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Bedoya making impact off U.S. bench


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KANSAS CITY, Kan. – If things would have gone as planned, Alejandro Bedoya would still be playing in Sweden with Orebro SK.

Things did not go as planned, however. 

With Benny Feilhaber suffering an ankle injury prior to the Gold Cup, Bedoya was summoned by U.S. men's national team head coach Bob Bradley to fill the void. Bedoya has done more than that, providing a big spark off the bench in the U.S. team's two most recent games.

"Both games, (he and Sacha Kljestan) came on the field at times when we needed some energy and an ability to make smart plays and both have helped in those situations," Bradley said.

Kljestan has also made an impact off the bench so far in the tournament, but not to the lengths Bedoya has. In the games against Panama and Guadeloupe, Bedoya was involved in several goal-scoring opportunities.

"My role coming on as a sub is to provide some energy to the team," said Bedoya, who now has 10 caps with the U.S. team. "My mindset is just to come in there and provide a spark, get our team up again, start attacking and provide something offensively."

A standout starter with Orebro, Bedoya has embraced his role as a back-up with the national team. He understands that he won't be unseating Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey anytime soon, and he is just trying to gain experience and knowledge from the top two American players.

Bedoya must be learning quickly, because against Panama the 24-year-old brought some life into an attack that sorely needed ideas. He nearly drew a penalty kick but was controversially given a yellow card for what was deemed to be a dive.

Against Guadeloupe on Tuesday night in front of a sold out crowd at Livestrong Sporting Park, Bedoya was even better, creating several chances and almost coming away with his first goal at the international level during his 26-minute stint.

"He comes in with a lot of energy. He's got a good, young fighting spirit," U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra said. "He wants to prove himself, he's hungry and you like that. Hopefully he gets a goal or something to boost his confidence and push him onto that next level."

Bedoya's near goal came shortly after he entered the field, as a cross fell to him after Clint Dempsey failed to head it. Bedoya took a touch and then shot the ball, but it was saved by Guadeloupe goalkeeper Franck Grendel.

"Offensively I'm able to get into those spots well," Bedoya said.

If Grendel denied Bedoya of a goal that would've put the U.S. team up 2-0, Bedoya was robbed of his first assist by his own teammate in the 76th minute. After luring Grendel off his line, Bedoya played a ball across the penalty area to a wide open Dempsey, who stood in front of an empty net from six yards out. Dempsey failed to capitalize on the opportunity, taking an unnecessary touch that allowed Guadeloupe defender Julien Ictoi to clear the ball.

"I think Dempsey owes me one now," Bedoya said with a smile. "I would've got my assist, my first point with the national team. But it's all right, things like that happen. On to the next game."

The Americans next game is against Jamaica in the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup, and there is a chance Bedoya could start if Bradley opts to push Dempsey up top. Whether he starts or net, Bedoya seems like the first option off the bench due to his knack for creating chances for teammates or himself.

"He's right there, he keeps knocking on the door and he battles everytime he comes in," said Bocanegra. "It's a great lift for us."

Bedoya's impact as a bench isn't only helping the team. It's benefitting him, too. Bedoya admits that his integration to the team is still a work in progress, and that every positive performance is helping him.

"I keep growing in confidence," he said. "I think Bob is doing a good job of integrating (the younger players) into the team. I'm competing with some of the better midfielders. It's not easy, but I know what my role is."


  1. Bedoya has been alright, but I don’t think his efforts deserve an article, lol. Neither he, nor Sacha, have been nearly as effective as Benny Feilhaber was in the World Cup as a super sub.

  2. “BB’s obviously got longstanding relationships with these guys that color his selections (the repeated selection of an injured gooch for example). ”

    Ream, Wondo, Chandler, Lichaj, longstanding relationships? I include Chandler because he would have been here had BB had his way.

  3. You are 100% correct in saying club form does not necessarly translate to the National team. I only care about what you do for the US not Orebro.

    “Klose and Podolski regularly suck for whatever team they suit up for until they play for Germany,”

    If that were true Klose would never have played for Germany in the first place. Klose has proven himself for Germany so they take a chance on him and he keeps coming through.

    The club situation you are refering to is primarily Bayern and that is a place where playing time doesn’t always have to do with form or talent.

    FC Kaiserslautern 120 (44)

    Werder Bremen 89 (53)

    Bayern Munich 98 (24)

  4. Compare Panama to Jamaica and tell me we should not have to worry about Jamaica.

    And “Norway, MLS and at home……with the exception of Daley and Goodison who play for Bradford city and tranmere rovers respectively (no name clubs!!!!!).” sounds a lot like the US roster.

    It’s 11 on 11 not “we have more name club players than you do” (see Italy vs New Zealand 2010 World Cup).

    You may not believe me but in these kind tournaments there rarely are any easy games for any nation particularly for the Great Satan. Has it ever occurred to you most smaller nations get an extra dose of adrenalin when they face the US?

    That is not an excuse but when you couple that with the fact the USMNT fan base is so miniscule that the USMNT rarely has home field advantage anywhere in the US don’t ever tell me the US should easily beat

    (insert “inferior national team”)in a FIFA tournament.

  5. Bedoya is playing the super sub role very well.

    So why do you want to give him another job?

    Should the Yankees have started Mariano Rivera all these years because he did a hall of fame job as a reliever?

    When Bedoya comes in he knows he can go all out the entire time because it’s only for 45 minutes or whatever.

    A starter has to think about going 90 minutes so he paces himself a little. Now maybe Bedoya can give you over 90 minutes what does over 45 minutes but what if he can’t?

    Then who is going to do the job he just did but can’t anymore? It’s like the Brazil final in the 2009 Confed Cup. We could have used Benny as a sub in that second half as he was playing well. Maybe he could have helped slow down the Brazilians but he couldnt because he was starting for MB and when Benny has to go 90 he is a different player.

    Start him after this tournament if you want but right now we fixed the sub role so why break it?

  6. Why are you so worried about guys that will probably not see another minute on the field in this tournament? Particularly when Bedoya is here and playing.

  7. “Ok I’ll give you that one opportunity, but there again, that didn’t have an impact so again….what impact has he made?’

    You only need to do one thing to make an impact on a game.

    Never mind the other chances Bedoya created and the energy he brought,had Dempsey scored, as he should have and 99 times out of 100 would have, then Bedoya would have created/assisted on the goal that would have changed the game and put it much more under control.

    Bedoya did his job.

    It’s not his fault that Dempsey failed to do his.

    And I would not start Bedoya against Jamaica because he has proven himself as a sub and the team needs that. Don’t mess with success.

    Besides why are you so offended? It’s Ive’s site, he can write about whomever he wants.

  8. Whitbread is 27, will be playing in the Premier League next season, not extremely young but will still be good for the next world cup as long as he stays away from the injuries. It will help with the transition to the younger group.

  9. Of course, that should look more like this:


    I’m thinking long term here so some of these players are for the future.

  10. I was also thinking of something like this:


  11. I like that, but Boca isn’t going to be around much longer and Goodson may only have one big tournament left in him as well…so do we look to Ream, Boss, and Opara or any other up and coming CBs? I also have liked what I’ve seen of Zack Lloyd the few times I’ve seen him play.

  12. I bashed Ives in another thread for overhyping Ream, credit where credit is due: he was right to hype Bedoya. He has shown he has the quality to play at the international level so far this Gold Cup.
    Given how well he was playing at Orebro, it will be interesting to see where he goes next…

  13. I want to agree, but he’s doing the sub role so well, and it’s a damn important role…I don’t screw with that. We did with Juan, began starting him, and he’s stagnated whereas off the bench he came in punching every time, making an impact.

    I like both players, but think their roles off the bench, which are vital, are well served by them.

    I say keep them in those roles. That means Wondo starts one more time, or Sacha is on the wing, though he’s played better centrally of late (I, too, have given Sacha a hard time, but have noticed his improved play; hope he can keep that upward trend going)

  14. If you’re going with any 3-5-2, it’d have to look more defensive in the back. I’d play Lichaj and Chandler like wingbacks, and get some speed back into the USA team. We’d also need 3 stable CBs. I’d go something like this:





    This lineup suits our players abilities better than sticking them into a 4-4-2, and gets some of our best players on the field together. Dempsey is best suited playing tucked-in centrally finding the space in front of the defensive line. Lichaj and Chandler want to be burning up and down the touchlines. Jones wants to destroy. Donovan is good reading the game, finding space and making great runs. Let our players play to their abilities in a system that works for them. I think the 4-4-2 is handcuffing the players in this case.

  15. Josh, relax, it’s just a posting on a soccer blog, it’s not like they put his picture on the front page of Sports Illustrated or on FIFA 2012. And what’s wrong with a young player coming off the bench for his national team, bringing energy and doing well the things that he is expected to do? I wish we had four of five players that we could count on to do these things when coming off the bench. The reality is that the US is not a very deep team in terms of quality – we don’t have the likes of Fabergas coming off on the bench – and Bedoya gives BB a viable option to use.

  16. Jones was very good against the Gwads and I think a huge part f teh had to do with teh fact that he played so deep, nearly level with teh CB’s for long periods of time.

  17. No…the future is Joseph Gyau

    and his supporting cast:


    along with some veterans here and there.
    The 4-3-3 is coming.

    And I can’t wait to see it.

  18. Maybe you made a mistake with that post.

    This is a big tournament(for the US) and to waste roster spots on deadwood makes no sense.

    Personally, I don’t consider calling in Freddy to be a mistake, but Rogers? that guy has nothing.

  19. Josh,

    You seem to have pretty high standards for “impact”. Albeit, not based on any tangible or realistic set of standards, but High none the less.

    All the hyperbole aside, He had a positive influence on the game last night and the team’s level of play increased when he was on the pitch. He pressured the ball and created opportunities for himself and his teammates.

    THAT is what a sub should bring.

    Bedoya reminds me of where Holden was 2 years ago, lots of energy – needs focus and refinement to be considered for a starting spot.

  20. If we’re going to be honest, and we are going to field the best 11 in big tournaments from here on out, we are going to have to switch to a five man midfield. Either go down to 3 in the back or one less striker. Our best players are in the midfield. Am I saying Bedoya is the future? No, but I’m saying with the likes of Holden, Bedoya, Klejstan, Diskeruud, all improving, and the statples such as Bradley, Jones (for one WC cycle), Donovan, Dempsey, Edu, Feilhaber and Torres, we have loads of talent accross the board in the MF.

    To me Chandler would be best served as a right or left back, along with Lichaj, and Spector could be either.

    I posted this in another thread earlier, but I’m going to post it again, I like this back line for the future:

    Lichaj-Goodson-Clark(Ream, Opara, Boss)-Chandler

    Or if we go 3 man back line:

    Lichaj-Goodson-Chandler (although we might be better served with a quicker CB)

    With the 3 man back line, you have at least one strictly Defensive mid in Jones/Edu (Jones for the immediate future Edu more long term because of age) and Bradley box-to-box and one more CAM. Then two wingers and 2 strikers.

    (I mean I’m not coach, but I feel if we have a wealth of talent in the MF why not utilize it? I would be inventive and try it if I were coaching, though.)

  21. Not necessarily. Every post I had, I talked about his performances at the club level. I also pointed out that soccer has a ton of players, many of them superstars, who played well for club but not for country. The entire England team is guilty of that. As is some little dude named Messi (before I get yelled at, I’m not comparing any of them to each other, just the situation – just as Klose and Podolski regularly suck for whatever team they suit up for until they play for Germany, when they become unstoppable for some reason).

    I actually do employ logic and reason in all of my posts. Or at least I try to.

  22. The problem is that you were ignoring his club performances, which provided a much larger sample on which to judge his ability than his Nats appearances.

  23. Right. Also, he’s not known for defense. What I would try is to put Donovan up top, although I don’t think he is best there. I think that he hasn’t preformed well this tourney and it would be better suited to move him closer to goal and put Bedoya in to run up and down the field and provide cover on the wings.

  24. You can easily hate on a player who does nothing for awhile and then love him once he starts performing. See Donovan, Landon.

    I was won of the ones – I never hated on him, but I wondered why he was so revered in the eyes of supporters when he literally did nothing for the MNT. Now that he’s showing improvement, I’m glad he’s playing. Nothing wrong with that.

  25. i follow him on twitter and so few of his tweets are soccer related, unlike most of the other players–no wishing the team good luck or anything like that. not that he can’t have other interests of course, i just get the impression he’s done. moving on to the next stage of his life as a jewelry designer. good luck to him.

  26. Sounds like you have some personal issues to work out with the whole trophy thing. If you ask every sub to come on and score goals every time, you’re going to be disappointed a lot. Subs just need to come in, have a positive impact for their team, whether that’s providing energy, solidifying a defense, or creating scoring chances. They do their job often enough and well enough, they should get a chance at a larger role. That’s just how it works. It’s a reward for the player’s good work and an attempt at making the team better.

  27. Bedoya was the best play on the pitch for the US during his stint last night. That is worthy of praise. He almost scored goal also getting into a good position but having the goal keeper make a nice save.

    You can’t put Bedoya down for Dempsey’s mistake. Bedoya did everything you could ask for on that play. Messi could not have produced a better outcome during that sequence. Dempsey was the one to mess it up. We need to recognize the good with the bad. Yes, the team as a whole played poorly, but lets take the positive of Bedoya’s performance as something to look forward to. He was bright, energetic and positive thinking. To dismiss that because he didn’t register a goal or assist is simplistic. You don’t have to be on the scoresheet to have a fantastic game.


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