Honduras World Cup Preview
By Dialogo May 11, 2010*HONDURAS* *Nickname*: Los Catrachos *World Cups*: 2 (1982, 2010) *Championships*: 0 *Runner-up*: 0 *Third*: 0 *How it qualified*: The Hondurans claimed the CONCACAF's third – and final – automatic qualifying spot in the World Cup. The squad went 5-1-4 to finish with 16 points, which tied them with Costa Rica, but Honduras won the tiebreaker on aggregate, 6-2. Honduras finished three points behind Mexico and four behind the United States, which won the group. *Coach*: Reinaldo Rueda *Projected starting lineup*: *Goalie*: Noel Valladares *Defense*: Mauricio Sabillón; Osman Chávez; Maynor Figueroa; Emilio Izaguirre *Midfield*: Edgard Álvarez; Hendry Thomas; Wilson Palacios; Amado Guevara *Forward*: Carlos Pavón; David Suazo *Pool Play*: Honduras, which is ranked 40th in the world by FIFA, is in Group H with second-ranked Spain, 15th-ranked Chile and 26th-ranked Switzerland. *Schedule*: June 16 vs. Chile at Nelspruit’s Mbombela; June 21 vs. Spain at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park; June 25 vs. Switzerland at Manguang/Bloemfontein’s Free State *Did you know?* The Honduran government declared a national holiday when the country secured its first World Cup berth in 28 years. Carlos Costly is one of the tournament’s top players coming off the bench. The forward scored five goals in qualifying, which ranked second on the team behind Pavón’s seven. Forward David Suazo isn’t as good as he was when he shared Serie A Foreign Player of the Year honors in Italy with Brazilian Kaká in 2006, but he still is a key cog in the offense. His precise passes were a major reason why Pavón and Costly combined for 12 goals during qualifying. Honduras scored 15 goals in 10 CONCACAF games but advanced because it played better defense than the rest of the field. It gave up just 11 goals in 10 games, just ahead of Mexico (12) and the United States (13).