USMNT vs. Honduras preview: Getting the band back together


It’s been about 14 months since the United States last faced Honduras. That Gold Cup semifinal battle ended with the Yanks on top by a 3-1 score on a pair of goals and an assist from Landon Donovan.

And perhaps it’s fitting that Honduras will be the opponent for the first game since Donovan’s tribute game ended his tenure with the United States. Yes, the Landon Donovan USMNT era has been over for a bit, but we turn the page against an opponent he scored on six times.

[ MORE: Diskerud looks for bigger role | USMNT vs Croatia in London? ]

Aside from Donovan, there will be plenty different from that July 2013 game. Only three starters from that match — Matt Besler, Nick Rimando and Ale Bedoya — are on the roster this time around, and only five more — Chris Wondolowski, Mix Diskerud, Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson and Joe Corona — were with the team at the Gold Cup.

But that was the Gold Cup, and this will be more of a First XI USMNT squad going up against a Honduras team without some big names. Klinsmann called the band back together post-Ecuador, with Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi all in the fold (Klinsmann also called up Chicago’s Sean Johnson to replace Guzan).

On the other side of Tuesday’s match is Los Catrachos, fresh off a 2-0 loss to Mexico at Tuxtla Gutierrez on Thursday. Some big names are missing: Arnold Peralta (Rangers), Roger Espinoza (Wigan) and Wilson Palacios (Stoke City) among them.

[ GAME STORY: USMNT 1-1 Ecuador | U-23s fall in Brazil ]

Three-and-out in the group stage of the World Cup, Honduras went on to disappoint mightily in the Copa Centroamericana. After beating Belize 2-0 in their tournament opener, they were blanked by El Salvador and Guatemala.

Joe Gyau’s injury opens up a spot up front. Here’s how Klinsmann lined up against Ecuador, and his substitutes in parentheses.


Chandler—Orozco (Gonzalez)—Brooks (Ream)—Garza

Yedlin—Bedoya (Morales)—Diskerud—Gyau (Wood)

Donovan (Corona)—Altidore (WondolowskI)

Corona moved to the midfield with Wood threatening up top, but four players who hit the pitch are back with their teams: Donovan, Gyau, Brooks and Guzan. Luis Gil also left.

With those six MLS vets arriving from their clubs, we’re likely in for a shake-up. Here’s a guess:






Orozco could start again over Ream, and Garza could slide into a back position. Or could Klinsmann continue to implement Yedlin in an offensive spot? Bedoya and Corona could also start again, as Diskerud went the full 90 against Ecuador.


Score: United States 2, Honduras 1

Goal scorers: HON- Najar ; USA- Altidore, Bradley

Man City skates by West Ham in Premier League Asia Trophy

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Manchester City’s youth squad did the first-half job, which meant the heavy artillery coming off the bench was that much scarier. Man City came from behind to lead at halftime, and Raheem Sterling scored twice in the second half and the defending Premier League champions were no match for West Ham in a 4-1 victory in the semifinals of the Premier League Asia Trophy in Nanjing.

Pep Guardiola started a mostly second-choice lineup from the opening whistle, with David Silva and Aymeric Laporte the only true first-teamers in the squad. Claudio Bravo manned the net to begin, with new arrival Rodri also among the starters. West Ham’s lineup, meanwhile, was a strong one with Felipe Anderson, Mark Noble, Angelo Ogbonna, Jack Wilshere, Michail Antonio, and Manuel Lanzini all among a first-choice starting lineup.

West Ham took the lead 25 minutes in through Noble who delivered from the penalty spot, but not without help from Felipe who was the star of the first half for the Hammers and won the penalty after sending Manchester City defender Angelino to the ground.

The lead didn’t last long as David Silva leveled things up in the 33rd minute, a wonderful start to his final season at Manchester City. He received a fabulous delivery from 18-year-old Spanish youth international Adrian Bernabe who rifled one to the far post where Silva was waiting, and the 33-year-old chested it down before unpacking a low finish from a tight angle.

City would go in front three minutes later as 20-year-old Man City youth product Lukas Nmecha won a soft penalty on a foul by Ogbonna, and the youngster took it himself and buried the spot-kick for the lead.

Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane all came on at halftime for the defending Premier League champions, while West Ham brought on the likes of Robert Snodgrass, Javier Hernandez, and Andriy Yarmolenko.

The changes for Manchester City overwhelmed West Ham, with Sane picking up a loose ball near the halfway line and feeding a beautiful pass through the back line to Sterling clean on goal who put City 3-1 up on the hour mark. That saw John Stones, Kyle Walker, Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko all come in off the bench for Pep Guardiola and into the fray.

The big three did it again in the 72nd minute as de Bruyne picked Carlos Sanchez’s pocket in the attacking third and fed Sane on the left. He sent it back to de Bruyne who layed it off for Sterling’s second goal of the match.

In squad notes, a pair of England youth internationals went the distance for Man City as Ian Poveda-Ocampo and Taylor Harwood-Bellis were the only two to complete the full 90 minutes. Notable for West Ham, Winston Reid came off the bench for the final 19 minutes, his first game action in over 16 months.

Rashford, James, Pogba star as Manchester United hammers Leeds in Perth

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Manchester United topped Leeds 4-0 in a comprehensive victory in Perth that saw Marcus Rashford and new signing Daniel James run rampant down the flanks.

Rashford scored in the 27th minute with a beautiful move down the left that threw two Leeds defenders into each other, while James struck the post just before halftime on an overlap down the right in his Red Devils debut.

Also on the scoresheet was 17-year-old Mason Greenwood who received a hard, low cross from fellow debutant Aaron Wan-Bissaka and beat two Leeds defenders in a footrace to the ball on the doorstep for a sliding finish. The move was started by Paul Pogba who found the new Manchester United defender down the right with a wonderful through-ball, leading to the delivery into the box. Greenwood has had quite the last 12 months, scoring for the Manchester United U-17, U-18, U-23, and now senior side all in that span.

After the break, Phil Jones found the back of the net by powering home a corner with his head, while Anthony Martial finished off the scoreline with a penalty after Tahith Chong was fouled in the area by Liam Cooper. Chong impressed throughout the second half, linking well with fellow Manchester United youth product Angel Gomes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer found playing time for just about every first-teamer, completely changing the side at halftime. Nemanja Matic was one of the halftime introductions, but was curiously withdrawn with 12 minutes to go, unclear if due to injury. The only Red Devil in the squad to not see the field was 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe.

Wolves rocks Newcastle in Premier League Asia Trophy

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A rough summer continued for Newcastle as the Magpies were hammered in Nanjing by a first-choice Wolves lineup 4-0 in Premier League Asia Trophy action.

Diogo Jota scored a pair, and England youth international Morgan Gibbs-White added a third as Wolves took a commanding 3-0 lead into the break. As both sides rung changes in the second half, an Allan Thomas own-goal with five minutes remaining finished the scoreline and doomed Newcastle to yet another summer misstep.


For Wolves, it was a promising start to preseason play as the lineup featured a host of regulars, with only Mexican international Raul Jimenez, still resting after a successful Gold Cup campaign, missing from the starting eleven. Jota was particularly spectacular, with a brilliant touch in the buildup to his first goal rewarded with the finish, plus his second – Wolves third – where he snatched the ball straight off the feet of Newcastle defender Isaac Hayden in the penalty area.

Gibbs-White also scored off a Newcastle turnover in its own defensive third, with Jonny picking the pocket of Jamie Sterry on the left flank and finding the 19-year-old alone in the middle for a powerful finish from outside the top of the box.

Newcastle has had a rough summer, with the club losing manager Rafa Benitez, selling leading scorer Ayoze Perez, and failing to secure second-leading scorer Salomon Rondon on a permanent basis. The club has yet to sign a single player and was forced to overpay for Steve Bruce, who was in charge for the match against Wolves.

Watch Live: PL Asia Trophy – Newcastle v. Wolves, Man City v. West Ham

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The 2019-20 Premier League Asia Trophy kicks off in China on Wednesday, as four Premier League teams go head-to-head in one of the premier offseason competitions.


Reigning PL champions Manchester City are involved, while Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle are also out in the Far East. This is the second time the tournament has been held in mainland China, with the two semifinals on Wednesday held in Nanjing, while the final and third-place match will be held in Shanghai on Saturday.

Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s games in Nanjing’s Olympic Sports Centre.

Newcastle United v. Wolves – 6 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Man City v. West Ham – 8:30 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE