PREVIEW: USMNT Wraps Up Opening Set of World Cup Qualifying Matches in Honduras

Tied for Third in Octagonal Standings, USA Will Look to Close September Window With Valuable Road Points; Kickoff from Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano Set for 10:30 p.m. ET on Paramount+, Telemundo and Universo

CHICAGO (Sept. 7, 2021) - After earning points in its first two matches of World Cup qualifying, the U.S. Men’s National Team continues the road to Qatar against Honduras on Sept 8 in San Pedro Sula. Honduras-USA is the USMNT’s third World Cup qualifier in seven days, the first set of games in a 14-match, seven-month gauntlet against the region’s best teams for a berth in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.


Kickoff from Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula is set for 10:30 p.m. ET on Paramount+, Telemundo and Universo. Fans can follow the USMNT during World Cup qualifying on Twitter (@USMNT), Instagram (@USMNT), Facebook and the official U.S. Soccer App.





GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 7/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 9/0)


DEFENDERS (9): George Bello (Atlanta United; 3/0), John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 44/3), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 6/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 46/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 14/0), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 11/3), James Sands (New York City FC; 6/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 66/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 17/2)


MIDFIELDERS (5): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 39/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 16/1), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 31/7), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 27/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 15/0)


FORWARDS (6): Brenden Aaronson (RB Salzburg/AUT; 9/4), Konrad de la Fuente (Olympique Marseille/FRA; 3/0), Jordan Pefok (BSC Young Boys/SUI; 8/1), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 0/0), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 39/16), Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG; 18/5)









Time (ET)/Result

TV Info

Thursday, Sept. 2

El Salvador

Estadio Cuscatlan; San Salvador, El Salvador

0-0 D

CBS Sports Network; Paramount+, Universo*

Sunday, Sept. 5


Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.

1-1 D

FS1, UniMas, TUDN

Wednesday, Sept. 8


Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano; San Pedro Sula, Honduras

10:30 p.m. ET

Paramount+, Telemundo, Universo





The USMNT has made a number of roster changes during the September international window. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen and midfielder Weston McKennie are no longer on the roster and have been replaced by goalkeeper Sean Johnson and midfielder Jackson Yueill, who both helped the USA win the 2021 Gold Cup this summer.


Additionally, Sergino Dest (right ankle sprain) and Gio Reyna (right hamstring) have been ruled out of Wednesday’s match vs. Honduras due to injury. Forward Tim Weah was forced to withdraw from the roster prior to the camp with an injury suffered in training with his club. 


The USA earned another point on its journey to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a 1-1 draw vs. Canada on Sunday night in Nashville, Tenn. Brenden Aaronson sparked and scored the USA’s lone goal in the 55th minute, but Canada equalized shortly after when speedy winger Alphonso Davies teed up forward Cyle Larin just seven minutes later.


While the USA dominated in possession and had the better of scoring opportunities, Canada defended well in a low block and threatened in transition. The game was a physical, stop-and-start affair, but the U.S. nearly got on the board just before halftime with a flurry of dangerous chances in the Canadian box, with Christian Pulisic hitting the post in the 36th.


Twelve players have made their World Cup qualifying debut during the September international window, introducing the USMNT’s young player pool to the rigors of Concacaf. The 12 players all made their first appearances against El Salvador, tying a modern-era record for the most World Cup qualifying debutants in a single match.

Eight more players - goalkeepers Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson, defenders George Bello, Mark McKenzie, James Sands and Walker Zimmerman, midfielder Jackson Yueill and forward Ricardo Pepi - may see their first World Cup qualifying action on Wednesday against Honduras.





Starting with two games on the road, Honduras has also tied its first two matches of World Cup qualifying and sits tied with the USA, Canada and El Salvador for third in the Octagonal table at two points. Los Catrachos kicked off qualifying at Canada, drawing 1-1 with both sides scoring on penalty kicks. Alex Lopez gave Honduras the lead just before the half, but Canada equalized in the 74th. On Sunday, Honduras played El Salvador to a 0-0 draw in San Salvador, making nine changes to the starting lineup from its opener.





Teams qualify for the World Cup through their regional confederations, and the USMNT will have to run the gauntlet of Concacaf (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) to reach Qatar 2022. For the first time, eight teams will contest the final round of World Cup qualifying for Concacaf from September to March. The nations will play a 14-match round-robin, home and away against each of the seven other teams.



Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the World Cup qualifying schedule has been condensed from 18 months to seven. To accommodate the new schedule, the USMNT will play three matches during four of the five international windows rather than the usual two matches.


The USA faces a challenging road from the very outset in the September window. After a difficult road trip to El Salvador and Sunday’s draw with an on-the-rise Canada squad, another tough away date looms at Honduras.





  • The USA’s 25-man roster will have an average age of 24 years, 194 days on Wednesday at Honduras. The team averages 23 caps and seven in official competition.

  • With seven goals from the 2018 cycle, 22-year-old forward Christian Pulisic entered the 2022 campaign tied with Michael Bradley for seventh on the USMNT’s all-time WCQ goal scoring list.

  • Pulisic also sits tied for fourth on the USMNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying assists list with six.

  • Kellyn Acosta has appeared in all 15 matches for the USA this year and 16 consecutive, Sebastian Lletget is second on the team, logging minutes in 14 of 15 games this year.

  • Brenden Aaronson scored his first World Cup qualifying goal and fourth international tally vs. Canada on Sunday.

  • Antonee Robinson recorded his first WCQ assist and third overall on Aaronson’s goal.

  • The lone uncapped player on the roster is 18-year-old forward Ricardo Pepi, who represented the USA at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup alongside George Bello and Gio Reyna.




  • The USA is 17-4-5 all-time vs. Honduras as Wednesday marks the 27th meeting all-time between the nations.

  • The USMNT holds a 6-2-2 advantage in World Cup qualifying and 3-1-2 for qualifiers in Honduras.

  • The USA’s World Cup qualifying history vs. Honduras dates back to March 1965, when the U.S. topped Honduras 1-0 in San Pedro Sula for its first-ever win in Central America. Four days later, the teams drew 1-1 in Tegucigalpa.

  • The U.S. punched its ticket to the 2010 World Cup with an exciting, back-and-forth 3-2 victory in San Pedro Sula in October 2009. Forward Conor Casey, who had ACL operations on both knees in his career and hadn’t scored in his first 14 U.S. appearances, scored twice and set up the USA’s third goal.

  • Current U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart captained the USA to a 2-1 victory at Honduras in March 2001, scoring the first U.S. goal before Clint Mathis netted the game-winner late.

  • The U.S. and Honduras last faced off at June’s Concacaf Nations League Semifinals in Denver. In a tightly-contested match, Jordan Pefok scored a dramatic 89th-minute goal to boost the USA to a 1-0 victory and the Nations League Final vs. Mexico.

  • A total of 10 current U.S. call-ups appeared in that match: Brenden Aaronson, Kellyn Acosta, John Brooks, Sebastian Lletget, Mark McKenzie, Pefok, Christian Pulisic, Antonee Robinson, Josh Sargent and Jackson Yueill.

  • Ten Honduras players played in the semifinal: Bryan Acosta, Maynor Figueroa, Deybi Flores, Boniek Garcia, Alexander Lopez, Luis Lopez, Anthony Lozano, Rigoberto Rivas, Diego Rodriguez and Edwin Rodriguez.

  • The teams’ last World Cup qualifying match-up came in September 2017, a hard-fought 1-1 draw in which Bobby Wood net an 85th-minute equalizer on a sweltering afternoon in San Pedro Sula.

  • Kellyn Acosta and Christian Pulisic both went the full 90 minutes and played crucial roles in the 2017 meeting. Pulisic earned the free kick and Acosta clanged the ensuing take off the cross bar, before the ball fell to Wood who slotted home the late equalizer.

  • YELLOW CARD WATCH: Tyler Adams, John Brooks, Weston McKennie, Jordan Pefok, DeAndre Yedlin (USA) // Jose García, Carlos Pineda, Rigoberto Rivas (Honduras)


GOALKEEPERS (3): Marlon Licona (Motagua; 0/0), Luis Lopez (Real España; 37/0), Edrick Menjivar (Olimpia; 3/0)


DEFENDERS (9): Danilo Acosta (LA Galaxy/USA; 1/0), Felix Crisanto (Olimpia; 25/0), Maynor Figueroa (Houston Dynamo/USA; 173/5), Jose Garcia (Olimpia; 2/0), Johnny Leveron (Olimpia; 42/4), Andy Najar (D.C. United/USA; 37/4), Marcelo Pereira (Motagua; 19/0), Diego Rodriguez (Motagua; 10/1), Allans Vargas (Real España; 7/0)


MIDFIELDERS (8): Kevin Arriaga (Marathon; 4/0), Bryan Acosta (FC Dallas/USA; 52/2), Deybi Flores (Panetolikos/GRE; 14/0), Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo/USA; 133/3), Alexander Lopez (Alajuelense/CRC; 42/6), Brayan Moya (Primeiro de Agosto/ANG; 9/2), Carlos Pineda (Olimpia; 9/0), Edwin Rodriguez (Olimpia; 9/1)


FORWARDS (6): Eddie Hernandez (Olimpia; 22/7), Anthony Lozano (Cadiz/ESP; 36/9), Romell Quioto (CF Montreal/CAN; 52/11), Rigoberto Rivas (Reggina/ITA; 12/0), Edwin Solano (Marathon; 6/1), Jonathan Toro (Academica/POR; 13/3)




  • Honduras qualified for the final round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying as the fifth-ranked team in the region, claiming the final automatic berth in the Octagon.

  • This summer, Honduras reached the quarterfinals of the 2021 Gold Cup after finishing second in its group. Los Catrachos fell to Mexico 3-0 in their first knockout round match.

  • Fourteen players on the Honduras roster play domestically, with the most coming from Olimpia, historically the country’s most successful club. Outside of Honduras, six play in Major League Soccer, while six ply their trade abroad in Angola, Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain (one each).

  • Defender Danilo Acosta appeared for the USA at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup and is a teammate of U.S. midfielder Sebastian Lletget with the LA Galaxy.

  • Midfielder Bryan Acosta is a teammate of USMNT forward Ricardo Pepi at FC Dallas.

  • With 173 appearances, defender Maynor Figueroa is the most-capped player in team history.

  • CF Montreal forward Romell Quioto is the squad’s leading scorer with 11 goals.

  • Head coach Fabian Coito took charge of Honduras in 2019. The Uruguayan previously found success with his native country’s youth squads, leading Uruguay to a silver medal at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup and a fourth-place finish at the 2017 U-20 World Cup.

  • Honduras is aiming for its fourth World Cup berth after making consecutive appearances in 2010 and 2014.

  • Los Catrachos have played in the final round of World Cup qualifying during the last three cycles, including four times in the six editions of the Hexagonal. Honduras finished fourth in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, advancing to an intercontinental playoff where it fell to Australia 3-1 on aggregate.