Penpix of Honduras squad

TEGUCIGALPA, June 4 (Reuters) - Penpix of Honduras's 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa:

18-Noel Valladares (Olimpia). Goalkeeper. Born May 3 1977. Caps 73.

Generally gets the nod from coach Reinaldo Rueda ahead of younger club team mate Donis Escober who has been competing strongly to be considered first choice at Olimpia. Good on his line but not so commanding off his area or in the air.

22-Donis Escober (Olimpia). Goalkeeper. Born Feb. 3 1981. Caps 11.

Agile, athletic and a rarity in Honduran football with good command of his area, he is a good understudy for club colleague Valladares, threatening to take over in the Olimpia goal and could do the same in the national team at the finals.

1-Ricardo Canales (Motagua). Goalkeeper. Born May 30 1982. Caps 3.

Third-choice keeper has excellent reflexes on his line though is suspect when he comes out for crosses or to meet an attacker one-on-one.

23-Sergio Mendoza (Motagua). Defender. Born May 23 1981. Caps 49. Goals 1.

Having served a 12-month suspension for doping last year, he was recalled by Rueda this year though he may be only a stand-in at the finals behind the more mobile Mauricio Sabillon in the right back position.

21-Emilio Izaguirre (Motagua). Defender. Born May 10 1986. Caps 40. Goals 1.

One of Honduras's strong points is their attacking down the left flank with Izaguirre a good winger who likes to cut inside into the box but can also deliver a good cross.

16-Mauricio Sabillon (Hangzhou Greentown). Defender. Born Nov. 11 1978. Caps 25.

One of several Honduran players who have moved to the Chinese league, he is among three at Hangzhou. Part of Rueda's first-choice back four with fast, attacking fullbacks who can alternate in attack with the outer midfielders.

2-Osman Chavez (Platense). Defender. Born July 29 1984. Caps 28.

Strong though slow centre back nicknamed "The Tender One" whose forte is in the air but can struggle with nippy forwards on the ground. Sought a move abroad but returned to Platense to secure regular first-team football.

4-Johnny Palacios (Olimpia). Defender. Born Dec. 10 1986. Caps 7.

Tall centre back, likely reserve at the finals, a brother of midfielder Wilson. Their youngest footballing sibling Edwin was kidnapped in 2007 and found dead 18 months later.

3-Maynor Figueroa (Wigan Athletic). Defender. Born May 2 1983. Caps 68. Goals 2.

A central defender for his country who plays at left back for his Premier League club. Praised by club coach Steve Bruce for a "superb left foot", which he used to great effect when scoring a brilliant goal against Stoke City with a free kick from inside the Wigan half.

5-Victor Bernardez (Anderlecht). Defender. Born May 24 1982. Caps 40. Goals 1.

Experienced defender who had risked not making it into the squad by staying with the newly-crowned Belgian champions despite generally starting on the bench.

14-Boniek Garcia (Olimpia). Defender/Midfielder. Born Sept. 4 1984. Caps 43.

Versatile player who gives Rueda options, being comfortable at right back or on the wing. Has come back from groin surgery in February.

6-Hendry Thomas (Wigan Athletic). Midfielder. Born Feb. 23 1985. Caps 40. Goals 2.

Goes into World Cup from an impressive first season in England's Premier League. A defensive midfielder who is quick to set up a counter-attack.

20-Amado Guevara (Motagua). Midfielder. Born May 2 1976. Caps 134. Goals 29.

Captain and holder of the Honduran caps record, who has played in six different countries. A former attacking midfielder, "Lobo" is now more comfortable prompting play from deeper positions. Returned from Toronto to ensure regular first-team football ahead of the finals.

8-Wilson Palacios (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielder. Born July 29 1984. Caps 69. Goals 5.

One of the biggest talents to come out of Honduras and play in Europe, he is a combative central midfielder who likes getting into scoring positions. Almost quit football when his kidnapped younger brother Edwin was found dead last year.

19-Danilo Elvis Turcios (Olimpia). Midfielder. Born May 8 1978. Caps 81. Goals 7.

A busy all-round midfielder, generally known as Dani or Elvis, likely to be first choice on the right, with a good eye for goal and dangerous at free kicks. He also takes corners.

10-Julio Cesar de Leon (Torino). Midfielder. Born Sept. 13 1979. Caps 76. Goals 14.

A left winger nicknamed "Rambo", who has spent the better part of his career in Italy where he started at Reggina in 2001. Opted to stay with Torino in Serie B to ensure plenty of playing time ahead of the finals.

7-Ramon Nunez (Olimpia). Midfielder. Born Nov. 14 1985. Caps 18. Goals 3.

A creative midfielder with good ball skills but sometimes selfish. Grew up in the United States and first played professional football in the MLS for Dallas. He has also played in Mexico.

17-Edgar Alvarez (Bari). Midfielder. Born Jan. 9 1980. Caps 47. Goals 3.

His principal assets as a right wing are his speed on the ball and racing into space, making him very hard to mark for defenders. Has played in Italy since 2004.

13-Roger Espinoza (Kansas City Wizards). Midfielder. Born Oct. 25 1986. Caps 11. Goals 3.

Midfielder who has lived in the United States since he was 12, emerging from the college game, and never played club football in Honduras. A keen snowboarder.

15-Walter Martinez (Marathon). Forward. Born March 24 1982. Caps 35. Goals 11.

Nicknamed "Pery", he is the smaller option up front when Rueda wants a more mobile partner for a big centre-forward or he can play in the hole behind a pair of strikers.

12-Georgie Welcome (Motagua). Forward. Born March 9 1985. Caps 12. Goals 3.

A tall, gangly striker, dangerous in the air, he was called up by Rueda for the first time in 2008 when spotted playing for second division club Arsenal, a rare route into the national team in Honduras.

9-Carlos Pavon (Real Espana). Forward. Born Oct. 9 1973. Caps 100. Goals 57.

An icon in Honduras where he recently agreed to become the figurehead for a campaign to prevent violence against women. A prolific scorer who has played in half a dozen countries including the U.S. where he joined LA Galaxy at the same time as David Beckham in 2007 but stayed only six months.

11-David Suazo (Genoa). Forward. Born Nov. 5 1979. Caps 51. Goals 15.

First-choice striker who won a race against time to recover from a right leg muscle injury. Has played in Italy since 1999, first with Cagliari, and now on loan to Genoa from Inter Milan.

(Compiled by Carlos Calvo in Mexico City; Editing by Rex Gowar; To query or comment on this story email