US Soccer Defeat Puts World Cup Hopes In Jeopardy

An unlikely US soccer defeat at the hands of Honduras has forced the American squad in a difficult path to reaching the World Cup.

The United States team was defeated by Honduras 2-1 in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday night in the opening game of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying round. The US squad took the lead in the 35th minute of the contest thanks to a goal by Clint Dempsey, but, just four minutes later, Honduras knotted it up on a bicycle kick from Juan Carlos Garcia.

“Overall, there were too many mistakes done and too many players today just didn’t reach their usual potential,” US coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “They stayed behind their own game and therefore, it’s really difficult coming away with a win here if you’re not having everybody 100 percent at their limits.”

The second half was all Honduras, Reuters noted. They dominated the tempo and took the lead in the 78th minute when striker Jerry Bengtson caught the U.S. defense out of position and buried the ball in the empty net.

Many soccer experts believed that even before the defeat, the odds for the US.S. team to reach the World Cup were long. The six team seeding for the tournament is stacked with strong teams like Brazil and Mexico, and the US would have to finish in the top three to guarantee a berth.

ESPN explains:

“The general rule in qualifying is to win home games and pick up points on the road. The top three nations in the six-team group represent North and Central America and the Caribbean at next year’s tournament in Brazil, and the No. 4 country advances to a playoff for another berth, likely against New Zealand.”

The US soccer defeat has the American team sitting in last place among the six teams for the time being.

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