After sweeping the group stage at the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is set to square off against Honduras on Wednesday in one of its two classification stage games to earn a berth in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup this October in India. Before settling in to watch the game (4:30 p.m. ET on Univision Deportes and CONCACAF’s YouTube page), here are five things you should know about Honduras.
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
After finishing second in the Central American Zone’s qualification tournament to qualify for the CONCACAF U-17 Championship, Honduras was drawn into Group A with host Panama, Curaçao, and Haiti. Despite dropping the first result 4-2 to the hosts, Honduras bounced back with six points against Curaçao and Haiti, defeating the Caribbean nations 3-0 and 3-1, respectively. The pair of wins secured Honduras a second-place finish in the group stage, placing them into Group D of the classification stage.
EARLY DOMINANCE IN THE CLASSIFICATION STAGE
Los Catrachos opened the first game of the classification stage Monday with a 7-1 win against Cuba, setting a team record for the most goals scored in a CONCACAF U-17 game. Forwards Patrick Palacios and Carlos Mejía paced the team with three goals apiece, the former of which scored the trio before the halftime whistle. The win provisionally moved Honduras into first place of Group D, with a tie or win against the USA guaranteeing Honduras a spot in India.
CARLOS MEJÍA LEADS GOLDEN BOOT CHASE
Mejía’s hat trick against Cuba moved him to the top of the Golden Boot standings with seven goals in the tournament, trailed by Mexico’s Daniel López with four. Of his seven goals, five have come off his left foot in open play, one from a successful penalty kick, and one from a rebounded put-back following his own blocked penalty kick attempt.
The Honduras U-17 roster is mostly made up of domestic-based players (18), but does feature one player currently based in the United States and one player in Mexico. Real España Reservas of the Honduran first soccer division, Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional de Honduras, is represented by a team-high four players.
WHAT’S IN A (NICK)NAME?
The Honduras Men’s National Teams have three nicknames: “Los Catrachos,” which is a term for someone from Honduras, “La Bicolor,” which represents the blue and white of the Honduran flags and uniforms and “La H,”which represents the H in Honduras.
Goalkeepers (2): Carlos Banegas (Comayagua F.C./HON), Jordy Castro (Real España Reservas/HON)
Defenders (7): Alexander Bahr (Atlanta United F.C./USA), Emilio Campos (UDG Mexico 3ra Division/MEX), Cristian Contreras (Real España Reservas/HON), Axel Gomez (Olimpia Reservas/HON), Cristian Moreira (Social Vida Reservas/HON), Osbed Perez (Platense Junior L.M./HON), Gustavo Vallecillo (CARDVA Liga Ascenso/HON)
Midfielders (8): Santiago Cabrera (Honduras Progreso Reservas/HON), Joshua Canales (Olimpia Reservas/HON), David Cardona (Real Juventud L.A./HON), Gerson Chavez (Real España Reservas/HON), Everson Lopez (Motagua Reservas/HON), Cristian Madrid (Vida Reservas/HON), Luis Palma (Vida Reservas/HON), Bayron Varela (Motagua Reservas/HON)Forwards (3): Kenneth Martinez (Motagua Reservas/HON), Carlos Mejia (Vida Reservas/HON), Patrick Palacios (Real E