With Brazil set to take on Luis Fernando Suarez's charges at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami next month, GBGT takes a closer look at Los Catrachos
| Nickname: Los Catrachos (The Red)
Stadium: Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano
Top Goalscorer: Carlos Pavon (57)
Most Caps: Amado Guevara (137)
|Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez
A Copa Libertadores winner with Atletico Nacional as a player, Colombian Suarez took the reins at Honduras in 2011 and certainly has the pedigree to help Los Catrachos compete for a qualification from the group stage of next year’s World Cup, having led Ecuador to the round of 16 at Germany 2006. The 53-year-old proved his man management credentials with his handling of striker Jerry Bengtson’s decision to walk out on the squad after being dropped. Rather than casting the striker aside, he publically challenged the New England Revolution man to apologise and return to the team. That’s exactly what he did, and he ended the qaulification campaign as his side’s top scorer.
|Captain: Noel Valladares
The veteran goalkeeper made his international debut in a 4-0 against Haiti back in 2000 and has been a fixture in the side ever since, earning his 100th cap against Ecuador last year. The 36-year-old has spent his entire career in his homeland and shows no sign of slowing down and was named goalkeeper of the tournament as Honduras fell to Mexico at the 2011 Gold Cup. The Olimpia man played all 10 of his country’s qualifiers.
|One to watch: Wilson Palacios
Despite finding Premier League minutes hard to come by for his club, Stoke City, the former Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has played an integral role in his nation’s qualification for their second straight World Cup finals. The 29-year-old showed his class with a stunning individual goal against Panama. His tenacity, neat footwork and excellent distribution will be vital to side’s chances next summer - as will his ability to carve out chances for the prolific Bengtson, who bagged eight goals during qualification.
|How they qualified|
Los Catrachos confirmed their place at Brasil 2014 on the final day of qualification with a 2-2 draw with Jamaica in Kingston, condemning North American heavyweights Mexico to a play-off. An unbeaten run at home provided the platform on which they launched their assault on CONCACAF’s six-team hexagonal. The highlights of their campaign arrived when they came from behind to secure 2-1 victory over the United States in San Pedro Sula and a famous victory by the same scoreline over Mexico at the Azteca – becoming only the second team in history to emerge from a qualifier in Mexico with all three points.
Brazil meet Honduras in the Gillette International Soccer Series at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida on November 16.