Oscar Boniek Garcia (white jersey) in action for Honduras in a friendly at host Mexico on October 9, 2014, in Tuxtla Gutierrez. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Before heading to Frisco, Texas, to embark on its seventh straight CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign, Honduras will make a stop in Houston for an international friendly against Mexico on July 1.
Following a seven-match winless streak, the Catrachos seem to be finding their stride under head coach Jorge Luis Pinto, who was named to the post in December after guiding Costa Rica to the 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals. Honduras is unbeaten in three of its last four outings with the only loss over that stretch coming at Brazil, 1-0, on June 10.
Another strong performance at Reliant Stadium would go a long way in the process of restoring confidence and building momentum.
“Playing against Mexico is a good test,” said midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia. “I think the knowledge that is acquired in friendly matches is good and it will be a test under fire against them heading into the Gold Cup.”
After gaining semifinal berths in the last three Gold Cups, Garcia says that Honduras is looking to lift the trophy this around.
“The commitment is big for the Gold Cup and we have to give a go to have a great competition, but obviously the idea is to go and seize the title,” remarked the 30-year-old Houston Dynamo standout. “It is the mentality that we have to take if we’re to win the cup. It will be difficult, but you must go to compete.”
Honduras will open the tournament on July 7 in Frisco, Texas, against the defending champion United States. In their last Gold Cup meeting two years ago, the Americans posted a 3-1 semifinal win.
“The United States is on great form, winning on the road against two great national teams like the Netherlands and Germany, but we have to go and do our thing,” Garcia finished. “We’ve had big friendlies in which we demonstrated our capacity and now we have to apply it in the Gold Cup.”