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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

January 23, 2010
A NIGHTMARE
Honduras rolls past U.S., in friendly, 3-1


Clarence Goodson scored the lone U.S. goal in its 3-1 home defeat to Honduras.
Clarence Goodson scored the lone U.S. goal in its 3-1 home defeat to Honduras.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
CARSON, Calif. -- The U.S. National Team got its collective head handed to itself in a 3-1 loss to Honduras in an international friendly at The Home Depot Center Saturday night.

Most of the key players and starters for the Americans did not play in the match as they were in Europe, performing for their respective clubs.

The Hondurans rolled to a three-goal advantage before the U.S. finally found the back of the net as Clarence Goodson headed home a Brad Davis corner kick from three yards in the 70th minute in front of 18,616 fans.

The Americans played with more effort and focus in an improved second half, but it was too little and too late.

The U.S. had beaten the Hondurans four times in 2009, twice in World Cup qualifying and two more times in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

However, this game was different, at least in the first half.

The U.S.'s attacking opportunities were few and far between. FC Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham, who is trying to secure a roster spot, was silent during his time as a starter in the first half.

Carlos Pavon, who missed a vital regulation penalty kick late in the U.S.'s 3-2 qualifying win in San Pedro Sula in October, had a measure of revenge as he was the offensive star in the opening half.

The Hondurans were awarded a penalty kick after defender Jimmy Conrad was ruled to have taken down a player in the penalty area. Conrad, who had already received a yellow card in the sixth minute, was show a second card and ejected from the game.

"It changed [the game] quite a bit," U.S. defender Jonathan Bornstein told Fox Soccer Channel after the match. "It's tough to [come' back, especially with a man down."

This time Pavon did not miss, though he had to take his kick twice. His first attempt beat goalkeeper Troy Perkins to the right. When the referee said he had to retake his penalty, Pavon fired his attempt to the lower left corner for a 1-0 Honduras lead.

In the 38th minute, Pavon set up the Hondurans' second goal as his right-wing cross found Jerry Palacios, who headed it home from six yards.

Honduras made it 3-0 early in the 53rd minute as Roger Espinoza beat Perkins from eight yards on the left side, scoring to the far post.

Former New York Red Bulls midfielder Amado Guevara wore the captain's armband for Honduras.
   
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