The Catrachos lost a key qualifier at home to Bob Bradley's side in 2009, but they feel as though they are a different team four years later.SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras -- Defender Osman Chavez hopes that a different Honduran squad is set to show up Wednesday against the U.S., when the Catrachos meet the Americans in a renewal of a now classic CONCACAF rivalry.
In previous years, the Hondurans have had some very specific trouble with their visitors to the north, falling at home in important Hexagonal matches in 2001 and 2009.
But defender Chavez, who plays his club soccer for Polish outfit Wisla Krakow, says this time around the home team will have worlds more experience to fall back on when Jurgen Klinsmann’s team pays a visit to San Pedro Sula.
“I think that with respect to the previous times we’ve gone up against the U.S., this is a different Osman, a different group of players, a different coach,” the defender said.
“We have grown as players. It’s not the same, for example, as the first time we played Mexico at El Azteca. We’ve played more, there’s more experience, more maturity and more international experience. There’s no longer any fear and there’s a lot more confidence. We have to take the field and show them who’s who.”
Honduras opened the semifinal round at home last year with a surprise loss to Panama, but still qualified top of its group to the Hexagonal, placing the Catrachos among the favorites to clinch one of CONCACAF’s three direct bids to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“I think we feel fine, that we’re well positioned. We know who we’re up against and we’re hoping to play a good game here at home,” said defender Juan Pablo Montes.
“The mission is to get three points, at home. That’s our work and we want to take advantage of being at home.”
The match in San Pedro Sula kicks off CONCACAF qualifying on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. local time, to be followed in the evening by matchups between Panama and Costa Rica, as well as Mexico and Jamaica.