Alejandro Bedoya happy with USMNT return after missing time with injury


Photo by John Rieger/USA Today Sports


Having started the tournament on the bench due to injury, Alejandro Bedoya was determined to make his return to the U.S. Men’s National Team a productive one.

Dealing with a knee injury suffered on the club level, Bedoya’s first start of the Gold Cup came on Monday night, and it was a successful one for the USMNT midfielder, who provided an assist en route to a hard-earned 1-1 draw against Panama.

For Bedoya, Tuesday’s start wasn’t about making any sort of statement; it was about continuing the journey towards match fitness and, ultimately, more playing time in the game’s later stages.

“It felt good to get back in the starting lineup,” Bedoya said. “For me, the most important thing was to get match fitness up. I felt like I wasn’t fully sharp, but I definitely was working. I tried to get in behind the defense and try different things.

“I felt at times I wasn’t as sharp as I could be but I got out there and ran around.”

Despite some physical play that left Bedoya slightly battered, the USMNT midfielder proved decisive in picking out the pass on the equalizing goal. With Michael Bradley on the end, Bedoya’s cross over the Panama six-yard box drew the United States level in what would end up as a 1-1 game.

Bedoya was subbed out in the 65th minute, but both the player and USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann were happy with the midfielder’s return from injury.

In particular, Klinsmann was pleased with Bedoya’s presence in the midfield, an aspect of his game that almost netted the midfielder a goal late in the first half. However, the head coach also understands that Bedoya is nowhere near 100 percent, something that Klinsmann hopes will be remedied with a bit more game action.

“I think Ale played a very good first game. Coming off a long break, we were very patient with his build-up,” Klinsmann said. “We observed it day-in, day-out and waited until today to give him a go. After 65 minutes it was pretty much done, and that’s OK.  You see his quality. You see his ability to keep the ball, shield it, and also to make runs and surprise the opponent.

“Overall, his game was very positive for the fact that he hasn’t played in quite some time. Now we keep building. We probably give him some sort of rest now, but we keep building for the next one.”

Although Bedoya was upbeat on his personal performance, some reflection from the team as a whole was demanded.

With the knockout stages looming, Bedoya understands that both he and his team need to finally shake off the cobwebs and emerge as the team many expect them to be. For Bedoya and the USMNT, it’s now do-or-die, a fact that is not lost on the midfielder.

“We all need to look ourselves in the mirror and know that we need to give more,” Bedoya said. “We know it has to be better, we need to put more of our game into the game, our style.”

“Now we have a couple more days longer to rest than usual. It’s important that we recover mentally and physically and look at videos. We all know that we ned to improve and do better and what we can be better at. Moving forward to the knockout rounds, this is where it really matters.

  • SBI TroII

    Bedoya has become a must start on this squad when available. That’s two MOTM performances in his last two outings. That assist to Bradley definitely top class. He’s also a great example of what Klinsmann wants in a player, testing his mettle in a top 5 European league after a failed stint at Rangers.


    • Ryan

      I wholeheartedly agree. Bedoya has really rounded out his game in the last two years. His positional awareness is excellent and he rarely makes a poor decision with the ball. But I think his attacking play is really underrated — he’s not that quick but he has a knack for finding space between the lines and getting behind the defense, whether central or wide right or left. To some degree, he reminds me a bit of Dempsey in that respect. We really missed him the last couple games. I think he’s a really big player for us this cycle.


      • GW

        Bedoya and Dempsey are two very experienced and very savvy players.

        People seem to forget how young and inexperienced the USMNT is and how important the experience of guys like Ale, Clint and AJ is.


    • beto

      indeed. he brings so much to the attack; quality passing, positioning, tracking back to defend at times. after a quality year at Nantes I wasn’t expecting anything less.


      have cemented their starting roles, going forward not necessarily for the QF match.


    • Gary Page

      Plus, when fit, he has a great engine. One of those Charlie Hustle type players. He, Bradley and Zardes all fit into that category, which is very nice to have in a tournament with a lot of games in a short period. Also, the US has added Corona and he is also someone who works very hard.


  • btown


    i would love to see a lineup like this. bring in Gyasi for Johannson and Yedlin for Bedoya as subs. pure speed when legs get tired.


    • Mark from LA

      Err… no Brooks, no Zardes, no Yedlin in your starting 11. Bedoya not fully sharp. Beasley I might be persuaded on, but he hasn’t been with the group.
      It’s not like it’s a terrible line up, but there are better ones.


      • btown

        Zardes and Yedlin to me personally look most effective as 60 min subs (for the time being) as they are speedsters and can wreak havoc against tired legs. i suppose you are right about Bedoya and Beasley though.


  • Joamiq

    Bedoya’s fantastic. His combination play abilities are just so vital on this team that sometimes struggles in building attacks. That combination play is really handy on counters too. Plus he works hard. He’s absolutely nailed into the first XI when healthy.


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