Player Ratings: A day for the U.S. to forget in Honduras
The U.S. men's national team weathered an early storm in Honduras and looked to be in fine shape after Clint Dempsey's beautiful volley put the Americans in front heading toward halftime. Then the wheels fell off.
A breath-taking bicycle kick just minutes after Dempsey's goal recaptured momentum for the hosts, and a catastrophic defensive sequence late in the second half led to a game-winning goal, as Honduras beat the U.S. 2-1 to open the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Hexagonal and deal the Americans an early blow. Winning in Honduras was never going to be an easy proposition, but the performance calls into question some of the decisions made by coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He opted for inexperienced but potential-filled Omar Gonzalez instead of battle-tested captain Carlos Bocanegra in central defense and used all of his substitutes by the 66th minute, when it was apparent that legs all over the field were becoming weary and would be an issue down the stretch.
Attention turns to the next qualifier, which is March 22 against Costa Rica at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Colorado. Considering the match four days after that is a battle against Mexico at Estadio Azteca, there are kinks that needs to be worked out in order for the U.S. to right its World Cup qualifying ship. Here are the American player ratings from the loss to Honduras (as always, on a scale from 0-10):