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Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares (Olimpia), Donis Escober (Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana);

Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan), Maynor Figueroa (Hull), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Osman Chavez (Qingdao Jonoon), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua);

Midfielders: Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Stoke), Oscar Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Marvin Chavez (Colorado Rapids);

Forwards: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad).

N.B. Only 22 men listed due to an injury to defender Arnold Peralta (Rangers) which has ruled him out of the tournament.

Source: google images

Having made it to the World Cup for only the third time in their history, Honduras will be looking to better their performances in both previous tournaments - Spain 1982 and South Africa 2010 - which saw them crash out at the group stage.

However, since the 2011 appointment of Luis Fernando Suarez, La H have steadied the ship. This drastic improvement in fortunes was solidified during the CONCACAF World Cup qualification preliminaries, which saw them top their third round group, ahead of Panama, Canada and Cuba respectively. In round four, the final group stage, Los Catrachos secured third place, behind United States and Costa Rica, taking the last remaining direct qualifying spot in the process. Suarez's men's CONCACAF campaign also featured a win over Mexico, a feat they had only managed six times in almost 80 years of competition between the two sides.

La H are, at FIFA ranking 30, the lowest-rated team in their group, being joined by formidable opponents in the shape of Switzerland, France and Ecuador. The task awaiting them is not an easy one, but with the likes of Anderlecht playmaker Andy Najar in their squad, a player who impressed as part of the Honduras 2012 Olympics football team, La H have the talent within their ranks to provide an upset or two. The 21-year-old helped his national Olympic side forge a surprise path to the quarter-final stage in London two years ago, where they lost 3-2 to Brazil, and was also a regular in an Anderlecht side who this year won the Belgian First Division title for the third successive season.

Some of the more familiar names in the Honduran 23 include Stoke's Wilson Palacios, Wigan's Roger Espinoza, Carlo Costly, who has previously spent a year on loan at Birmingham, and Emilio Izaguirre, who won the Scottish Premier League Player of the Season award in 2010/11, following a string of incredible performances at left-back for Celtic.

 

Star player

Plying his trade Stateside for New England Revolution in the MLS, Jerry Bengtson is probably best known to UK fans for scoring the header that knocked World and European champions Spain out of the London 2012 Olympics. The 27-year-old striker, who is classed as an out-and-out poacher, went on to score two more goals in just four games at the Olympics, adding support to an impressive international record which currently stands at 19 goals in 41 appearances. Although he has not set the world alight at Revolution, bagging just 4 goals in 34 outings, Bengtson is rumoured to be on the radar of Scottish giants Rangers, and a strong showing in the World Cup could result in a move to Glasgow.

 

Source: pictures.zimbio.com

Another name to watch out for is that of Luis Garrido. Despite never having scored a goal at any level of international football, the 23-year-old defensive midfielder is one of the most highly-rated talents in Los Catrachos' squad. Playing his club football in Honduras for Olimpia, Garrido has helped his side to five league titles in the last six years. He also spent six months on loan in Europe at Serbian outfit Red Star Belgrade, who wanted to sign the midfielder permanently, but did not have the funds in place at the time.

 

Predicted finish

Group stageAs aforementioned, Luis Fernando Suarez and his side will have to perform minor miracles if they are to escape a group that contains the talents of players such as Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri and Olivier Giroud of France, but there is World Cup-class talent in the La H squad. In reality, the likelihood of Honduras defeating Switzerland or France is very slim, and I think their chance lies in the form of beating Ecuador and trying to nab a draw in one of their other two group games. This would not guarantee them progression from the group, and they would be relying on other teams slipping up, but with the unpredictable Swiss and the even more capricious Tricolor to compete with, anything can happen.

Source: fifa.com

 

 

 

 

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