The United States will look to put their disappointing defeat to Canada behind them quickly when they host Honduras in Minnesota on Wednesday.
Gregg Berhalter’s men lost 2-0 to the Canucks at the weekend – their first World Cup qualifying defeat to Canada since November 1980.
The USMNT were outplayed and outfought across the 90 minutes and know they must beat Honduras to maintain second place in the group and avoid a nervous run-in.
Luckily, the visitors arrive in Minnesota bottom of the qualifying group, without a win in 10 games, and are out of the running for Qatar 2022. The conditions at Allianz Field will be terribly cold, and the United States will hope this produces another lackluster Honduran performance.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game…
When is kick off? Wednesday 2 February, 19:30 (EST)
Where is the match being played? Allianz Field, Saint Paul, Minnesota
TV channel/live stream? Fox Sports 1, TUDN USA
Highlights? U.S Soccer YouTube Channel
Tim Weah was unable to travel to Canada due to a vaccination issue but returns to the roster on Wednesday night, offering Berhalter a much-needed attacking boost.
However, the USMNT will be missing two key figures in Tyler Adams and Chris Richards, with the former injuring his foot and the latter picking up a hamstring problem. The loss of Adams’ leadership on the field will be particularly damaging.
Los Catrachos enter the match without any fresh injuries or suspensions. CF Montreal forward Romell Quioto and former Houston Dynamo star Alberth Elis will be of concern to a depleted USMNT defense. Elis, in particular, will have to be watched closely after scoring eight goals in 14 Ligue 1 appearances for Bordeaux this season.
The previous meeting between these two sides was of particular significance, with teenage striker Ricardo Pepi scoring a goal and assisting another two on his USMNT debut to inspire a 4-1 comeback win. Pepi has, of course, since secured a big-money move to Augsburg in the German Bundesliga.
The USMNT have lost just three of their 27 meetings with Honduras overall, last doing so in February 2013 – they beat Los Catrachos in both their 2021 meetings.
The United States have been severely lacking an offensive spark during this qualifying campaign, despite the riches of talent at Berhalter’s disposal. Put simply, there has been too much safe possession and not enough risk-taking.
The exceedingly cold conditions will obviously define what happens on the pitch, but supporters will be demanding a far more free-flowing, fun performance than what they’ve had to sit through recently.
They probably won’t get it, but should at least be left celebrating three vital points on the road to Qatar.
Prediction: United States 2-0 Honduras