Andy Najar, who chose to play for Honduras rather than wait for U.S. citizenship, was among 23 players selected for the Catrachos’ World Cup roster.
The 21-year-old midfielder went to high school in Virginia and played for Major League Soccer’s D.C. United before his transfer to Belgium’s Anderlecht in January 2013. He announced in April 2011 he had chosen Honduras over the U.S., and he has one goal in 15 international appearances since.
The roster announced Monday also included midfielders Roger Espinoza of Wigan and Wilson Palacios of Stoke.Eleven players are returning from the country’s 2010 World Cup roster, including defenders Maynor Figueroa of Hull and Emilio Izaguerre of Glasgow Celtic. There are two newcomers: No. 3 goalkeeper Luis López and defender Juan Pablo Montes.
Honduras has exhibition games scheduled on May 29 against Turkey in Washington, D.C., Israel on June 1 in Houston, and England on June 7 in Miami Gardens, Florida. At the World Cup, they will play in Group E with France, Switzerland and Ecuador.
The full Honduras roster, along with each player’s club:
Goalkeepers: Donis Escober (Olimpia), Luis López (Real España), Noel Valladares (Olimpia)
Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Osman Chávez (Qingdao Jonoon), Maynor Figueroa (Hull), Juan Carlos García (Wigan), Emilio Izaguirre (Glasgow Celtic), Arnold Peralta (Glasgow Rangers), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua)
Midfielders: Marvin Chávez (Colorado, MLS).Jorge Claros (Motagua), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Oscar Boniek García (Houston, MLS), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Mario Martínez (Real España), Wilson Palacios (Stoke), Andy Najar (Anderlecht)
Forwards: Jerry Bengtson (New England, MLS), Carlo Costly (Real España), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense)
Brazilian national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari announced the host country’s World Cup 23-man roster on Wednesday, and it didn’t prove to have a lot of surprises on it. Scolari is expected to start most of the 11 players who helped the team win the Confederations Cup in 2013.
Named to the roster were international stars like keeper Julio Cesar; defenders David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Dani Alves; midfielders Oscar, Ramires, Willian and Paulinho; and forwards Fred, Hulk and Neymar. Having so much star power and being the host nation, anything less than winning the Cup will be a disappointment.
Brazil and Croatia, which play in Group A with Mexico and Cameroon, open the World Cup on Thursday, June 12 in Sao Paulo. The championship game is scheduled for July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.
The full squad:
Goalies: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Atlético Mineiro).
Defense: Dante (Bayern Munich), David Luiz (Chelsea), Henrique (Napoli), Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (AS Roma), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (Paris St-Germain).
Midfield: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Oscar (Chelsea), Paulinho (Tottenham), Ramires (Chelsea), Hernanes (Inter Milan), Willian (Chelsea).
Forwards: Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Fred (Fluminense), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Jo (Atlético Mineiro), Neymar (Barcelona).