The target has not changed for USA vs Honduras Live head coach Bruce Arena in the upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama.
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During a Facebook Live Q&A after revealing his roster for the qualifiers on Wednesday, Arena said the target for the two matches was six points,
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but short of that, a home win against Honduras at Avaya Stadium on Mar. 24 (10:30 pm ET | FS1) was absolutely essential, alongside a point on the road against Panama on Mar. 28 (10 pm ET | beIN Sports).
The US currently sit in last place in the Hexagonal round of qualifying, two games into the phase. In order to maintain the USMNT’s World Cup qualification streak intact (they have qualified for the last seven tournaments), they will need to pick up points, and quickly, in the final eight games of the round.One of the questions Arena was asked concerned the formation for the upcoming games. The coach indicated a two-striker formation was quite possible, and also spoke about options in defense, USA vs Honduras Live Stream with a three-man backline recently becoming a fashionable formation around the world.”Certainly there’s a variety of ways of playing,” he said. “I said with this roster we can play anywhere with three, four, five in the back. Clearly, I favor four in the back, but three is an option.”Among the MLS players who have gotten a chance in the second Arena era are midfielders Sebastian Lletget and Dax McCarty.
Arena, who knows Lletget well from his tenure with the LA Galaxy, praised the player as one of a number of younger players providing speed and new energy to the group.
McCarty, who received his first US cap in 2009 but was not selected by former coach Jurgen Klinsmann, provides the Americans with experience, skill – and a vocal presence.
“I’ve known Dax for a number of years, I think he’s a very good player. I saw him up close in our camp in January. He played well, he’s experienced, he communicates well, he fits in well with the group. And watching him play his first two games with Chicago convinced me that he can be an important part of our squad.”Given the stakes of the upcoming qualifiers, Arena discussed the strategies he’ll use to balance the pressure of the moment with making sure the team stay relaxed for the task at hand.”I think the week of training [ahead of the game] is important.\
We’ve done a lot of legwork before we even entered this camp, and have talked with the players. I think they’re going to be confident, they’re going to be aggressive, and they’re going to be as relaxed as you can be in games like this which are crucial.”This is a very important game for the US team, we need to win the game,” he continued. “There’s certainly going to be some tension and pressure, but that’s all part of it. We have elite athletes and they’re accustomed to playing in games like this, so I’m confident they’ll show up and be in the right frame of mind to be ready to play and perform well.”
The US Men’s U-20 National Team has never been the stand-alone CONCACAF Champion. Between 1998 and 2007, the CONCACAF U-20 Championship didn’t crown an outright winner – it was a mere qualifying tournament for the U-20 World Cup. The USA won its group three times in the five tournaments held without naming a true regional champ. In the preceding years, the Americans were four times the runners-up, and they have finished second twice since the Championship resumed naming a champion in 2009. No other team in the region has finished as runner-up more than twice.
But the perennial bridesmaids of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship will get another shot at that elusive first regional title on Sunday, March 4. The USA will play Honduras for the 2017 title – a re-match of the 1982 final that saw Honduras clinch its first regional U-20 Championship. Los Catrachos won again in 1994, but haven’t been to a final since.The USA is a regular in CONCACAF U-20 Championship finals: Honduras vs USA Live this will be its third in the last five tournaments. But for both teams, the win would be a rare opportunity to step out of Mexico’s shadow. El Tri is the dominant team at this level: 13 times the CONCACAF Men’s U-20 Champion. This year’s Mexico, however, was vulnerable. In the group stage, Honduras missed a penalty and lost 1-0 to Mexico. Los Catrachos won their next two games to clinch their place in this final.
The USA beat Mexico in the Classification Stage, 1-0, upsetting the presumptive order of the group and giving the Americans to chance to make the final with a win over El Salvador. That win was accomplished, 2-1, and the USA is in the Championship game after an tournament-opening loss to Panama threatened to derail the team’s campaign.
Both teams are in form, both teams feature New York Red Bulls. Tyler Adams is a star central midfielder for the USA, young for this age-group but a standout for the team nonetheless. Adams is a graduate of the RBNY Academy, the first-ever signing for NYRB II (at age 16), a USL Cup winner with the II team in 2016 (at age 17), and is now an 18-year-old U-20 international and a starter-in-waiting for the Red Bulls in MLS.Adams is not yet a teammate of Douglas Martinez. The Honduran is expected to join NYRB II after this tournament is over. An attacking player who tends to play on the right for the Honduras U-20s, Martinez has been a regular starter throughout this Championship.One of the two young (present and presumptive) Red Bulls will land at the club as a CONCACAF U-20 Champion.A limited number of tickets for USA-Honduras, presented by Volpi Foods, go on sale to the general public today at 12 p.m. PT.Tickets can purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 800-745-3000, or online here. Purchases will be limited to four tickets each.
The match will take place on Friday, March 24, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. The first Final Round FIFA World Cup Qualifier in the Bay Area since 1997 is set for 7:30 p.m. PT, and will be broadcast live on FS1 and Univision Networks. Fans can also follow the game live on Facebook and Twitter at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.
U.S. SOCCER FAN HOSPITALITY
For those who did not receive tickets or for those who wish to upgrade their experience, U.S. Soccer is offering premium programs to enhance your game day. The Ultimate Fan Ticket provides an exciting behind-the-scenes look into a U.S. Soccer event and game day for the U.S. National Team. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, the Match Day Hospitality Package, offered by U.S. Soccer in conjunction with PrimeSport, will include match tickets and in-stadium pregame hospitality.
With no points from its first two matches in the Final Round, the U.S. will be looking to earn a victory at home against Honduras. The match in San Jose will be the first World Cup Qualifier since Bruce Arena took over as head coach of the MNT last November.
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In addition to being the first Qualifier under Arena in this cycle, the game will also be his first opportunity to get the full complement of players together since no European-based players were available for the January Camp. As a result, the team will have precious little time to train before the huge game against Honduras.
BACK TO THE BAY
The match marks the MNT’s first trip to Avaya Stadium and the second to the Bay Area in a year, having played its opening match of the 2016 Copa America Centenario against Colombia at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
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Honduras can book a place in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the final of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship with a win in this match. That will be a little easier said than done, perhaps, since Costa Rica is the home team and surely has its own ambition of recovering its standing in this tournament after a lackluster group stage.Los Ticos were surprisingly beaten by El Salvador in their first game of the competition, and were briefly trailing Bermuda in their last game of the group stage. But this tournament has been full of surprises – the USA’s 1-0 win over Mexico being merely the most recent. So don’t count Costa Rica out just yet.Nonetheless, Honduras beat Panama in the opening game of this Classification Stage group, and Panama was one of just two teams to emerge from the group stage with a perfect record (the other was El Tri). Honduras is a heavyweight in this tournament now, at least until or unless Costa Rica has its say.