The U.S. national soccer team arrived here Monday night from Miami, fit and ready for the start of the final World Cup qualifying round on Wednesday at Estadio Olympico Metropolitano. The weather is steamy in San Pedro Sula and the stakes are large for this first round-robin match, with both sides hoping to gain three quick points in the six-team, Hexagonal standings.
Surely, no Honduran or American player — and no on-field official, for that matter — is suspected of fixing this key CONCACAF contest. The match appears too important, too visible. And yet this qualifier is being played to the background noise of the most sweeping match-rigging scandal in the history of soccer, a sport which has had more than its share of dishonor. If a European championship qualifying match can be corrupted then anything, sadly, becomes theoretically possible.