Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Meet the Team: Honduras

Nickname: Rather than just going with La H (for the first letter of their name) I'll go with La Garra Catracha or "the Honduran Claw"

Star: There is no one transcendent player for Honduras coming into the cup. Perhaps the most notable is Roger Espinoza whose family moved to the US and started his career in the MLS before rising to the heights of an FA Cup upset when his Wigan side ousted Man City a year ago. It's his creative pace that will give Honduras any chance going forward this year.

Hip-Star: Naturally, only posers focus on the main European leagues. The real competition lies elsewhere, like Poland and China where Osman Chávez plies his trade, defending all comers for Wilsa Kraków and Quingdao Jonoon. Since the squad struggled to keep out goals during qualifying, his play and lessons learned in the rougher, less glamorous leagues will be crucial to unsettling opponents.

A man you never want
to bump into in a dark alley
X-Factor: Did you know that Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world? Whatever else is said about pressure from the press (England and Brazil), few places on earth boast as serious a set of consequences for poor performance, as Honduras.

Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez was the mastermind behind the second round run of Ecuador back at the 2006 World Cup, and despite a poor turn of form with the national side thereafter, has again found success in Latin America. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he's built like a brick house.

History: In two cups Honduras has only ever been able to salvage draws. In 1982 against Spain and Northern Ireland (at a time when only 4 current national team players were alive) and in 2010 against Switzerland when they didn't score a single goal. Lucky them, the Swiss are on the docket this time around too.

Food: A vegetarian fast food option, perfect for a fast half-time pick me up: the baleada offers a quick flour tortilla with beans, cheese, sour cream and avocado, plantains or scrambled eggs. I would never have thought to make this...so I guess I better.

Fool: Not to pick on people trying to make their local communities better, but it's hard not to give this to the mayor of Murderville, Planet Earth: San Pedro Sula mayor Juan Carlos Zúniga, here's hoping he proves me wrong.

Best Case: Besting an overconfident France (the easiest kind to best) sparks a rush from Honuras that leads them to a stunning second place in the group. Better still, they hold Argentina goalless for the first half of the second round match, then bow out with honor and pride.

Worst Case: Criminals, barons, thieves, dastards, Honduras again fails to score a goal because they never make it to Brazil. (Worse yet, El Salvador sneaks in, pretends to be Honduras and no one notices).

My prediction: The good news for Honduras is that this time they'll score a goal. The bad news is that it still won't mean anything. 4th Place in Group E--0 points

Added Bonus: While I'm trying to learn Spanish, it's not yet good enough to tell if this song from the Hip Hop Honduras project is "Gangsta" in the local sense of the word or not, still I like the beat, so here's Mission Urbana "Frente a Frente" (Face to Face)

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