So what will be the case tonight as Jurgen Klinsmann leads his squad in to Cowboys Stadium for the first semifinal game in the 2013 Gold Cup? Well, one thing we do know is that Dallas native Omar Gonzalez will be with the US team and will likely be paired with Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler in the middle of the defense.
The little bit of Honduras that I've seen in this Gold Cup hasn't been that impressive. They went 2-1-0 in Group B action, losing their only game to Trinidad and Tobago in the final group stage match 2-0. They did score a slightly impressive win in the quarterfinals over Costa Rica. I'll give them that.
Los Catrachos still have to knock off a recently dominant US side though. They have the likes of some very talent players in former FC Dallas midfielder Marvin Chavez, Seattle Sounders midfielder Mario Martinez and former D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar.
But this isn't the same Honduras squad that beat the US back in February in World Cup qualifying.
Najar will be someone the US will have to lock down in the midfield. But don't sleep on forward Rony Martinez as well. With the way the US defense has played this tournament, Martinez is the kind of player that can sneak in and get a crappy goal for the Hondurans.
Previewing United States
Klinsmann knows this won't be a give-me like three of the last four in this tournament have been. But thankfully for him and the US fans out there, this is a confident squad coming to Arlington. The US have scored 16 goals in this tournament while allowing just three.
But those three do have me concerned when I look things. They were all crappy goals from teams like Belize, Cuba and El Salvador. The defense should be better with Gonzalez and Besler in the middle. The midfield has to lock things down as Kyle Beckerman needs to continue to run the show behind the likes of Landon Donovan, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona and Chris Wondolowski.
The US played smart, attractive soccer against El Salvador over the weekend in Baltimore and will need to do the same tonight. Lots of fluid ball movement and smart play on set pieces.
While the majority of the crowd will be there to see Mexico and Panama go at it in the second match of the double header, there will still be a good chunk of US fans at Jerryworld, including myself. I think as long as the US play their game and keep the pressure on the back line of Honduras, they'll win this one pretty easily. I'd love to see a shutout too but I think Honduras will get one cheap goal in this one.
Score: US 3, Honduras 1