The United States played a gritty game against Honduras in Utah last night as part of their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. The match portrayed concentration from both sides, but in the end, it was the Americans who found the lone goal for all three points.
The same passing game we saw against Panama last week was brought back into play last night. Graham Zusi found Fabian Johnson down the left whose grounded cross was tapped home by the one Jozy Altidore. This sequence was arguably the best one of the game since it brought the final 1-0 scoreline.
Captain Clint Dempsey had a golden chance to score earlier in the match when he headed a cross right to the keeper then the rebound was hit well over by midfielder Michael Bradley. This was one of the better chances created by the home team.
Defensively, the U.S. was solid as it faced a Honduran team that is known for its passing, dribbling and speed. They made it difficult at times, but finding the back of the net was the one thing they lacked the ability to do. They were missing some of their key players which disallowed them to create as many chances in front of goal. Jerry Bengston, Walter Martinez and Carlo Costly are a few of the names that were not available.
With 13 points racked up and four games left to be played, the U.S. has one foot into the World Cup group stage already firmly in place. Their next two games will be away at Costa Rica, then at home to Mexico in September. Winning at least one of those will all but guarantee their place.
With Jozy Altidore and company finally clicking on the international stage under Jurgen Klinsmann, good things may be coming for American soccer on the world stage.