020613_isi_usmntmj020513018 Michael Janosz/isiphotos.com
The Hexagonal

United States vs. Honduras: Tickets Still Available!

There may be a few empty seats at Estdio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, but what the crowd lacks in sheer numbers it will make up for in volume. Noah Davis reports.

BY Noah Davis Posted
February 06, 2013
2:44 PM
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras—Ninety minutes before Honduras kicks off against the United States men's national team to start the Hexagonal, Estadio Olimpico is rocking.

As fans slowly filter in—strict security measures mean only one person can pass through the gate at a time--a guy in a cowboy hat plays guitar at midfield. During breaks, the stadium's speakers blast equally loud Latin-infused dance music. When the music quiets, the vuvuzelas take over. Ironically, they are the most pleasant noise here, or at least the quietest. It's all very festive, in that headache-creating way.

It will be interesting to see how many people fill out the stands. For one, it's a Wednesday afternoon and, despite the national holiday, there's a sense that people might rather stay home. While the over-capacity Honduras-U.S. match in 2009 was the ninth in a long 10-game slog, Wednesday's fixture is the opening game.

Central American fans sometimes adopt a "wait and see" attitude toward their national teams. I heard earlier that more than 15,000 tickets remained unsold, a lot for a 35,000-person venue. Scalpers waved plenty of inventory at our bus as we rode into the stadium.

All told, conditions could be worse for the United States. The field looks to be in excellent condition and I highly doubt it will be as full as 2009. But one thing is clear: No matter what, it will be loud.

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