Maynor Figueroa (pictured) was called up for Honduras' friendlies in October against Mexico and the USA. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduras head coach Hernan Medford announced Tuesday his roster for away friendlies against Mexico and the United States on October 9 (Tuxtla Gutierrez) and October 14 (Boca Raton, Florida), respectively.
Of the 21 players selected, 10 were part of the squad that finished fifth in the Central American Cup (CCA) earlier this month. That placement secured the Catrachos a playoff meeting with the team that ultimately finishes fifth in November’s Caribbean Cup for a berth in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The matches will mark the return of key performers Maynor Figueroa (Hull City/England) and Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes/USA). Neither veteran participated in the CCA, indicating after the World Cup that they would assess their national team futures.
"Nobody is obligated in this group,” said Medford. “All players come from conviction and that is the case for Figueroa and Bernardez with whom I talked on the phone before making the official announcement of their call-ups.”
A surprise invitation was extended to young Olimpia forward Alberth Elis. The rising star, who played in four games in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, has netted once in this season’s CONCACAF Champions League and also scored a goal against Panama in Central American qualifying for the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship.
"Elis is having a great season with Olimpia, despite being a player of 18-years-old,” expressed Medford. “He has shown a lot of maturity and I think is ready to be part of the senior squad."
After a challenging Central American Cup, Medford views the encounters against the pair of CONCACAF powers as a new beginning.
"Football is about opportunities,” finished the former Real España manager. “Some of those who went to the Central American Cup have no advantage. Now we focus on those who have experience in order to cope with two major rivals such as Mexico and the United States.”
Honduras will convene on October 6 in Tegucigalpa, before traveling to Mexico two days later.
(International friendlies: October 9, 2014, away v Mexico; October 14, 2014, away v USA)
GOALKEEPERS: Donis Esober (Olimpia), Kevin Hernández (Real España)
DEFENDERS: Wilfredo Barahona (Real España), Victor Bernárdez (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), Wilmer Crisanto (Motagua), Henry Figueroa (Motagua), Maynor Figueroa (Hull City/England), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic/Scotland), Javier Portillo (Olimpia)
MIDFIELDERS: Bryan Acosta (Real España), Marvin Chávez (Chivas USA/USA), Jorge Claros (Sporting Kansas City/USA), Edder Delgado (Real España), Oscar Boniek García (Houston Dynamo/USA), Luis Garrido (Houston Dynamo/USA), Mario Martínez (Barcelona SC/Ecuador) Andy Najar (Anderlecht/Belgium), Juan José Rodríguez (Parrilas One)
FORWARDS: Alberth Elis (Olimpia), Romell Quioto (Olimpia), Roger Rojas (Ettifaq/Saudi Arabia)