When the U.S. Men’s National Team plays Honduras in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in Salt Lake City next Tuesday, the away side will be much more patchwork than originally thought.
It was already known that Honduran center back Muma Bernardez would be suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
This morning, they’re dropping like flies.
It’s come out that Bernardez’s defensive partner Maynor Figueroa will miss the clash due to injury, per Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy:
The Figueroa injury isn’t any real surprise – he hasn’t featured in months since injuring his groin in April playing for Wigan.
However, the surprises are coming. Telemundo’s Andres Cantor is reporting via Twitter that Revolutions striker Jerry Bengtson has left the team for undisclosed reasons and will not take part in the U.S. match:
A report on MLSsoccer.com has suggested Bengtson was so furious at being left out of the team’s 2-0 win over Jamaica that he had a spat with manager Luis Fernando Suarez, and then left the team on his own for Boston when the rest of the squad made a flight connection in Houston on their way to Salt Lake City.
Finally, Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated has reported that Houston Dynamo midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia could also miss the match with an injury:
Honduras already missing Bernárdez, Figueroa. Boniek may miss US game with injury, and now Bengtson has left team after not starting vs JAM.—
Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 14, 2013
Bernardez, Bengston, and Boniek Garcia all started in the 1-0 loss to Costa Rica last Saturday. Bengtson, however, did not play in their 2-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday, while Boniek Garcia grabbed both goals. Bengtson was the only Honduran to score when they last faced the United States, a 2-1 victory for the Stars and Stripes.
The U.S. team shouldn’t really make too many changes if any regarding this news, but it’s a positive for the home side ahead of a hugely important match.
Three points would give the U.S. nine of a possible nine points during this round of qualification matches and would put them in an absolutely wonderful position atop the hexagonal group with almost guaranteed qualification only 4 matches from the finish.