CHICAGO (Oct. 14, 2014) -- The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to face CONCACAF rival Honduras tonight, at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio.
After a 1-0 victory against Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, and a 1-1 draw versus Ecuador on Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Connecticut, tonight’s game will mark the third match of the U.S. MNT‘s new cycle focused on the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made six roster changes following the Ecuador game; they include 2014 FIFA World Cup participants Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones and Graham Zusi. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson also joins the U.S. roster. John Brooks, Landon Donovan, Luis Gil, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan and Joe Gyau returned to their respective clubs.
Klinsmann is eyeing this game as another opportunity to expose some younger players to the level of play expected at the senior level. He is hoping the experience from the newly added veteran leaders will aid this younger team in what is expected to be a tough contest.
“We’re looking forward to that meeting with Honduras and the occasion to have our group together in a way that we can explore more things on the field and keep on developing this new start, this new cycle,” said Klinsmann ahead of tonight’s matchup. “It’s exciting to see the first steps that the players have taken, with that game in Czech Republic and the follow-up in [East] Hartford. This is another occasion to see where certain players are, what they bring to the table.
“You want those more experienced players to take those younger players under their wings. You want almost like a mentor situation. The biggest learning curve they can through is being on the field and getting minutes, so that’s why we purposely brought a very young roster to the Czech Republic, why we had that roster up in (East) Hartford and why we’ll continue to have that roster (tonight).”
The game against Honduras represents a homecoming of sorts for a few players on the USA roster, especially for Boca Raton native, Jozy Altidore. The U.S. MNT forward is thrilled to return to the place that saw him develop into the player he is today.
“I’ve played a few times in Florida, but Sun Life (Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens) is the closest I’ve been to Boca, so I’m excited to play here,” Altidore said. “I’m going to have a lot of friends and family in the stands; a lot of people who have been around since I started to play soccer here, so I’m excited.”
In addition, goalkeeper Nick Rimando was a 2000 MLS SuperDraft selection by the now defunct Miami Fusion which was based in the nearby city of Fort Lauderdale, while midfielder Alejandro Bedoya was raised only 40 miles south in the city of Weston.