Georgie's welcome comes at a cost for Honduras
David Beckham and Michael Ballack have been there, done that. Charlie Davies is young enough to be a lynchpin in four years time.
Carlos Costly may have missed his only chance of playing at the World Cup.
A month ago, the 27-year-old striker was bound for South Africa as part of the first Honduran team to reach the tournament in almost 30 years. Now he is coming to terms with the reality of being nothing more than a spectator.
Injury rules Costly out
Costly's father was a member of the 1982 Honduras team, which competed in Spain. The family tradition was set to continue this summer until fate intervened at the eleventh hour. In early May, Costly suffered a fifth metatarsal fracture while playing for his club side in Romania.
Estimated recovery time - six weeks minimum. His World Cup was over before it had begun. He knew it, so did his national coach Reinaldo Rueda. Costly, whose goals had helped Honduras pip Coast Rica for a treasured berth in South Africa, would play no part in the 2010 finals.
So important is Costly to Honduras he remains on a list of seven possible reserves in addition to Rueda's declared 23-man squad. According to the coach, "there is no name to replace Costly... because of all he gives to the national team".
Strictly speaking, that's not quite accurate. Motagua forward Georgie Welcome is seen as Costly's replacement, joining David Suazo, Carlos Pavon and Walter Martinez as the Honduran strike quartet. Welcome is the youngest of the four and has limited experience at international level.
It's not bad on paper until you dig a little deeper. Suazo, himself, has been recovering from an injury-plagued season at Genoa where he's scored only three goals. Pavon is the leading scorer in Honduras' history, but how will his 36-year-old body stand up to the rigours of a World Cup schedule?
Martinez is arguably more effective as a wide attacking midfielder rather than an out-and-out striker, though his goal against Canada in World Cup qualifying demonstrated his speed and versatility. Suffice to say, Rueda faces challenges in selecting a team that can score goals in Group H.
There has been much debate over the exclusion of youngster Jerry Bengston. The 23-year-old recently finished top scorer in the Honduran Clausura with 12 goals and added seven more in the 2009 Apertura, but Rueda has apparently opted for experience over current form.
Amado Guevara has both experience and a goal scorer. The veteran Honduran captain will be rehearsing the set piece routines, which have yielded plenty of goals over the years. Guevara's ability might be the Hondurans' most effective route to goal against Chile, Spain and Switzerland.
Injuries are, of course, part and parcel of the game. As a result Carlos Costly is relegated to the role of cheerleader at the World Cup. There's no telling when Honduras will qualify again, but Costly's contribution in getting Honduras to South Africa will not be forgotten by a grateful nation.
About the Author
Nigel Reed brings his extensive experience, passion and knowledge of the game of soccer to his role as play-by-play announcer for Major League Soccer ON CBC.
Reed has more than 20 years experience covering soccer, most notably a five-year stint from 1999 to 2004 where he was a host and producer for the English Premier League for BBC. He also covered English Premier League giants Liverpool and Everton for BBC Radio and provided analysis for both BBC TV and the BBC website.
Reed, who will also call matches for CBC's FIFA broadcast package, covered weightlifting, taekwondo, soccer and equestrian for CBC's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.