CanMNT Nations League Group Preview: Another Rematch with Honduras

CanMNT players Atiba Hutchinson and Tajon Buchanan in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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PREVIEW – The CanMNT Nations League group preview is three teams. They were grouped with Honduras and Curaçao. Both are decent teams that can get a result against the CanMNT on the road. Curaçao almost defeated Panama in the second-last stage of Concacaf World Cup qualifying.

The CanMNT Nations League Group Preview

Honduras

Once again, the CanMNT will face Honduras in an important competition. These two teams faced each other twice in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Honduras got the impressive 1-1 draw on the road at BNO Field back in September. However, Canada replied this January with a 2-0 win at San Pedro Sula.

There are a few players that Canadians should watch out for. The most obvious player to watch out for is CF Montréal’s Romell Quioto, Montreal and Canadian MLS fans will be familiar with Quioto. Quioto scored the game-winning goal for Montreal that won them the Canadian Championship.

The other current notable MLS player is Roger Espinoza. Since coming back to MLS, he has made 184 appearances and scored nine goals for Sporting Kansas City from 2015 onwards. He has overall made 250 appearances for Kansas City, scoring 10 goals in those games.

Another notable player is Bryan Acosta, midfielder of the Colorado Rapids. He signed as a designated player in 2019 with FC Dallas. He played for Dallas for three years before moving onto the Colorado Rapids in 2022. Other Honduras MLS players include Joseph Rosales of Minnesota United FC and D.C. United’s Andy Najar.

Curaçao

The only MLS player they have is Eloy Room. He has played 42 games for Curaçao and 72 games for the Columbus Crew SC.

Room is a goalkeeper that has played for Columbus since 2019. His impressive form helped lead Columbus Crew SC to their second-ever MLS Cup trophy. He also earned the 2020 MLS Save of the Year.

This even happened in 2022 Alejandro Pozuelo’s shot was stopped by Room in 2022. This is what Crew SC head coach, Caleb Porter said about the game according to Thomas Costello of Massive Report:

“He’s very steady,” head coach Caleb Porter said of Room after the 2-1 win. “0ur team’s a good defensive team, we don’t give up a ton. We’re not a team that just gets run over and gives up a ton of shots, so he has to be ready.”

Rangelo Janga is a player to watch for as a Canadian soccer fan. He currently plays for Apollon Limassol in Kazakhstan. Janga has scored Curaçao’s last two goals, including one in World Cup qualifying. He also has 13 goals in only 25 appearances since 2016 for his country. Finding a way to stop Janga from scoring will play a big role in Canada trying to find success against Curaçao in the Concacaf Nations League.

They also have some other players, including two highlighted from the EFL Championship. The same can be said of Leandro Bacuna, who has played for Cardiff City 109 times and scored four goals. He can play as a midfielder or as a right-back. He also scored 13 goals in 39 games for his country.

The CanMNT Concacaf Nations League Preview

Prediction: The CanMNT finishes first in the group and wins the Concacaf Nations League

The CanMNT finished first in the Octagon for a reason. They can challenge the top teams in Concacaf including the U.S., and Mexico. The CanMNT Concacaf Nations League will start on May 9 against Curaçao at BC Place, before travelling to Honduras on May 13. The Curaçao game will take place at 10:30 p.m. ET and then against Honduras at San Pedro Sula in Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano. Additionally, on March 25, 2023, Canada will travel to Curaçao before hosting Honduras on March 28. The games will be shown live on OneSoccer and Telus.

Hopefully, both games will be played as the game against Panama was cancelled on June 5. The CanMNT roster was revealed a few weeks ago, including Alphonso Davies, who missed the last six World Cup qualifying games because of myocarditis. The return of Alphonso Davies will be the talking point of the team as the CanMNT revealed their roster a few weeks ago. The Canadians have only faced Curacao once, back in 2017. It was an international friendly where Canada won by a score of 2-1.

With Honduras, in World Cup qualifying, Honduras earned a road draw with Canada at BMO Field. However, in January, Canada earned their first win in Honduras since 1985. Honduras, though, has the better overall record with 11 wins, eight losses, and eight draws. This includes denying Canada from making the final stage of World Cup qualifying for the 2014 and 2018 World Cup cycles in Concacaf.

Photo Credit: Canada Soccer on January 25, 2022.