Direct from San Pedro Sula

Greetings from Hot, Muggy, Wonderful Honduras

A cursory glance might not let you know that there is a vital World Cup qualification game taking place in two afternoons. But peer a little bit below the surface and the signs are everywhere.
BY Noah Davis Posted
February 04, 2013
10:11 AM
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras—Four years ago, the United States national team came to Honduras during a coup, escaped with a 3-2 victory, and qualified for the 2010 World Cup.

On Wednesday, they open up the Hexagonal against the Catrachos in the crime-ridden country's economic capital.

Things have gotten worse in the intervening four years, with SPS rated as the world's most violent city in 2011. Everywhere you go, you see barbed wire, armed guards, and guns. The U.S. State Department posted an agent at the media hotel. The capital is the type of place that confirms the thesis CJ Chivers posits in his book, The Gun.

Driving through the streets, you wouldn't know there is a game here in two days time. Right now, life goes on and people go about their lives. But look beyond the guns and the grit, and you see a different story. The papers are covered with feature stories about the Honduran team and the American squad they will face in Estadio OlĂ­mpico Metropolitano. The country declared a national holiday on Wednesday.

And it's going to be hot. The cloud cover that kept the temperature down when we arrived around noon burned off and it's approaching 90 degrees right now. This is the pattern around these mountainous parts: Cooler in the morning, hotter as the day goes along. The forecast calls for Wednesday to peak at 92 degrees, right around the 3pm local time kick off. It's almost liked the Honduran Federation planned that or something.

ASN deputy editor Noah Davis is covering the United States game against Honduras.

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