Wilson Palacios (pictured) played in all three of Honduras' matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and was also named to the squad for Brazil 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Honduras head coach Luis Fernando Suarez announced on Monday a 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which starts next month in Brazil.
The selection features 10 domestic-based players, including four from newly-crowned champion and seven-time CONCACAF Champions League qualifier Olimpia (goalkeepers Donis Escober and Noel Valladares, defender Brayan Beckeles and midfielder Luis Garrido).
Additionally, 10 players from the Catrachos’ final 2010 World Cup roster were chosen. Four of those members – Osman Chavez, Maynor Figueroa, Wilson Palacios and Valladares – played in all three of the team’s encounters in South Africa.
“First there will be a physical evaluation of the players,” said Suarez in describing his pre-World Cup program. “There is a working plan. Some players are finishing their seasons and may be affected by fatigue. The players from Europe will do regenerative work and the MLS (the USA’s Major League Soccer) ones physical work.”
Suarez also addressed concerns that some of his players are not seeing significant minutes in league play, especially Jerry Bengtson. The New England Revolution forward led Honduras in scoring during qualifying for Brazil 2014 with nine goals.
“Jerry Bengtson does not have to work on his physical condition, he’s fine,” expressed the 54-year-old Colombian. “He only needs minutes. He has always been a constant for the national team. He has good characteristics. He takes care of himself and is a professional. We are only looking for him to get the rhythm of competition.”
In the lead up to the finals, Honduras has scheduled friendlies against Turkey (May 29 in Washington, D.C.), Israel (June 1, Houston, Texas) and England (June 7 in Miami Gardens, Florida).
All available players will convene on May 12 in South Florida to initiate training.
“The players have the commitment for the people,” declared Suarez. “They have the commitment to all Hondurans and, hopefully, they will be present in the matches.”
In Brazil, Honduras will face Group E opponents France, Ecuador and Switzerland.
HONDURAS – 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP ROSTER
(as of May 5, 2014)
GOALKEEPERS: *Donis Escober (Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real España), *Noel Valladares (Olimpia)
DEFENDERS: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), *Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), *Osman Chavez (Qingdao Janoon/China PR), *Maynor Figueroa (Hull City/England), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan/England), *Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic/Scotland), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua)
MIDFIELDERS: Marvin Chavez (Colorado Rapids/USA), Jorge Claros (no club), *Roger Espinoza (Wigan/England), *Oscar Garcia (Houston Dynamo/USA), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), *Wilson Palacios (Stoke/England), Arnold Peralta (Rangers/Scotland), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Andy Najar (Anderlecht/Belgium)
FORWARDS: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution/USA), Carlo Costly (Real España), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad), *Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense/Costa Rica)
* also on 2010 FIFA World Cup final roster