WASHINGTON, May 7, 2014 — Honduras has named four Major League Soccer based players on its 23-man World Cup team, along with a number of former MLS veterans.
New England Revolution forward Jerry Bengtson, Colorado Rapids midfielder Marvin Chavez, San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Victor Bernardez, and Houston Dynamo midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia all made the roster. Three former MLS stars, Sporting Kansas City ace Roger Espinoza, now with Wigan, former MLS rookie of the year and D.C. United ace, Andy Najar, now with Anderlecht, and Mario Martinez, recently on loan with the Seattle Sounders from Real Espana, were also named to the team.
Six of the Honduran players on the roster play in England, including Stoke City’s Wilson Palacios and Hull City’s Maynor Figueroa.
Honduras will play France, Ecuador and Switzerland in Group E at the World Cup in Brazil.
“I ask the ones who have not been called up to understand. A lot of players were part of this process, but only 23 can be called,” said Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez. “I cannot keep everybody satisfied.”
Honduras will meet up in Florida on May 12 to play three warm-up friendlies against Turkey, Israel and England. The game against Turkey takes place at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. on May 29.
World Cup teams must name their 30 man rosters by May 13 and then name the 23 players that will travel to Brazil on June 2.
Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares, Donis Escober (both Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana).
Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan), Maynor Figueroa (Hull), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Osman Chavez (Qingdao Janoon), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua).
Midfielders: Arnold Peralta (Rangers), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Stoke), Oscar Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Marvin Chavez (Colorado Rapids).
Strikers: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad).
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email [email protected]