In the second part of our World Cup O2W series, Chris Mann off The Equaliser blog looks at American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.
Alejandro Bedoya | Midfielder | 22 | USA
Alejandro Bedoya, the American midfielder of Colombian origin, has come from nowhere in recent months to stake a serious claim to be included in Bob Bradley’s World Cup squad. A graceful attacking midfield player who has proved himself capable of playing on both flanks, Bedoya has impressed since joining Swedish Allsvenskan side Orebro in 2009.
Different from the majority of players who graduate from the American college system, Bedoya turned his back on the traditional route to a professional career, shunning the annual MLS draft to explore avenues of opportunity abroad. Having impressed during his time at Boston College, Bedoya was snapped up by Orebro, a Scandinavian club with lofty ambitions and realistic hopes of a top four finish and Europa League qualification in the seasons to come, where he has made an outstanding start to his fledgling career.
Since joining the club just over a year ago, Bedoya has made 26 appearances for Orebro (the majority on the left side of midfield) and has quickly become an integral part of Finnish manager Sixten Bostrom’s side. The American’s performances did not go unnoticed and, in January, the Miami-born player was called up to the USA national team’s winter training camp in California, making his international debut at the end of the month against Honduras.
Despite an inexperienced USA side short of its star players going down 1-3 to the Central Americans, Bedoya was rated as the second best American on the pitch by the New York Times who described his performance as “threatening” but cast doubt over his chances of a place in this summer’s World Cup squad. However, an impressive display coming on as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat to Holland saw the player’s stock rise further and, with USA regular Stuart Holden having broken his leg against the Dutch, Bedoya’s dreams of completing a fairytale rise out of obscurity by being selected to travel to South Africa might just have become a little more likely. Watch this space.
Read more of Chris on the run up to the World Cup at his new blog The Equaliser.