Why Canada has gained respect across Concacaf (1-on-1: Honduras coach Diego Vazquez)
Honduras manager Diego Vazquez expects his team to put on a renewed showing against Canada, despite the team growing in stature across Concacaf, as the two sides meet in 2022 Concacaf Nations League A action tonight on OneSoccer (10PM ET / 7PM PT, subscribe here to watch).
Speaking to Vazquez ahead of the match, the Honduras coach lamented his team's Nations League-opening 2-1 loss to Curacao, but said he expects his team will overcome without the travel issues they faced in their first foray.
Of course, playing a team like Canada comes with some newfound respect, too.
"In this last World Cup qualifying cycle, [Canada have gained a lot of respect]," Vazquez told Thomas Nef of OneSoccer.
"In fact, they were always in the top half of the table, and played some great football.
"We (Honduras) tied the first match (of the Octagonal round), and could have done some damage. Then Canada grew a lot and we didn't.
"We became stuck. We regressed.
"They've won a lot in the last while ... and you notice that they have players in evolution, too."
Meanwhile, Canada manager John Herdman will keep plugging away at his own team planning, as he begins formulating ideas for the 2022 FIFA World Cup with another away trip to San Pedro Sula.
"Every game we play in Concacaf is tough," Herdman said, pre-match. "Nothing is given to you. Many teams now are looking to knock Canada off our perch. So, there will be an intensity.
"They're a bit of a wounded beast after their Curacao result. They've had seven days of prep.
"But they'll be ready for us. We'll be ready for them."
Herdman added: "We know we have nothing to fear. We have that belief that we can win games away from home; we can come back from goals down. There's a genuinely belief there that we can win matches.
"When you're in there, the heat, the humidity, there are factors there, but we're used to it now. That's the beauty of our qualifying campaign.
"Now, it's second nature. There are no excuses."
Today, Herdman and co., as well as the rest of the world, learned that FIFA would be expanding tournament rosters from 23 teams to 26, giving Herdman more options to consider for his final squad.
Matches against Honduras provide Herdman and his staff a rare opportunity to watch some on-the-cusp players in action, as such.