Monday, July 6, 2015

Crunch time for the U.S. national team

The U.S. national team wraps up its World Cup training camp at Princeton today. Which players will make the final roster?

Crunch time for the U.S. national team

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As I mentioned last night, I spent yesterday at the U.S. national team's World Cup training camp at Princeton University. It's getting close to decision time for Bob Bradley. The game against the Czech Republic will likely be the last chance for players on the bubble to make an impression before the roster is cut down from 30 players to 23.

Last Monday, I got to talk to Herculez Gomez, Stuart Holden and a bunch of other players. I wanted to talk yesterday with players I hadn't yet interviewed. So in the audio player below, you'll hear from Jozy Altidore, Alejandro Bedoya, Edson Buddle, Steve Cherundolo, Brian Ching and Tim Howard. There's also a new interview with Clint Dempsey, a recording of Bradley's post-training press conference, and video highlights of everything in the player at right.

Bedoya could be a really interesting test case for Bradley, and for U.S. fans. He came to camp as an unknown quantity for a lot of people, but from everything I've heard he's performed well.

For those of you who don't know Bedoya's backstory (and I raise my hand here, to be honest), here are the details. He was born in Englewood, N.J., and raised in Weston, Fla. Among the players he faced growing up was American-turned-Italian national team starlet Giuseppe Rossi.

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Bedoya's parents came to the U.S from Colombia. His father, Adriano, played collegiately at Fairleigh Dickinson, and that's where Alejandro went for two years. He then transferred to Boston College, and finished there in 2008.

Bedoya trained with the Olympic squad that year, but was not named to the roster for Beijing. He ended up going to Sweden, where he joined Örebro SK, and eventually got a starting position.

Soon after that, Bedoya drew the attention of the U.S. national team coaches, and he was called into camp for the U.S.' friendly against Honduras on January 23 of this year. He got his first cap in that game, and his second in the U.S.' friendly at the Netherlands on March 3. 

Now over to you: Which players do you think are on the bubble, and which of them do you think deserve to make the final roster?



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