Here’s the latest on whether the U.S. qualifier will be moved, which could well help the American cause if it’s played in another country:
NEW YORK (AP) — Soccer officials are watching the security situation in Honduras, hoping they won’t have to move next month’s World Cup qualifier against the United States.
Airports have been closed since Monday, when violence began after ousted President Manuel Zelaya returned to Tegucigalpa.
The United States is to play Honduras in San Pedro Sula Oct. 10 and would clinch its sixth straight World Cup berth with a win.
“It’s too early to stay where it stands, but certainly we’ll watch what’s going on,” FIFA
executive committee member Chuck Blazer said Wednesday. “The preference is to obviously keep it on site.”
Blazer, the secretary general of the Confederation of North and Central American Football, said a decision will be made by FIFA in consultation with CONCACAF.
He said he hopes for a determination next week and said it will be depend on security and airport access.
“We’re continuing to monitor the situation and in contact with CONCACAF and FIFA,” U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said.
And here’s Donovan on the U.S. team:
NEW YORK (AP) — Landon Donovan occasionally forgets just how young and inexperienced the U.S. national team is.
“Sometimes you get frustrated and you want us to handle things more maturely, but then you realize what we’re dealing with,” the midfielder said Wednesday. “The hope is that we’re learning a lot, we can still get through qualifying, and when the World Cup comes we’re better for it.”
The next test: a road match at Honduras on Oct. 10, when the Americans can clinch their sixth straight World Cup berth with a win.
Donovan was in New York on Wednesday with former U.S. teammate Brian McBride and retired Mexico goalkeeper Jorge Campos to play a new educational video game with high school kids. The game, from Visa, uses soccer to teach financial literacy.
The U.S. failed to win its first three road qualifiers this year before finally earning a
victory at Trinidad and Tobago on Sept. 9. And that was only a 1-0 decision after a listless first half.
As Donovan was quick to point out, the United States can still secure a spot even if it fails to win at Honduras. The Americans would just need a tie against Costa Rica in Washington, D.C., four days later. They’re 17-0-1 at home in qualifying since 2001.
The 27-year-old Donovan knows what’s in store at San Pedro Sula: heat, humidity, a hostile crowd and a harsh field.
“It probably won’t look much like a typical soccer game,” he said. “It will probably be pretty scrappy.”
While Donovan is well aware that the U.S. can still advance without a victory at Honduras, he doesn’t need to be reminded of what can happen in soccer when a team’s fortunes rest on just one game.
“I don’t want to leave that to chance,” he said. “We’ve all been in games where you just pummel a team for 90 minutes and they sneak a goal somehow and they end up winning,” Donovan added. “It’s not easy. We’re going to go with the mentality that that is the game we need to win. If not, it’s going to be a little hectic, a little pressure-packed.”