Almost four years ago - October 16, 2012 - Canada's men's national team played Honduras in Honduras needing a draw to qualify for the Hexagonal phase of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Los Catrachos scored first (in the 7th minute) and didn't stop scoring. At the final whistle, the Hondurans were celebrating a big win: 8-1. Canada's men's national team went into a prolonged funk.
Head coach Stephen Hart was relieved of his duties and then Canada sulked through the best part of a year and three interim managers. Present head coach, Benito Floro, was finally appointed in August 2013. Canada played its first game under Floro in September 2013. It won its first game under Floro in September 2014. It took Canada's men's national soccer program almost two years to recover from that 2012 loss to Honduras.
Losing to Honduras in Honduras is not such a great source of shame that any soccer nation need hang its head for the best part of two years. Win or lose, this match is a test of Canadian soccer's maturity. The national team has made gains under Floro, and those gains have got it...more or less where it was in 2012. Maybe it would be a little further progressed if it hadn't spent most of 2013 sulking.
Canada's qualifying campaign won't end in Honduras this time around, but it does want a point at least to feel comfortable about its chances of making the Hex.
In the final round of games in this group, Honduras must travel to Mexico while Canada takes on El Salvador at home. Even if they lose this match, the Canadians will have a shot at easing past Los Catrachos on goal difference, if El Tri does what it is expected to do at home and Canada finds a few goals against the Salvadorans.
But to do that, Canada must of course not do what it did the last time it lost in Honduras: it must not lose its way.
The New York Red Bulls' Karl Ouimette has lost his way a little this season. He got a chance to make his case for a regular start at RBNY early in the year, when injuries opened the door for the 24-year-old center back. Results weren't great, and the Red Bulls decided they liked the idea of converting right back Chris Duvall to a CB rather than rely on Ouimette.
A shocking kick to the back during a reserve-team game sidelined the Canadian for a while, and he was ultimately loaned out for the rest of the season to NASL's Jacksonville Armada. The loan isn't going too well at the moment. Ouimette got regular minutes under head coach Tony Meola, but results weren't great and Meola was let go. Ouimette's last game for Jacksonville was the last one Meola was in charge for - the 2-2 draw with Carolina Railhawks. Since then, the Armada has played three games (winning one and drawing the other two) and Ouimetter has not played.
He probably won't play in this one either, since he's not typically assumed to be part of Floro's best back line. But at least he is still in the squad. And if Canada does get the result it wants in Honduras and does ultimately make the Hex, Ouimette will hope he has a better club situation by then and can challenge more effectively for a start for his national team.
Per livesoccertv.com, here's where to find the game.