Jerry Bengtson took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute, and Honduras rallied to beat the United States, 2-1, in the opener of the final qualifying round for next year’s World Cup.
Clint Dempsey put the U.S. ahead in the 36th minute but the Americans, using a new-look defense that featured Omar Gonzalez and Timmy Chandler, gave up the lead when Juan Carlos Garcia tied the score with a bicycle kick in the 40th minute at San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Bengtson scored the winner when defender Geoff Cameron and goalkeeper Tim Howard both went for a pass from Maynor Figueroa to Oscar Boniek Garcia. That allowed Garcia to tap the ball across to Bengtson for a shot into an open net.
“Overall, there were too many mistakes done and too many players today just didn’t reach their usual potential,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.
Three members of Seattle Sounders FC were in uniform. Forward Eddie Johnson started for the United States and played into the 58th minute, while midfielder/defender Brad Evans did not play. Midfielder Mario Martinez went the full 90 minutes for Honduras.
The U.S. and Honduras will meet again on June 18, and that game could be played at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Sounders FC will resume preseason training Friday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. … The Sounders announced details of their annual Kickoff Luncheon, which will be held Feb. 28 at CenturyLink Field. Information is available at SoundersFC.com/kickoffluncheon.Staff writer Don Ruiz contributed to this report.