For all the international involvement for the Houston Dynamo, the club has only had one player, Brian Ching, head to a World Cup. Tuesday night, Boniek García, the club’s sure-fire chance to add to that list, will try and help Honduras head to their second straight World Cup against fellow Dynamo Jermaine Taylor and Jamaica (8:30 p.m. CT; BeIN Sport Espanol).
While most in his home locker room have an allegiance to the United States, they will have an eye on their teammate looking to book passage to Brazil.
“With Boniek you appreciate the way he plays the game. He enjoys it and it’d be great to see him play in a World Cup,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear, who earned 54 caps for the U.S. “I think the side angle will be the Dynamo will have one, two or possibly more players involved in the World Cup which is always something to be happy about.”
Garcia and Honduras are assured of finishing no lower than fourth in the table, so a loss to the Reggae Boyz would not kill their World Cup hopes, but a result or fortunate results in other matches would make their inclusion a certainty. A fourth place finish would require a play-in game against New Zealand to qualify.
Brad Davis is self-admittedly "right on the brink" of the U.S. roster as he prepares for their final qualifying match against Panama, so García represents Houston’s best chance to have representation and have a player play in the world’s biggest tournament.
Ching was on Bruce Arena’s roster in 2006 but did not log minutes in the World Cup final. Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark cut their teeth with the Dynamo ahead of the 2010 World Cup but were out of a Dynamo uniform before tripping to South Africa. Having a Dynamo on display in Brazil in the summer of 2014 is something that the Dynamo are looking forward to.
“It’s massive,” right back Kofi Sarkodie said of having a Dynamo player at the World Cup. “Of course I’m a USA guy but I wish Boniek all the best. That’s the world’s biggest stage. For him to go and be on that type of stage and play in that environment would be amazing."
One player who knows more than most what Honduras’ and Garcia’s presence can do is fellow Catracho Alexander López, who will be rooting his friend and teammates on from Houston and could be involved in Honduras’ Brazil plans as well.
“I think it’s very important for the national team to qualify for the World Cup,” López said through a translator. “I am friends with a lot of the team, but especially with Boniek. I just wished them good luck and to have a good game.”
Lopez’s teammates will be with him Tuesday night.
“I’m a Boniek fan,” said midfielder Servando Carrasco. “From day one, his ability on the ball is unparalleled in MLS. He can wiggle out of space like anyone I’ve seen in a long time. Obviously, we’re rooting for our boy.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.