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SquadEdit

Goalkeepers: Donis Escober (Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana), Noel Valladares (Olimpia)

Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Osman Chavez (Qingdao Janoon), Maynor Figueroa (Hull City), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan Athletic), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua)

Midfielders: Marvin Chavez (Colorado Rapids), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Oscar Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Wilson Palacios (Stoke), Arnold Peralta (Rangers)

Forwards: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense)

Honduras
Edit

Team ProfileEdit

Honduras will hope to make it third time lucky in Brazil as they seek to win a match at the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time.  

The Central American nation are one of only two participating teams, together with first-time qualifiers Bosnia-Herzegovina, never to have tasted victory at the global showpiece.

However, Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez knows exactly what will be required of his team, having led Ecuador to the last 16 of the World Cup in 2006 with the aid of triumphs over Poland and Costa Rica.

Ecuador are among Honduras' group rivals this year, together with Switzerland - for the second tournament in succession - and France, meaning two intriguing reunions will take place in Curitiba on June 20.

Suarez will not be the only coach coming up against his former side at Arena da Baixada, as Ecuador are now led by Reinaldo Rueda, the man in charge of Honduras at the last World Cup.

Under Rueda, Honduras gave a good account of themselves in South Africa four years ago, only to be hampered by a lack of attacking threat.

Jerry Bengtson and Carlo Costly, who each average close to a goal every two games at international level, will shoulder much of the responsibility for ensuring that is not the case this time around.

The striking duo impressed during a qualification campaign that featured a number of notable wins against more fancied opposition.

Both the United States and Costa Rica fell to defeat in San Pedro Sula, but an even more impressive scalp was claimed when Honduras recorded a shock 2-1 win over Mexico at Estadio Azteca last September, with Bengtson and Costly on target.

Although Suarez's men are still certain to begin their endeavours in Group E as underdogs to secure a place in the knockout stages, many of Honduras' players may feel this World Cup represents their best chance to shine on the big stage.

More than half of the squad are aged between 26 and 31, while rookie goalkeeper Luis Lopez is the only player to have earned fewer than nine caps ahead of the tournament.

Captain Noel Valladares, the elder statesman of the squad at 37, will be the first choice between the posts for Honduras, having long since passed the milestone of 100 caps.

Further experience is provided by the likes of Houston Dynamo midfielder Oscar Garcia and Premier League players Maynor Figueroa and Wilson Palacios.

In 2010, Honduras made history when the late call-up of Jerry Palacios to join siblings Wilson and Johnny ensured that three brothers were named in the same World Cup squad for the first time.

Johnny Palacios has not made the cut this time around, but Stoke City midfielder Wilson can be expected to play a vital anchor role for a team likely to line up in a 4-4-2 formation, while forward Jerry has been named as back-up to Costly and Bengtson.

"I think that the team is a solid unit and it can compete in Brazil," said Costly, who missed the last World Cup through injury, in a pre-tournament interview with FIFA TV.

After two appearances at the finals without success, do not be surprised if Honduras end their wait for a maiden victory.


Player Profile (Jerry Bengtson)Edit

Position: Forward
Date of Birth: April 8, 1987
Club: New England Revolution
International Debut: v Venezuela (April 21, 2010)
World Cup Appearances: 0
World Cup Goals: 0

Jerry Bengtson will be keen to put recent frustrations to one side by shining for Honduras at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Bengtson was signed by MLS franchise New England Revolution as a designated player almost two years ago, having finished as the Honduran league's top scorer for three successive seasons with Vida and Motagua.

The 27-year-old forward has failed to display his best form in the United States, going more than 12 months without a league goal prior to a drought-breaking strike against Houston Dynamo on April 12 this year.

However, Bengtson nevertheless played an integral role in guiding Honduras to a second successive World Cup finals appearance, scoring nine goals in 12 appearances as Luis Fernando Suarez's side topped their preliminary pool before finishing third in the final CONCACAF qualifying group.

Two of those goals came after Bengtson had been involved in a period of controversy that saw him briefly exiled from the international scene.

After being left on the bench for a game against Jamaica, he reportedly walked out on the Honduras squad in frustration and played no part in the subsequent fixture against the USA.

It was not long before Bengtson was welcomed back to help his country achieve their goal of reaching the World Cup.

Speaking last October, after Honduras had sealed qualification for Brazil 2014, Revolution coach Jay Heaps acknowledged the difference between Bengtson's displays at club and international level.

"Any time he goes with Honduras, he gets his confidence back. When he is scoring goals, he becomes a much different player," said Heaps.

There are a number of players in the Honduras squad who could claim to have a higher profile than Bengtson, such as veteran goalkeeper Noel Valladares, Celtic full-back Emilio Izaguirre and Premier League duo Wilson Palacios and Maynor Figueroa.

However, Bengtson could well hold the key to the Central American nation's hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time.

Honduras failed to score a group-stage goal four years ago and will understandably be keen to carry a greater threat when they take on France, Ecuador and Switzerland this time around.

While many of Bengtson's goals for Honduras have come against modest opposition, the tall striker has shown he has what it takes to trouble major nations.

After scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over the USA at the start of the final qualifying phase, he was also on target as Mexico were subjected to a shock home defeat at Estadio Azteca in September.

In addition, Bengtson grabbed the only goal as Honduras went on to beat rivals and fellow qualifiers Costa Rica 1-0 in their penultimate group game.

If Suarez's men are to spring a surprise in Brazil, they will surely need more of the same from a player boasting almost a goal every other game for his country following another strike in a friendly against Venezuela in the build-up to the World Cup.


News SourcesEdit

Honduran FA - http://fenafuth.org

El Heraldo - http://www.elheraldo.hn/zonadeportiva/

La Tribuna - http://www.latribuna.hn/deportes/

Diez - http://www.diez.hn/laseleccion/

Cronometro - http://www.tiempo.hn/cronometro