TORRANCE, Calif. – Alejandro Bedoya just missed out on playing in the last World Cup, and he plans to make certain he's around for the next one, and that objective started this week with his first US national team camp since Jurgen Klinsmann took charge 17 months ago.
The attacking midfielder from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has plenty to do this month. In addition to showing Klinsmann and his staff what he can do, he's shopping around for a new club after his short-term pact with Swedish powerhouse Helsingborgs expired.
“I'm still trying to figure out [what's next],” he said on Friday. “I'm weighing out offers right now. Just trying to be patient with that, and hopefully I make a good decision for my future, because with the World Cup coming and everything, this move is key to my future.”
Bedoya, 25, signed with Swedish club Örebro following an All-America career at Fairleigh Dickinson and Boston College, and he was in Bob Bradley's 30-man preliminary roster for the 2010 World Cup. He missed the cut but played in 10 of 14 post-Cup games (including a large role during the 2011 Gold Cup, above) before Klinsmann was hired as head coach, and he's had little chance to impress the new boss since.
He saw action in just 13 games after signing with Rangers FC at the start of last season, and when the Scottish giant was demoted to the third division for financial insolvency last summer, he signed with Helsingborgs. He featured in 15 games (right), including six in UEFA Champions League preliminaries and UEFA Europa League group play.
“Obviously, I have to prove myself [to Klinsmann],” Bedoya said, “but I think over the course of these last six months that I've been getting consistent playing time finally, I think I've shown my ability, and I've been used in every offensive position you can think of. I'm a pretty versatile player. I like to attack. I can play on the right or left, middle as well. Hopefully, I can show my qualities.”
Klinsmann is looking forward to seeing that.
“Bedoya has a specific situation, [in terms of] his talent,” Klinsmann said. “Bob Bradley saw his talent already before me, and you want to continue to build that talent.”
Bedoya says he plans to stay in Europe, “but, of course, I would consider MLS,” and that he hopes to sign in one of Europe's “big leagues, whichever one offers me the best, you know?”
Then the goal is to parlay that experience into a regular role with the national team. What he does in this camp will go a long way toward that, too, with a spot on the Feb. 6 roster at Honduras – the Americans' opener in CONCACAF's final hexagonal qualifiers – possibly available.
“My short-term goal is to be part of the qualifiers coming up, but everybody's goal is to play in the World Cup,” Bedoya said. “I was so close last time. Hopefully, I can get a shot.”