JON VAN WAGENEN - Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Alejandro Bedoya has had an especially busy week in the midst of an exciting year capped by putting Örebro on pace for their best finish since 1994 and joining the US for the pre-World Cup training camp.
On May 11, the US national team coach Bob Bradlery announced his 30 man roster from which the final World Cup team will be selected and Bedoya's name was on the list much to the delight of his mother and father.
"My parents were elated," Bedoya told Yanks Abroad. "Especially my dad, he's a real emotional person. He was probably teary eyed. They were way more exited than me even, I had to calm them down a little."
Bedoya also added this his father has been more than willing to dispense any words of wisdom to his son.
"Oh my God! He cannot stop giving me advice," Bedoya, said of his father, a former pro from Colombia. "He keeps emailing me quotes. Motovational quotes, famous athletes' quotes like, ‘commitment, dedication, hard work'…"
Bedoya had two games left in Sweden, and he took 10 shots as Örebro managed four points and finished the spring in third place.
On May 18th Bedoya arrived in Princeton, about 55 miles from his birthplace of Englewood, New Jersey and joined the rest of the team in a training camp, already in progress.
"I came in early in the afternoon, I'm feeling better than I thought I would with the jet lag," Bedoya said. "When I landed, I went straight to the gym and got a workout in. They let me skip the sprints, but I did everything else. I was a little stiff from the [Trelleborg] game."
"I have mixed feelings, a little nervous and a lot more excited positive thoughts," Bedoya said of his feelings on arriving. "Now I just have to work my butt off to make it as hard a decision as possible for Bob."
Bedoya will have likely just one friendly match to prove himself before Bradley selects the roster, but said he wasn't worried as Bradley will evaluate practice as well.
"I need to show that I have some differences [from other players]," said the former Boston College stand-out. "My offensive play is good, my movement off the ball. I just need to work on my defense, be it zone positioning or pushing forward to put pressure on the [opposition]."
Bedoya has been seen by some as competing with DaMarcus Beasley as backup at on the left wing, but the Florida native was not too picky on where he would be slotted.
"On the wings, I don't really have a preference left or right," he added. "I think maybe right is a little bit of a preference but I don't really care.
Beasley has mentioned before that he is also looking at the right wing spot, perhaps a result of the fact that Clint Dempsey could be moving to a forward role, as he has with his club team Fulham, while Landon Donnovan is not likely to give up his left wing spot.
Bedoya made his first appearance with the national team as sub in the January match against Honduras after being invited to the team's training sessions in Carson, California.
"Since January, a lot has happened, it's gone really fast." Bedoya reflected. "I just try to stay grounded I try to be humbe about it and I'm just soaking it all in. It has to do with my dedication and hard work and having believed I can be a part of it."
Bedoya's second appearance happened two months later in a more high profile friendly in the Netherlands.
"Just walking out into Amstedam Arena, and just playing against one of the best teams in the world and those players," he concluded. "You know you sit on the couch watching the Champions League and then see them. You look around and then see them and its like: Wow. I was awestruck."
Whether or not he makes the 23-man roster, Bedoya will remember 2010 as the year he took his first steps onto the national stage, but as a player who can be disappointed after a 2-0 win, it is hard to imagine him being content with anything less than a trip to South Africa.