Sporting Kansas City midfielder Jorge Claros played 45 minutes on Wednesday for Honduras in Los Catrachos' opening match of 2015, a 3-2 loss to Venezuela at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula. Claros entered the match at halftime, replacing Bayron Méndez, for his first minutes under new head coach Jorge Luis Pinto.
Venezuela opened the scoring in the 21st minute on a goal from Richard Blanco and the visitors doubled their lead in the 51st minute courtesy of Rómulo Otero before Edder Farias added a third in the 76th minute. Anthony Lozano put Honduras on the scoreboard in the 80th minute and Juan Montes closed out the scoring with his strike in second half stoppage time.
The two sides will meet again in one week's time at Estadio Agustin Tovar in Barinas, Venezuela on Feb. 11. The international friendly will be the final tune-up for Honduras, No. 72 in the latest FIFA rankings, before facing French Guyana on March 25 (away) and March 29 (home) in a play-in series for the final berth in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Honduras has participated in the last six editions of the continental championship, reaching the competition's semifinal stage in each of their last three appearances.
Claros played all three matches for Honduras at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and also represented his native country at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Sporting Kansas City acquired the 29-year-old in July 2014 from Motagua of the Honduran Liga Nacional. He made eight MLS appearances (including postseason) and featured in all four of the club’s matches in the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League.