Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 2/9/13
The U.S.A Men’s National Team slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Honduras as the squad opened up its CONCACAF qualification for the 2014 World Cup. Jurgen Klinsmann and his side left Guatemala with added pressure on their backs. The United States opened up the scoring in the 36th minute when Jermaine Jonas connected beautifully with Clint Dempsey, who volleyed the ball home.  However, the Americans could not keep the lead for long.  In the 40th minute, Honduran defender Juan Carlos Garcia scored a brilliant and unstoppable bicycle kick to equalize before halftime.  Honduras took the lead in the 79th minute when Jerry Bengston easily tapped in what turned out to be the game’s decisive goal. Many members of the American defense did not play up to their full potential.  Stoke City defender Geoff Cameron did not anchor the backline as expected, Timothy Chandler looked lost while filling in for Steve Cherundolo at right back, and young Omar Gonzalez showed he is not yet fully developed. Getting a win in Honduras was never going to be easy, especially with the young and inexperienced team Klinsmann put out.  Still, prior to this latest slipup, the United States had not lost a World Cup qualifier since 1990.  The next match will show how the team copes with pressure and adversity.  Hopefully the nerves will disappear and the experience will start to surface.  A team consisting of Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, and an in-form Jozy Altidore should be able to help the team bounce back and win. Finding a way to get Landon Donovan back on the team would be another way to get on the right foot again.  A key piece of the Men’s National Team, the L.A. Galaxy star has been missing as of late.  Donovan, the National Team’s all-time leader in goals and assists, has been contemplating his soccer future and does not know what is next for him.  What we do know now is that the team is missing Donovan’s leadership that carried them past the group stage of the 2010 World Cup.  Soccer fan or not, every American remembers his game winning goal in stoppage time.  Having him on the roster does everything but hurt the team’s chances of winning. The United States next hosts Costa Rica on March 22nd as they continue their qualification matches.  Let’s just hope the Red, White and Blue pull it together and sail smoothly into the 2014 World Cup. -Lang
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