Today, the US National Team starts back on its road to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Six teams remain in CONCACAF qualifying: Mexico, United States, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras. Out of these six, half will make it through to Brazil, while the fourth-placed side will face a home and home tie with the champion of Oceania for a spot in Brazil.
The Hexagonal starts today, and the first match features a tough test for the United States: a date with Roger Espinoza, Boniek Garcia, Carlo Costly and the rest of the Honduran national team in San Pedro Sula. The criteria that the State Department used to name this city the most dangerous in the world probably didn't include their stadium, but maybe it should have. The blue and white of Honduras will be out in full force, as the country's president has declared today a holiday, and this will make a difficult task much, much harder.
The Hondurans have been playing together recently, in the Copa Centroamericana, and will rely on that cohesion, a boisterous crowd, and the humidity of a Central American afternoon to pick up three points against the Yanks.
For their part, the Americans have only been together since Monday, though some of the roster, such as Graham Zusi and Brad Davis, were present in the January camp run by coach Jurgen Klinsmann. It is a roster that is missing longtime icon Landon Donovan, and perhaps more than that. While the midfielder struggles to determine his future, the national team has struggled in finding an identity without him - though with players like Hercules Gomez and Clint Dempsey in the fold, it's not like this side is suddenly punch-less.
The big question Dynamo supporters will be asking is in regards to the role of Brad Davis. It is known that he has been issued his trusty kit number, 11, and it's also known that Klinsmann often likes to assign 1-11 to those players in the starting XI - but at this point, nothing substantial is known. Personally, I've read about as many articles and tweets that place him in the starting XI as I have that have him out of it.
By all accounts, he's impressed the coaching staff so far, so it might not be that much of a stretch to see him on that left side - opposite Dynamo teammate Boniek Garcia. That, in my eyes, would be a match-up well worth watching, and one of the few times I will ever root for the smile to be wiped off Boniek's face.
So as 3PM Central approaches, get ready to start your engines. The Hex is upon us, and the road to Brazil is waiting. Let's help our boys carry the Stars and Stripes to Rio and beyond.
Note: Since this match is only on BeIN Sport, which most of us don't have, here's a good link to find a stream for it. (Dynamo Theory does not condone nor does is condemn those who would seek to watch their national team, even should the necessary steps to do so be deemed less than proper by entities who should have no say in the matter.)