The U.S. coach praised the Hondurans for a solid effort that included an incredible bicycle-kick goal from Juan Carlos Garcia.SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras -- The U.S. looked tired and uninvolved in dropping all three points on the road in its Hexagonal opener Wednesday afternoon in Honduras, falling 2-1 to the host Catrachos.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s team was thoroughly outplayed by a game Catracho side, and despite taking the lead through Clint Dempsey in the 36th minute, created few chances in ultimately conceding to a Honduran team that provided much more football on the day.
“We didn’t find our passing flow,” said Klinsmann. “We didn’t combine well enough, we didn’t hold the ball well enough.”
Klinsmann debuted a rookie center-back pairing in Omar Gonzalez and Geoff Cameron, along with outside back Timmy Chandler, making his first official appearance for the U.S.
Despite a number of errors from the defense, including some slow reaction from Cameron and Gonzalez on the Juan Carlos Garcia's game-winning goal in the 79th minute, the coach was quick to heap praise on the Hondurans.
“They were very good today. It was a good game by them, and you have to give them credit,” said Klinsmann. “You have to give Honduras lots of compliments today. They did what they needed to do and scored a fantastic goal. We knew coming here it was going to be a difficult game and it was.”
Klinsmann and his team now look forward to a pair of qualifiers in March, the first at home against Costa Rica, followed by a trip to Mexico to pay another visit to El Azteca. The German said that despite Wednesday’s setback, there’s still plenty of road ahead in the year-long final phase of CONCACAF qualifying.
“It is a stretch of 10 games,” he said. “We have to fix now the mistakes we made today, and we’ll see each other again in June.”