The United States gets the final round of World Cup qualifying underway on Wednesday when they take on Honduras in front of a charged crowd in San Pedro Sula. The government has declared the day a national holiday, ensuring that the nearly 8,000,000 Honduras will all be tuned in to the afternoon match, adding more excitement to an already highly anticipated clash.
Four years ago, the U.S. clinched a spot in the 2010 World Cup by winning a wild and unbelievable match at Estadio Olimpico so the Americans know they can win in San Pedro Sula. Winning this time around should be easier than it was in 2009, too. Honduras isn't as good as they were last cycle and will be without Emilio Izaguirre and Andy Najar, both of whom will miss the match due to injury.
With Izaguirre and Najar out, the U.S. should get at least a draw on Wednesday, which would be a solid start to the Hex. With tough matches against Costa Rica and then a trip to Mexico coming up next month, the Americans can't afford to lose in Honduras. If they do, they will be facing a steep uphill climb in qualifying so a result in the opener is a must.