Thursday Kicks: Guzan Speaks & More

We’re expecting a fourth consecutive day of at times torrential rain that hopefully is going some way to easing the drought in Southern California, but the weather looks a helluva lot better for Saturday when the U.S. plays Honduras at 6 p.m. in Carson.

The game is live on Fox Soccer Channel, but U.S. Soccer officials say a “sizable” walk-up crowd is expected, so if you’re planning to head out to the Home Depot Center leave a little early.

The game will be between two teams of largely domestic-based players.

“Honduras is a good team,” said U.S. Coach Bob Bradley. “We’ve played them enough times that I think there’s a lot of respect on our end and I think they probably have a great deal of respect for us as well. This game probably is similar to the match-up in the Gold Cup, the semifinal, where neither team had some of its European-based players, but where you still see some dangerous players, you still see the solid work that’s gone into their team in terms of organization and the way they play. They have athleticism, so I think it’s a good test for us this time of year and a chance for us to assess some of the players in this camp.

I’m guessing Chivas USA’s Jonny Bornstein of Los Alamitos, still a national hero in Honduras after his last-minute strike on the final day of World Cup qualifying catapulted the Central Americans into the World Cup for the first time in almost 30 years, gets the start at left back over Heath Pearce.

How do those two rivals get along anyway?

“Having Heath there adds a lot of healthy competition,” Bornstein said “We’re both fighting for the same spot, but we do get a long really well. We communicate off the field, not just about soccer, but about other things.”

Bradley wouldn’t be drawn about who would start or whether each will get a half. But both know what they need to do to get the starting spot in the World Cup.

“We’ve seen them both perform well at different times in the last few years,” Bradley said. “Now we need to see the consistency. We also have some other options – Carlos Bocanegra has played left back.”

BTW, if you missed more pre-game coverage here earlier in the week, click here.

Finally, former Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan isn’t in camp but he’s making sure Bradley doesn’t overlook him by continuing his League Cup exploits for Aston Villa Wednesday night and helping them reach the final at Wembley.

Read more about Guzan’s progress at Villa here.

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