Even after being dismissed from the Honduran national team last month, New England Revolution forward Jerry Bengtson is still welcome with his national team.
The only catch? Bengtson needs to apologize for critical comments that led to his dismissal.
That's the word from Honduras head coach Luis Fernando Suárez, who made it clear during a press conference Sunday at Red Bull Arena, ahead of Honduras' Gold Cup opener against Haiti Monday, that Bengtson wasn't out of the national team picture altogether.
Bengtson drew the ire of Suárez after he complained about being left on the bench in Honduras' World Cup qualifier June 11 against Jamaica. Although Honduras won that match 2-0, Honduras, and Bengtson, have struggled through the Hexagonal round in recent matches. Bengtson scored against the United States back in February, and against Mexico in March, but he has not scored in the intervening games.
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Given the recent struggles, Suárez, who did not call Bengtson into the Gold Cup squad, has not closed the door on the striker's eventual return.
"I'm not capable of closing the door on anyone, even a bad person, and Jerry is not a bad person. He is an excellent person, a tremendously spectacular human. A person who I appreciate and like a great deal," Suárez said.
If Bengtson apologizes to his teammates, then Suárez said he would consider the issue over.