How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Alejandro Bedoya's USMNT Contributions

Soccer Features Usmnt
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The average soccer fan wants to watch flashy players. They are attracted to the players with blistering pace or eye-catching skill. So, it comes as no surprise that some US fans don’t appreciate the value that midfielder Alejandro Bedoya brings to the side. Work rate and intelligence is Bedoya’s game, and what he lacks in speed and stepovers he more than
makes up for in heart and determination.

What Alejandro Bedoya brings to the national team is a grit and work ethic that most of the players in the player pool lack. He works tirelessly defensively always showing up in great positions to help out his backline. When attacking, he offers an outlet to keep the ball flowing in the build up. His smart off-the-ball runs open up vital space for the more skillful players around him.

We should learn to appreciate the small things he does to make the bigger USMNT picture prettier. Bedoya’s performance against Switzerland in the most recent friendly opened my eyes to the value of a great role player. I put together a video of every touch he had during this game. Watch it for yourself and learn to appreciate all he does:

0:27 – With the ball being contested by both sides he shows up in a great spot to win possession for his team.

0:42 – A brilliant one-touch layoff pass off of a very difficult ball to handle.

0:50 – Moments like these leave you wanting more from Bedoya. He does well to win back possession, but his simple pass into Zardes is off target.

1:01 – Noticing that Chandler is about to win the ball, Bedoya darts into open space for a counter attack. The ball finds him and he sprints down the wing and delivers a fantastic cross that Zardes should’ve put on target.

1:33 – His back-to-back clearances in the box seem simple, but he always has a knack for being in great spots defensively. The US don’t concede in the match until Bedoya is subbed out and his replacement is beaten for a goal.

2:10 – His initial interception eventually leads to him making a great run to latch onto an Altidore pass. In a great spot in the box, he cuts a perfect pass back for Bradley who should score from there. On a perfect day, Bedoya could have 2 assists in the first 25 minutes of the game.

2:45 – Again, his initial ball for Altidore gets the attack underway. With the ball cycled out to the opposite wing, Bedoya makes a great run to the back post to get a tough header on target.

3:20 – Floating into the center this time, he getting into great space on the counter attack and finds Bradley making a run into a good attacking position. Unfortunately it’s cut out for a corner, but the opportunity was a good one.

4:29 – He does a great job to get his head into a passing lane and wins possession.

4:38 – Oooh. Pretty back heel. It doesn’t amount to anything, but whatevs.

4:50 – A great first touch keeps possession, and keeps the ball cycling. It soon finds him on the right flank and he sends a perfect one-touch pass to Chandler on the overlapping run. It turns into a great scoring chance mostly because of Bedoya’s hard work.

5:07 and 5:48 – More defensive dirty work that goes unnoticed but helps the team out tremendously.