. The midfielder has also seen action in two of the Houston Dynamo’s three CONCACAF Champions League games this season.
Honduras currently occupies the third and final automatic qualifying place from CONCACAF with eleven points, three ahead of Panama and Mexico. The United States (16 points) and Costa Rica (15 points) have already secured qualification. A two-legged Intercontinental Playoff against New Zealand, the Oceania winner, awaits the fourth-place finisher.
(World Cup Qualifying – October 11, 2013, home v Costa Rica; October 15, 2013, away v Jamaica)
GOALKEEPERS: Donis Escober (Olimpia), Kevin Hernandez (Real España), Noel Valladares (Olimpia)
DEFENDERS: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), Osman Chavez (Wisla Krakow/Poland), Maynor Figueroa (Hull City/England), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan/England), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic/Scotland), Johnny Leveron (Vancouver Whitecaps/Canada), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua), Arnold Peralta (Rangers/Scotland)
MIDFIELDERS: Edgar Alvarez (Platense), Marvin Chavez (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Roger Espinoza (Wigan/England), Oscar Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo/USA), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Andy Najar (Anderlecht/Belgium), Wilson Palacios (Stoke City, England)
FORWARDS: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution/USA), Carlo Costly (Guizhou Zhicheng/China), Antony Lozano (Olimpia), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense/Costa Rica)