Honduras Heads Home from Olympics

Being a small Central American country, Honduras knew the Olympic tournament was going to be difficult. But after upsetting Mexico in the CONCACAF qualification tournament, they would’ve hoped things went a little better than they did.

Three games. Three losses.

Fives goals against. Zero goals for.

Of course, they did face a tough group, consisting of Italy, Cameroon, and South Korea. All in all, the Honduran team left China on Thursday feeling like the experience wasn’t a waste. Which makes sense, since this was only their second Olympic qualification; the full side has advanced to the World Cup finals only once, in 1982 in Spain, where they managed two draws but did not escape the group.

“There is always a positive side to everything,” head coach Roberto Yearwood on Fifa.com. “The players will just have to accept what happened here and we mustn’t lose sight of our future objectives. The next step for them is the full national team, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ve gained an awful lot in terms of experience in this tournament.”

Veteran defender Samuel Caballero agreed with his coach. The former Chicago Fire and Udinese defender saw positives in the performance, even if the results were less than desired. And sees payoff coming soon.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t bring some joy to the Honduran people but you have to understand that we can learn a lot from this for the future,” the 33-year-old said. “I’m getting on so for me playing in the Olympics is just something I can be proud of. For them, though, it’s another benchmark in their personal development and they’ll get the benefit of it in the future.”

The full Honduras side kicks off its CONCACAF World Cup 2010 qualifying bid against Mexico next Wednesday in Mexico City. Whether any of the Olympians will be on the side remains to be seen, but someday hopefully they will reap the benefits of Beijing.

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