Jerry Bengtson (center) has received a call-up to the Honduran national team for a pair of World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Panama in September. (Photo: Mexsport)
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduras head coach Luis Fernando Suarez announced Sunday the names of the 25 players who will convene prior to World Cup qualifiers at Mexico on September 6 and home to Panama four days later.
The roster consists of 14 foreign-based players, including Jerry Bengtson and Carlo Costly, who have combined to net 11 of the Catrachos’ 18 qualifying goals. Bengtson leads the national team with seven tallies in 2014 qualifying, but has not pulled on the jersey since being substituted against Costa Rica during a 1-0 loss in June, a span of seven games.
Also called in was Andy Najar of Belgian champion Anderlecht. The 20-year-old midfielder has appeared in two qualifiers, but solidified his place in the squad with a series of outstanding performances at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He scored the game’s lone goal in a quarterfinal win over Costa Rica.
In the CONCACAF Hexagonal, Honduras currently sits in fourth place with seven points, but will overtake third-place Mexico with a victory on Friday. The top three teams at the end of the final round automatically qualify for Brazil 2014, while the fourth-place finisher enters into a two-legged playoff against New Zealand, the Oceania winner.
(World Cup Qualifying – September 6, 2013, away v Mexico; September 10, 2013, home v Panama)
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), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua), Nery Medina (Motagua)
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), Arnold Peralta (Rangers/Scotland)
FORWARDS: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution/USA), Carlo Costly (Guizhou Zhicheng/China), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense, Costa Rica), Georgie Welcome (Motagua)