U.S. players return to face the music

Alejandro Bedoya is 30 years old and no longer a starter on the U.S. national team but he is still a sure pick, when healthy, on any squad.

He's already been to one World Cup -- he played all four games at Brazil 2014 -- and hoped to go to one more World Cup.

“I had dreams of taking my son to the World Cup," Bedoya told the Philadelphia Inquirerupon his return to the Union on Thursday. "He would have been three and a half years old by then. And just to experience that with him ..."



Bedoya was on the bench on Tuesday night. He never got into the game against Trinidad & Tobago. He could just watch as the USA lost to the Soca Warriors, 2-1, and were eliminated from the World Cup.

"There’s a lot of emotions: anger, disappointment, disgust," he said. "I was pissed I wasn’t part of it.”

He said the worst part was watching the first half. He used the words "complacent" and "lethargic" to describe his teammates, those out on the field.

“We let our country down, " he added. "We let our teammates down, we let our families down, and we let ourselves down. It’s an utter disappointment. The first half was pretty embarrassing.”

In Toronto, Michael Bradley also faced the media. Unlike Bedoya, he was on the field on Tuesday night.

“We had 90 minutes to play our way into a World Cup, not needing to rely on anything else, and we let ourselves down," the U.S. captain said. "Plain and simple.”

He described the outcome of the three Concacaf games a "perfect storm in three stadiums" that kept the USA out of the World Cup yet he acknowledged all the points the USA had already dropped -- already more than in any previous Hex -- meant "we knew we were going to be at the mercy of a night like that.”

And he and his teammates have nobody to blame but themselves for losing.

"When things don't go well, you have no choice but to stand tall and face the music,” added Bradley. “That's what I'll do.”

Like his other teammates, Bradley will be back in action this weekend. Toronto FC faces Montreal in MLS action on Sunday.

“The chance to step on the field again couldn't come quick enough," he said.



Where the USMNT 25 is playing this weekend ...

GOALKEEPERS:
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15
Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), at NY Red Bulls 2 pm, FS1 Fox Deportes
Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), vs. Real Salt Lake 4:30 pm MLS Live
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), at Colorado Rapids, 4:30 pm  MLS Live

DEFENDERS:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13
Michael Orozco (Tijuana/MEX), vs. Veracruz 10 pm UDN
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), at Manchester City, 10 am NBC Sports Gold
Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), at Monterrey, 8 pm ESPN Deportes
Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG 2), vs. Preston North End 10 am
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15
DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), at Sporting KC vs. Houston 4:30 pm MLS Live
Matt Besler (Sporting KC), vs. Houston Dynamo 4:30 pm MLS Live
Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna, MEX), vs. Atlas 7:30 pm
Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), vs. Houston Dynamo 4:30 pm MLS Live
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG), at Southampton 11 am NBCSN

MIDFIELDERS:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14
Christian Pulisic (Bor. Dortmund/GER), vs. RB Leipzig, 12:30 pm FS2
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), at Seattle Sounders 4:30 pm, FS1, Fox Deportes
Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), vs. New York City FC 2 pm MLS Live
Paul Arriola (D.C. United), at Portland Timbers 4:30 pm MLS Live
Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), at Chicago Fire 2 pm MLS Live
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) vs. Montreal Impact 2 pm MLS Live
Benny Feilhaber (Sporting KC) vs. Houston Dynamo 4:30 pm MLS Live
Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), vs. Philadelphia Union 2 pm MLS Live
Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), vs. D.C. United 4:30 pm MLS Live

FORWARDS:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14
Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER) at Mainz 9:30 am
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) vs. Montreal Impact 2 pm MLS Live
Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), vs. FC Dallas 4:30 pm, FS1 Fox Deportes
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), at Vancouver Whitecaps 4:30 pm MLS Live

18 comments about "U.S. players return to face the music".
  1. ROBERT BOND, October 13, 2017 at 8:34 a.m.

    "I'm A Loser" by the Beatles would be appropos

  2. Philip Carragher, October 13, 2017 at 9:23 a.m.

    As disappointed as I am that I won't be able to watch the US play in the WC, I feel bad for the players and for the coach. They've all existed in the "US Soccer Bubble" whereby they're the superstars while inside the bubble and have their shortcomings exposed when they leave it. With the exception of a few players, they're just not good enough. And that's what the coach has to work with. I see somthing similar to this happen locally, where some athletes in my tiny town are superstars until they go to our very large high school and can't even make the teams. These players need to be better if we want them to succeed outside of the bubble.

  3. Mike Coliton, October 13, 2017 at 11:12 a.m.

    The European based players will go back to their training grounds and train hard to win their spots for this weekend's important league games, so that their teams can achieve dreams of UEFA nights or to fend off the all important battle against relegation.      The MLS based players will just train to be in condition so they can be in the team to sell seats for the next game.    The success of players in the MLS who could no longer play in first division European clubs  shows the vast chasm difference between the leagues.     There is a tremendous about of difference between the way the European leagues challenge and develop a player, and the MLS.   It takes steel to sharpen steel, and the MLS -  which provided the the bulk of the USMNT - has shown it is incapabale of preparing players to compete at the highest level of competition to compete at the world stage.      As duly noted, especially by Craig Burley starting at 7:30            http://www.espnfc.com/video/espn-fc-tv/86/video/3227745/watch-craig-burley-finally-weighs-in-on-us 

  4. cisco martinez, October 13, 2017 at 12:26 p.m.

    Lalas, moreno, and twellman are all right, we have a bunch of millionaire soccer players not producing. Everything wrong with this country we reward bad behavior, it doesnt matter if Bradley leaves Roma and signs for Toronto FC for 6 million, to join an academy team it now cost a fortune to do, Altidore leaving Sunderland to join toronto, Bedoya leaving Nantes to join Union, to get a soccer A license $5,000, and now we have players unwilling to get stuck in when it matter and we do not make the Worlc Cup and all they can say is we need to face the music?

  5. Ric Fonseca replied, October 13, 2017 at 5:10 p.m.

    Hola Cisco! I most certainly do not agree with you re: your comment about bad behavior. You and anyone else can put blame on the fancy bucks the players you name, yet again, Lalas, Moreno, and Twellman would've more than likely gotten the fat bucks Bradly/Jazzy, et. al. get. IMHO, what has been and was the matter this past Tuesday is unadulturated arrogance we red-white-blue displayed, thniking it was a cakewalk.  They forgot to put their big-boy cojones pants, and forgot to swallow their pride, until it was too late.  And as for Arenas to have commented that TnT put on the same squad on the field as their previous game, and calling a bunchy of baloney, when asked why he didn't change the sqaud and line up, I think that he - arena - was just as arrogant and lacked vision, and yes, also big-boy coaching cojones pants.  Well it is Friday, and I am hoping that I can track down Gulati's tele-press conference as it is interesting to hear what he has to say.  

  6. cisco martinez replied, October 13, 2017 at 7:35 p.m.

    Ric, I am simply saying that our culture rewards bad behavior, it doesnt matter if its Michael Bradley leaving Roma, a top team in Serie A to join Toronto FC for 6 Million/year, same with Altidore, Bedoya, Howard, Guzan, and one must ask themselves are these players coming back are they going to make the national team better? Remember in 2002, our midfield consisted of Reyna, Mostroeni,, Lewis, Hedjuk, and O'Brien whom were in playing at Sunderland, AJAX, Germany, and england, and Mastroeni had the chance to go to Italy. Our defenders were all in Germany at the time with the exception of Eddie pope who turned down a chance to play in Europe.

  7. Julio Moreira, October 13, 2017 at 12:47 p.m.

    It was a dissapointment to say the least to see the USMNT played, embarrassing failure, believe the players were affected by the attitude of their technical team, they did not show any enthusiasm or desire to win the game, believe that Bruce Arena does not inspire or knows much about the game, If it was up to me and I have mentioned this many times in this column, will remove Sunil Gulati immediately, let him go back to his profession,  remember he was finger appinted by the former President Rosenberg (10 Million Dollars to leave USSOCCER FEDERATION) . Next we need to hire a World Class Coach, we have one in the MLS, former coach of Argentina and Barcelona. 




  8. Kent James, October 13, 2017 at 1:09 p.m.

    The MLS is the source of all of our problems. Really??  Of course, the level of play is not as high as the best leagues in Europe. Why is that?  Money, and established cultural traditions (soccer is kind of a big deal in Europe). Yes, we would probably be better off if our national team were all starting on top teams in Europe, but in the long run, we need to develop a domestic league that allows us to develop a lot of potential players.  (And many US players have trouble playing for European clubs because of VISA issues, or they often fail to get playing time, which doesn't help their goal of being national team players).  While Argentina and Brazil can send all their best players to Europe so they can make money, I don't think that is the model for the US.  Eventually, there will be enough money in soccer in the US, and that will bring the talent (which, eventually will change the culture).  


    The quality of play (and the competition for spots) would be higher if we had fewer MLS teams diluting the talent pool, but to change the national sports culture, we need more teams so that everyone is geographically close to one.  So we are in that tough transition between being a small, insignificant soccer league, and being able to compete with anyone for talent.  In the long run, it is good that some (not all) US players do come back to the US in their prime to play.  As for whether that helps or hurts us, one reason we're not going to the WC is that the MLS has provided an opportunity for many Central American players (our opponents in CONCACAF) get better (many of the goalscorers in the games that hurt us were MLS or former MLS players).  So the question is to do you want a band aid (scour the world for US related players who can compete in the WC) or a cure (develop our own)?  US soccer needs the MLS to be a strong league for us to be a true world power.  We'll have some set-backs getting there, but we'll get there eventually if we keep at it.  

  9. R2 Dad replied, October 13, 2017 at 2:03 p.m.

    Failure brings change much more dramatically and significantly than adding more money.

  10. Julio Moreira, October 13, 2017 at 1:22 p.m.

    It was a dissapointment to say the least to see the USMNT played, embarrassing failure, believe the players were affected by the attitude of their technical team, they did not show any enthusiasm or desire to win the game, believe that Bruce Arena does not inspire or knows much about the game, If it was up to me and I have mentioned this many times in this column, will remove Sunil Gulati immediately, let him go back to his profession,  remember he was finger appinted by the former President Rosenberg (10 Million Dollars to leave USSOCCER FEDERATION) . Next we need to hire a World Class Coach, we have one in the MLS, former coach of Argentina and Barcelona. 




  11. Julio Moreira, October 13, 2017 at 1:22 p.m.

    It was a dissapointment to say the least to see the USMNT played, embarrassing failure, believe the players were affected by the attitude of their technical team, they did not show any enthusiasm or desire to win the game, believe that Bruce Arena does not inspire or knows much about the game, If it was up to me and I have mentioned this many times in this column, will remove Sunil Gulati immediately, let him go back to his profession,  remember he was finger appinted by the former President Rosenberg (10 Million Dollars to leave USSOCCER FEDERATION) . Next we need to hire a World Class Coach, we have one in the MLS, former coach of Argentina and Barcelona. 




  12. R2 Dad replied, October 13, 2017 at 2:12 p.m.

    Julio, their technical team included some yahoos. Gary Kleiban tweeted:"We had Kenny Arena, Bruce's son, and Pat Noonan, as our National Team assistant coaches! Both of whom have done fuck all in coaching." Also missing was  a Jermaine Jones/leader on the pitch. I know SA doesn't like all that nastiness but often times that nasty attitude needs to be turned on teammates when they're not performing and the first 45 against T&T should have sent alarm bells. But no, Bruce is calm and we don't need change.

  13. Kevin Leahy, October 13, 2017 at 7:12 p.m.

    The disappointment makes a lot of people want to throw everyone under the bus. The U.S has had a big gap in developing players in the 23 to 27 age group. Someone needs to explain to me how MLS can improve all of our COCACAF competition but, not the U.S. Players. Maybe we need to limit roster spots in MLS. I don't believe Bruce got the lineup right in the last match but, he is right. Coaches don't have the luxury of being a Monday morning quarterback. His record stands for itself through his entire career and so does Jurgen Klinsmann's. I admire Gonzalez for taking it like a man and how he seemed truly gutted by how things went. Personally, I would rather see Tab Ramos get the job as coach but, he will have his share of haters before long if it comes to pass. There are only about 6 or 7 out of the most recent pool that, I would like to see moving forward. I watched the game that Paul Caliguri scored the winner in by myself and have relished all these past World Cup's. Hope I am around long enough to Cristian Pulisic play in his first. He is fun to watch!

  14. M S replied, October 14, 2017 at 9:11 p.m.

    Its simple. Concacaf coubtries develop players under pro/rel system who are then brought ibto the league as experienced players. Mls does not do same with Academies. Thats why you see the difference in quality

  15. cisco martinez, October 13, 2017 at 7:46 p.m.

    Kevin, the gaps in US soccer is mainly becuase as a country we vaule speed and athleticism over technical ability. How many times did you hear announcer say the US cant break down these teams? Its becuase we dont have a true #10, but in actuality we do Feilhaber!!! Coaches would rather choose Bradley, nagbe, Jones, Zardes, Morris, etc. What do all these players have in common they cant breakdown teams, they are box to box midfielders, athletic, powerful, speedy player, but no technical ability, speed of play, vision, change of pace, locate penetration passes or dribble well 1v1, good with both feet, good crossers of the ball, etc. Moreover, it alo displays to me that the coaches that pick them arent very sophisticated at all, its just the American mentality that bigger, faster, stronger is better. We need to change our mentality to the fact, which are the teams that win the World Cup's come primarily from Latn based countries, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Uruguay, France and there players possess the ball extremely well. 

  16. Wooden Ships replied, October 14, 2017 at 8:18 p.m.

    Cisco, I agree with you completely. IMO an astute coach would have identified, as soon as South Africa ended, that Benny was gifted and had to be orchestrating our attack. I'm guessing that most posters haven't played with technical players before, or certainly not coached them. The 10 is rare to find and we've had one in our midst for years. Unforgiveable. 

  17. Kevin Leahy, October 14, 2017 at 1:41 p.m.

    Cisco, talent is talent. There isn't much speed with the U.S. beyond Pulisic & Yedlin. All the world needs players that can break down there opponent. The U.S. is losing ground to CONCACAF opponents that are getting stronger in MLS. The need is to find out why the U.S. isn't? Have met many coaches that value the type of player you describe. Player selection will always be questioned. I don't believe Feilhaber would have made a difference with this group. I look forward to more skillful & incisive players that, have speed of thought and quick feet. Think we will get there eventually but, it isn't there now.

  18. Wooden Ships replied, October 14, 2017 at 8:37 p.m.

    Kevin, I agree with some of your thoughts, but I don't credit MLS with helping the CONCACAF players develop. They are already technical. I also believe had we fielded Benny years ago, we wouldn't have had this multi year struggle, nor this latest result. We wouldn't have been saddled with Bradley or Altidore. Both moody and inconsistent. 

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