After a relative stroll through the group stage and quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the United States men's soccer team might face a stiffer test today in the semifinals.
The U.S. plays Honduras in Arlington, Texas. In the other semifinal, Mexico plays Panama, also today at Cowboys Stadium.
Through three group-stage games and a 5-1 rout of El Salvador in the quarters on Sunday, the U.S. has outscored its opponents 16-3, pushing its winning streak to a national-record nine games. The opposition — Belize, Cuba, Costa Rica and El Salvador — hasn't offered much resistance, even for a U.S. squad containing many second-teamers.
However, the U.S. team doesn't need a long memory to realize that Honduras can be a dangerous opponent. Honduras defeated the United States 2-1 in San Pedro Sula on Feb. 6 in the opening game of the final round of 2014 World Cup qualifying. The U.S. won the rematch 1-0 in Sandy, Utah, on June 18.
Those games were played with the teams' top talent, as opposed to the Gold Cup, in which teams are resting many mainstays. However, the U.S. Gold Cup squad features the country's all-time leading scorer, Landon Donovan, who is attempting to work his way back to the "A" team after a self-imposed sabbatical.
U.S. forward Chris Wondolowski, who plays for the San Jose Earthquakes, has a tournament-high five goals, a record for an American player in a single Gold Cup.
The U.S. is in the Gold Cup semifinals for the seventh consecutive time and the 11th time in 12 editions of the tournament. Mexico beat the U.S. in each of the past two finals, 2009 and 2011. The United States won the event in 1991, 2002, 2005 and 2007.
GAME DAYU.S. vs. Honduras
WHAT: Gold Cup semifinal
WHEN: Today, 4 p.m.
WHERE: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: Fox Soccer
OTHER MATCHUP: Mexico meets Panama following the U.S.-Honduras game