Reports: USA to face Honduras in January friendly

USA Crest HondurasCrest

If you are wondering who the U.S. men's national team will be lining up for friendlies in 2010, it appears the first of those opponents has been lined up, while another potential opponent has surfaced.

According to reports out of Honduras, the U.S. men's national team will face fellow World Cup participant Honduras on Sunday, January 24 at Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

The meeting would be the first for the sides since the Americans posted a 3-2 victory in San Pedro Sula on Oct. 10 to clinch their World Cup place. That win by the Americans was their fourth of 2009 in four meetings between the teams this year.

The Americans are also reportedly trying to finalize a friendly with Northern Ireland, with the match potentially being played in March or May.

Before you get too upset about the Americans not lining up a tougher, or less familiar opponent, it should be noted that the date in question is not a FIFA fixture date, which means European-based players do not need to be released by their clubs, making the list of potential opponents a much smaller one.

This particular friendly will likely be used to test out MLS and Scandinavian-based Americans. Some of those players will be fringe players trying to move their way up the depth chart. Honduras will also likely field a mostly domestic squad of candidates fighting for their own places on the Honduran World Cup team.

With neither team expected to have its European-based players (at least players from leagues in season), the friendly is more likely to resemble one of the two Gold Cup matches the teams played last July. The United States defeated Honduras twice during the Gold Cup fielding a team made up mainly of MLS players, while Honduras also fielded a team made up mainly of domestic players.

The U.S. team's first chance to field its full squad and take on a full-strength opponent will come on March 3rd, 2010, which currently stands as the lone FIFA fixture date on the calendar. A friendly against the Netherlands has been rumored (and has been listed on FIFA's website for months), and was expected to be finalized this month, but has yet to be announced officially. As for Honduras, the 'Catrachos' are considering March friendlies vs. Turkey or Greece, while a match against England might materialize in May if the English can't land a Mexico friendly.

A potential Northern Ireland match is an interesting proposition because while it fulfills a desire to face another team from the UK, and a team with a somewhat similar style to England, Northern Ireland also faced Slovenia, a USA World Cup opponent, in World Cup qualifying. Northern Ireland defeated Slovenia, 1-0, in a qualifier in Belfast on April 1.

Those not familiar with Northern Ireland should note that the team has a solid squad that would provide a tough test, with players including Johnny Evans (Manchester United), Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) as well as Fulham teammate Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird.

What is the SBI take? Considering the limitations and lack of a FIFA fixture date in January or February, Honduras is more than a good enough opponent to give Bob Bradley a good look at some players looking to play their way onto the team. The Netherlands friendly would be Bradley's last chance to field a first-choice squad before picking his 23-man roster, and would also likely be his first chance to get a look at German-born midfielder Jermaine Jones, who is now eligible to play for the United States and who is on the comeback trail from knee surgery.

What do you think of this news? Looking forward to seeing which players are called into the U.S. team's January camp? Who will you be hoping gets a start vs. Honduras? Praying the USA-Netherlands friendly comes to fruition?

Share your thoughts below.

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74 Responses to Reports: USA to face Honduras in January friendly

  1. Paul says:

    I wonder how many Honduran fans will be at the HDC?

  2. Supsam says:

    People may be dissapointed but any friendly cant hurt right? God forbid Donovan gets hurt!

  3. adam says:

    Fulham teammates Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird. Fagan plays for Hull, i believe.

  4. Matt Mathai says:

    Any friendly against one of the 32 is a good thing. I kinda wish that it weren’t someone we were so familiar with, but your note about the FIFA schedule makes total sense.

    Did I understand correctly that March 3rd is the only FIFA date? Or is it that it’s the only FIFA date on which we have a match scheduled?

  5. scott says:

    i know it’s not going to be a “full” US squad and the some fringe players will be invited to play, but come on haven’t we played honduras enough? how about an opponent that is close but we are not to familiar with?

  6. Richard says:

    I agree, but Honduras is the best opponent who we are close to. Why play someone like Jamaica when they aren’t a World Cup caliber team?

  7. Father of Francesca says:

    I would like to see Edson Buddle get a shot against Honduras. I think he’s a more creative, dynamic option to Casey.

  8. fan4usa says:

    Playing Honduras AGAIN? Not sure what this will accomplish for US.

    And, enough about testing players. The 4 years of trying to find the magic combination is done. It is time to settle on team, and get them to play with each other consistently – especially the back 4 – which is our weak link!

    (SBI-Which part of “European-based players won’t be available for any January friendlies” wasn’t clear?)

  9. SG says:

    Hopefully J. Jones can get
    some playing time in these friendlies.

  10. DC Josh says:


  11. ajr says:

    would love to see Robbie Findley not just get into camp but on the pitch also

  12. DC Josh says:

    When I saw the headline I rolled my eyes, but after reading the article it makes sense to play Honduras. They will provide a decent test for those in the January camp in LA. It will basically be a scrimmage to allow Bradley and co. a look at the fringe players. I’m really excited about the March fixture, that will be a HUGE game for the MNT as it will be the deciding factor for some players that are on the bubble.

    Can we start talking starting XI yet?

    ——Buddle—–Jeremiah White—-

    This is just off the top of my head…

  13. otergod says:

    LD will most likely not be a part of Camp Cupcake this year as he’s going on loan during that time.

  14. otergod says:

    expect to see a very heavy MLS and Scandi roster for camp cupcake. they wont be completely familiar as both sides will be missing out on key Euro players

  15. otergod says:

    its camp cupcake, would you rather see Denmark and Sweden’s B-/C+ squad take on a bunch of MLS/Scandi fringe players??

  16. otergod says:

    clark isnt resigning with Houston and will be off to europe no doubt. Holden might also be gone as well.

    i would like to see Torres get some play if Mexi league is on break (not sure)…

    i would also like to see some of the young MLS stars get a call up… Pontius deserved a callup into Gold IMHO, he should be included here.

  17. CHJ says:

    If the Northern Ireland game is not an international fixture date then why does it matter that Northern Ireland has some players playing for top flight teams (Johnny Evans (Manchester United), Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) as well as Fulham teammate Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird). They are not going to be participating in the game.

    (SBI-If the game is in May, AFTER the season, then it does matter because they would be out of season.)

  18. FulhamPete says:

    Did you not watch the MLS cup Final? Buddle was a walking turnover. He was given MANY opportunities of service, and every first touch either went out of bounds or directly to an RSLer.
    I think Buddle played himself out of any consideration that night.

  19. Dannyc58 says:


  20. Chad says:

    Wait, where? Did I miss something?

  21. baquito alyeska says:

    Is the Primera Division out of season in Jan? ie. Will Castillo be a possible/probably call-up for the Jan match?

  22. Mike says:

    I’m fine with these friendlies. We’re still a ways away from the WC. But Bradley better not set up a 2006 craptacular “send-off” series. Morocco, Latvia, and Venezuela are not my idea of good preparation.

    And if they don’t play a strong African team to prep, I’m not going to be happy. Tunisia? Maybe?

  23. CHJ says:

    Good point SBI. Now it makes sense. Of course their was a good reason why you mentioned them. I will never question you again.

    (SBI-I’m all for questions and questioning, so no worries there.)

  24. Torporindy says:

    Got to love the English “press”. They’ve been somewhat restrained thus far, but this is the worst attack I’ve seen.

    “Why Landon Donovan isn’t fit to lace David Beckham’s boots, and how World Cup draw was great for touts”

    “Donovan, who has twice failed to make it in Europe, is a symbol of the weakness of American soccer.”

    link to

    Of course it is the tabloid Mirror, but there is an arrogance there that suggests that only Dempsey is worth of being on the pitch with England’s team because he plays regularly in the PL. Dempsey is amazing and this is no insult to him, but Donovan is more important to our team than Dempsey.

  25. Jacopo Belbo says:

    this is kind of pathetic. we need to be prepping against teams that are strong and similar to our pod. not n. ireland but ireland to prep for england. (maybe we could promise them to smash france/henry if we meet them in the wc.) and egypt or tunisa for algeria. and croatia/czech republic for slovenia. way to not get the players ready USSF.

  26. 3VIL L33T says:

    I hope BB calls up Geoff Cameron, he doesn’t have many options and needs to setup his back up options.

  27. EA says:

    I’m all for this friendly, provided we sell the broadcast rights to Honduras for 8 trillion dollars, and the game is recorded and broadcast to Honduras using only a cell phone held by an 80 year old epileptic.

    (SBI-LOL. Thanks for the morning laugh EA.)

  28. timmy_u says:

    When considered as a whole, friendlies with the Netherlands, Honduras, and Northern Ireland, complementing fall friendlies against Denmark and Slovenia cant be looked at negatively. Maybe they arent all the most high powered opponents, but realistically, its teams like Denmark, Slovenia, and yes Honduras that the US needs to be able to step on to the field with and put away during the tournament to advance. An African friendly would have made me more excited, maybe against a Cameroon, Ghana, or SA but beggers cant be choosers. We are still making the call to make these happen, rather than the ones being called.

  29. DaveW says:

    Interliga 2-12 January 2010 with Tigres participating, 1st weekend of Clausura 2010 the 16th and 17th of January. For what it’s worth.

  30. soccerroo says:

    those games will be in May when we generally play three teams before leaving for the World Cup. Right now we are talking about January game and a possible March or May game. So to be fair the tree teams that we will play in May if it is like previous World Cups will resemble the three teams we face in the World Cup.

  31. Freddyforprez says:

    Why do you refer to it as Camp Cupcake?

  32. TimN says:

    Northen Ireland is no pushover folks. They have some very capable players that play in the EPL. If David Healey plays, he will be a challenge and good prep for our defense. He’s not the greatest club player, but for his national team he’s been a prolific goal scorer…78 caps w/ 35 goals. He also had a hat trick in recent history against a very loaded Spain squad.

  33. baquito alyeska says:

    Thanks DaveW(infield?). I guess I’ll ratchet possible/probable down a good number of notches.

  34. Senad says:

    Over the past few years, the US hasn’t been good at all in my opinion. But since last year, i think they are one of the top international teams. In the world I would rank the US 3rd, after Brazil and Spain. Brazil’s players have great control, passion, and really know what they are doing. Whereas, the Spanish display large amounts of power and control. I know the finals will contain at least one of these three countries. They truly have superior skills to the rest of the world. I think Brazil has some of the most devoted players, and by that I mean they really care about football. Spain also sets a goal, and they achieve it. But I think the US has some minor flaws. They would probably be lost and scared to play Brazil again, after the Confederations Cup 2009, when the last match was played by the US and Brazil. If i remember correctly, the US scored on, than Brazil scored 2 in a small period of time, which in my opinion caused the US players to quit. I don’t know. I think the US really has potential, but they need passion to be the world cup winner of this year.

  35. Joburgorbust says:

    You say Slovenia, I say Slovakia… let’s call the whole thing off ;oP

  36. Senad says:

    that might be true but does he have confidence, but also spain is different this time. they are europe’s best team, and europe is easy when it comes to football, ireland is in europe, but nothing to spain, have you seen the european cup 2008

  37. sarahsilky says:

    What a waste. Typical January friendly in which pity caps can be handed out to some MLS players who have no business being within 100 miles of the National team.

  38. Senad says:

    and your forgetting the unbeatable Brazil and the destroyers US

  39. RU says:

    We should line up friendlies with teams that play similar to our World Cup foes. I would like to see us play Egypt again, or Tunisia if they aren’t available. I’d also like to see us play either Croatia or Serbia, with Croatia being easier to probably get since they didn’t qualify. Both are Balkan nations similar in style to Slovenia.

  40. senad says:

    yes but some of those mls players have very much potencial, all they need is to want it, if you know what i mean

  41. Senad says:

    yes and both, especially croatia have skill and great control, im surprised they didn’t make it into the world cup

  42. Emerald_City_Jason says:

    Plus he coulda gotten about five separate yellows. RSL frustrated him and he went all Elizabeth Lambert. If he can’t keep his cool with RSL, how’s he gonna handle England/Germany/Australia?

  43. Hopefully Donovan will be somewhere on loan in Europe and not at this camp and friendly.

  44. Freddie Footballer says:

    pardon my ignorance, but any reason why Jones wouldn’t/couldn’t be called in in January??

  45. Oranje Mike says:

    We’ve played Honduras enough and we can beat them. This game should be used as a match for a mix of young and uncapped American players to get some quality playing time.

  46. Senad says:

    yes we have gotten better in the last few years and we will win, it won’t be and interesting match at all

  47. I love the US team and I’m a big fan … but we are not #3 in the world. On any given day, we can beat anyone and compete, but a home and away series or a best out of 3, we would probably lose to the following (in no particular order): England, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Argentina, Portugal, Russia. Thier B teams (except Portugal & Russia) could beat our A team. The US is not as technical or sophisticated enough yet … and we do not have the depth of B players that these other countries have.

  48. ernj says:

    Jan isn’t a FIFA date. Unlikely Schalke will be willing to release Jones when he is just returning to the squad.

  49. strider says:

    Come on folks, quit whining about having Honduras again. As noted, this will not include any of the Euro players whose leagues are in play (Engl., Fr., Germ.). The key is to see some of the fringe players and see if they can potentially compete for spots later in the year. With CD out we need to try some new forwards: Findley, Tracy, & even Pontius or Rolfe could each have a shot. I am curious as to who BB will call in. In defense I am hoping Castillo is available and can be tested at LB. It would also be good to see more of Torres. Unfortuantely, Jones will still be playing in Germ and we won’t see him yet, but hopefully soon.

  50. Colin says:

    Reading stuff from Mirror Football makes my head explode…

  51. Jacopo Belbo says:

    so where should landycakes go? i am trying to decide what EPL team(s) would be a good fit for him, balancing quality of the side/club with the assurity of a regular Dempsey-esque starting role? Any ideas?

    Hull – Injury to Bullard? Team with Jozy? Kinda suck?

    Everton – Timmy? Great club/coaching? Too much midfield talent?

    Blackburn – Good club history? Definite starter/star?

    Birmingham – Good sized club? Probable starter?

    Sunderland – Great club size/history? Final piece to their puzzle? Regular starter?

    What do you guys think?

  52. fan4usa says:

    Sorry – need to read better next time!

  53. Tony in Quakeland says:

    There is a rumor that England will play Mexico in a pre-cup warm up. The ideal scenario will be for England to whip Mexico soundly, thus furthering their over confidence about playing the US “minnows”

  54. daniel says:

    you are kidding right?

  55. madmax says:

    Good run out for players, but not any similarity in the WC competition, none at all.

  56. Mike Gent says:

    Bob Bradley was a guest Sunday on BBC Radio 5 Live Sportsweek program. He said in addition to Holland in March USA was trying to line up friendlies with Czech Rep & Australia (likely in May). You can listen to interview on website.

  57. Ken says:

    Hull would love to have LD in their team. If he can keep them up this season they will no doubt sign him. As for Everton they do have a lot of midfield in Pienaar and Arteta but those 2 are so prone to injury. If LD goes there he might get injure too. *cross fingers*

  58. ahm says:

    unlikely that the EPL is the best fit. he’s mentioned that the bundesliga is officially out as a destination for him and that he was keen on playing in spain. said he speaks spanish (a factor that can’t be ignored considering it was one of the main factors gooch’s trouble getting time in milan and same with huntelaar which the president even listed as a problem for him) and he felt the open style of play would be a good fit for his skills. like you said he may have trouble starting for a team like everton but i doubt hed want to be a starter for a side like hull only to play bunker-ball in half their games. my bet’s on la liga but i couldn’t give a solid guess on where. ives earlier mentioned he’d like to see donovan at sevilla (i think you said this ives but i’m sure i’m taking it out of some context so please correct me). either way i’m excited to see where he ends up cause i honestly think he’s gonna kill it this time around

  59. madmax says:

    Alan Gordon also.

  60. madmax says:

    The Brits have a way about them. Masters of the Universe and Queens Navy etc.

  61. Bradleyis666 says:

    This is a World Cup year so it ain’t a “Typical January friendly”. As Ives said,, “European-based players won’t be available for any January friendlies”.

    Given that the Euro based guys make up the spine of the first team this game may be the only chance for fringe guys, who may have a shot at “injury alternate” status to impress. After January, there will be only three months before May when the rosters have to be handed in. Therefore, evey game, even this glorified scrimmage, is a valuable excercise.

  62. brad says:

    I heard you will only be able to watch this game via Pay per view..

  63. Folks – NATS tix versus the Orange on 3 March go one sale in the Netherlands on 9 January. I plan on making the 4 hour drive north to the Amsterdam Arena.

  64. roysterer says:

    Well, I think it’s a fantastic idea. Honduras will give the US a challenge (even if it is the US B team vs the Honduras B team), and they’ll take it seriously because they’re gearing up for the World Cup too. Plus they aren’t likely to play dirty since they don’t want to lose anyone either and it would be totally classless after the US got them into the World Cup.

  65. Rob says:

    Since the January game is basically a scrimage without any european players available, why not have the MLS all stars play the MLS National League team.

  66. AmericanFootball says:

    Hope we win. Nothing worse than losing to Honduras in the Worlds eyes, no matter whose playing

  67. Brian says:

    Yes but he also speaks English

  68. Fred says:

    hopefully it will give Bradley some new info. but for the fan it will likely be a dull money burn. If you are looking for So. Cal soccer in Jan. the Interliga will be far more exciting with two games for the price of one.

  69. bryan says:

    eh, i guess this okay. don’t really have a choice. not that many options.

    that dutch friendly better happen. and im totally pulling for the Mexico/England friendly!

  70. ddub says:

    being a walking turnover never stopped Michael Bradley or most of the U.S. National team from getting call ups. But i’d rather have Jeff Cunningham.

    Cunningham was given one recent start, no service, and scored a cracker. Can’t do more then that.

  71. ddub says:

    i think you have to understand that in the world of football you’re not going to prove your good enough in MLS. And football is litter with bust buys of players based largely on a 4 or 5 good performances in a world cup. he’s unproven at the highest level. He had a good confed cup but that’s not nearly the same as having a good 5 or 6 years of 70 games a year at a top club and champions league.

    The english are surely arrogant isolated knowit all pricks that don’t watch much more then their own. If Landon ever can he’ll get recognition but not before. That said if he goes up against beckham head to head he’ll embarass golden fraud.

    But Landon Donovan last really good world cup game was 7 years ago. Like it or not you prove you’re good in the top leagues in Europe. Dempsey has done it. Donovan so far has tried and failed.

  72. ddub says:

    and it does not matter to the world what he does in MLS because MLS is not a respected league. People just need to deal with it. Cristiano Ronaldo was nothing until he got to a big league and a big club. Had Cristiano Ronaldo been playing in, oh, Honduras nobody would care.

  73. clbuzz says:

    USA to face Honduras in January friendly. According to reports out of Honduras, the U.S. men’s national team will face fellow World Cup participant Honduras on Sunday, January 24 at Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

    link to