U.S. Falls 3-1 To Honduras In Opening Match of 2010
- U.S. Goes Down To 10 Men Only 17 Minutes Into Match
- Goodson Nets Second Career Goal and Second Against Honduras
- U.S. To Continue World Cup Preparations Against El Salvador on February 24 in Tampa
CARSON, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2010) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 3-1 to fellow 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists Honduras in its opening match of 2010 after playing down a man for more than 70 minutes at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Clarence Goodson’s second half goal was not enough to overturn the deficit in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 18,626 fans. The loss ends an eight-game winning streak for the U.S. against Honduras, including four straight victories in 2009, highlighted in October by a 3-2 U.S. win in Honduras that clinched a World Cup berth for the United States.
"The starting point for the game in January is always assessing players," said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who concluded a three-week camp with a largely inexperienced group of national team players, including 23 players with less than 10 caps. "Seeing them in a good game, a tough game, gives you the opportunity to find out what guys are all about. It gives you an indication as to where they might fit in as you move things forward. So we take a lot from it.”
The first half opened with some probing attacks by both teams, but neither squad was able to gain possession in the final third. The U.S. was thrust into difficult circumstances after just 17 minutes, when defender Jimmy Conrad was shown a second yellow card for a foul in the box. The ejection was compounded by Honduras’ goal, which Carlos Pavon rammed home from the penalty spot at the second attempt.
"I didn't think we had a good start to the game,” Bradley said. “Maybe some of that was nerves, but the sharpness you want to see at the beginning of games to establish things was not good enough. Obviously, the whole situation where we lose a player on a second yellow card on a play that also gives a [penalty] forces us to chase the game."
Conrad’s early card came back to haunt the U.S. when he was called for pulling down Palacios as the forward ran through the box in the 17th minute. Palacios started the play about 40 yards from goal, looking for a give-and-go to Pavon on his right. Pavon had other ideas and fired a shot over the crossbar, but while running through the box Conrad’s hand grazed the shoulder of Palacios and the Honduran went down easily. Pointing immediately to the spot, Mexican official Benito Archundia then showed a shocked Jimmy Conrad his second yellow of the night before ending the defender’s night with the ensuing red.
Looking to make up for his late penalty miss in Honduras last October, Pavon stepped up and finished cleanly to put Honduras up 1-0. A call from the assistant referee canceled out the goal, but Pavon calmly took the second attempt and placed it inside the left post outside the reach of Perkins to secure the lead in the 19th minute.
Down to 10 men, the U.S. tried to rally, but both forwards again found themselves starved for service. Honduras doubled their lead when Pavon took a pass deep down the right sideline and curled a cross in for Palacios, the striker’s diving header beating Perkins to give Honduras true breathing room.
Despite improved passing in the midfield, the U.S. entered the locker room at the half still looking to get on the scoreboard. U.S. head coach Bob Bradley exchanged defender Clarence Goodson for Cunningham, and the team began the second stanza looking to push to get back in the game.
In the 49th minute, Rogers received a ball from Feilhaber on the left side, and taking the space afforded inside, let fly with a blast from 40 yards that beat Honduran goalkeeper Donis Escober but rattled off the right post. Rogers again threatened one minute later, taking a ball down the middle of the pitch before being brought down from behind by Honduran captain Amado Guevara. The Honduran captain was shown a yellow, and the resulting free kick by Sacha Kljestan went high.
Honduras appeared to finish off the game in the 53rd minute with a six-pass sequence that led to their third goal. Taking a throw-in down the left sideline, Guevara passed it to Palacios, who dropped it back to Roger Espinoza at the top left corner of the box. Espinoza gave a small touch to Guevara, who gave it to Palacios running across the top of the box. With the defense looking to close down the shot, Palacios slipped a through ball in for Espinoza, who remained unmarked and tucked a left-footed shot into the far post side netting.
Bradley made four substitutions at the hour mark, bringing on Conor Casey, Heath Pearce, Alejandro Bedoya and Brad Davis. The appearance was the first for Bedoya, giving the young midfielder his first cap at age 22.
The new entrants began to push the pace of the game. It paid off in the 70th minute, when defender Marvell Wynne earned a corner with a streaking run down the right side. Davis sent a floating cross towards the back left post where Goodson rose above Escober’s gloves to head it home for his second-career goal.
With U.S. fans awakening, the Americans kept up the pressure in an attempt to pull back another. Bedoya’s probing run down the right side in the 80th minute resulted in a curling cross looking for Casey, but a tentative Escober managed to punch it clear.
As stoppage time approached, the U.S. earned some late chances, the most threatening a Brad Davis free kick just outside the top of the box. The well struck blast was smartly pushed over the bar by the goalkeeper. Honduras cleared the ensuing corner, and Archundia blew his whistle for the final time on the night to give the U.S. its first January loss since 1997.
U.S defender Jonathan Bornstein enjoyed a kind welcome from Honduran fans, as his goal against Costa Rica in stoppage time on the final day of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying last year clinched a World Cup berth for the small Central American nation. Honduran and U.S. fans alike can bid on the boots Bornstein was wearing when he scored that historic goal at ussoccer.com, with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross to help fund relief efforts in Haiti.
The U.S. will continue preparations with a game against El Salvador on February 24 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Bradley will conduct a camp at The Home Depot Center two weeks before the match, before traveling to Florida.
U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report
Match: United States vs. Honduras
Date: January 23, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Weather: Cool, clear – 55 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
HON 3 0 3
HON – Carlos Pavon (penalty kick) 19th minute
HON – Jerry Palacios (Carlos Pavon) 37
HON – Roger Espinoza (Jerry Palacios) 53
USA – Clarence Goodson (Brad Davis) 70
USA: 1-Troy Perkins; 12-Jonathan Bornstein, 15-Jimmy Conrad (capt.), 8-Chad Marshall (2-Heath Pearce, 61), 4-Marvell Wynne; 14-Robbie Rogers (6-Brad Davis, 61), 5-Benny Feilhaber (10-Dax McCarty, 77) 7-Kyle Beckerman (9-Conor Casey, 60), 16-Sacha Kljestan (20-Alejandro Bedoya, 61); 19-Jeff Cunningham (3-Clarence Goodson, 46), 17-Robbie Findley
Subs not used: 18-Nick Rimando
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
HON: 12-Donis Escober; 5-Erick Norales, 6-Johnny Palacios, 23-Mauricio Sabillon, 17-Roger Espinoza (7-Mariano Acevedo, 90); 19-Danilo Turcios, 20-Amado Guevara (capt.) (13-Melvin Valladares, 56), 21-Emilio Izaguirre, 15-Walter Martinez (14-Oscar Garcia, 68); 9-Carlos Pavon (25-Georgie Welcome, 78), 16-Jerry Palacios (10-Ramon Nunez, 61)
Subs not used: 1-Ricardo Canales, 2-Osman Chavez, 4-Carlos Palacios , 18-Noel Valladares
Head Coach: Reinaldo Ruida
Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 11 / 9
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 12
Offside: 0 / 2
USA – Jimmy Conrad (caution) 6th minute
HON – Jerry Palacios (caution) 9
USA – Jimmy Conrad (caution) 17
USA – Jimmy Conrad (sent off) 17
HON – Amado Guevara (caution) 50
Referee: Benito Archundia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Lopez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Jonathan Bornstein