May 30, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT
Going to his first-ever World Cup with the U.S. national team. Bedoya will be looking to make up for lost time after being cut at the final hurdle before the 2010 tournament. Four years ago he made the 30-man preliminary roster but was cast aside at the end. That seemed to motivate him to improve and after a fine season playing for Nantes in the French top-flight, Bedoya is banging on the door for a spot in the starting lineup. He is versatile and can play in both the full back and wing positions which is crucial in tournament play. Great engine and good quality on the ball means he should get some serious minutes this summer in Brazil.
Full name: Alejandro Bedoya
Hometown: Englewood, New Jersey
Caps/goals: 27 caps, 1 goal
Best moment in a U.S. shirt: So far Bedoya has scored just the one goal for the U.S. That came in a 6-0 drubbing of Guatemala in a friendly last year at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. He also had some good displays in the Gold Cup 2013, as his wonderful crosses and driving runs from wide positions became one of the USMNT’s most valuable weapons against their CONCACF foes.
Starter or squad player at World Cup? Before the warm up games began, many would have thought Bedoya would be a squad player that would be one of the first names off the bench. However, Bedoya started against Azerbaijan in the recent tune up and showed some nifty runs and footwork both on the left and right flanks. His versatility could be key and the fact that he’s a two-way player who doesn’t mind tracking back means he could be a valuable asset in the starting XI.
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