National team's Bedoya gives Union an instant boost
Alejandro Bedoya laughed at the question, but it was one that people were curious about nevertheless. The U.S. national team midfielder and newly acquired Union designated player was asked Wednesday after a training session if he was nervous playing his first MLS game with his new team.
Alejandro Bedoya laughed at the question, but it was one that people were curious about nevertheless.
The U.S. national team midfielder and newly acquired Union designated player was asked Wednesday after a training session if he was nervous playing his first MLS game with his new team.
"Me? No," he said with a smile. "It was about having fun."
Bedoya has 53 career caps with the national team. He flourished Saturday in a 4-0 win over the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. The Union (9-8-7) needed a lift after going 1-4-2 in their previous seven MLS games.
Bedoya, 29, said that being through so many big games helped him in his Union debut.
"For me, the experience I have, you feed off it," he said. "Of course with the national team, you hear the anthem, you always get butterflies in those games, but definitely the other night I was trying to enjoy the game."
There was plenty to enjoy.
Bedoya departed in the 72nd minute with the Union leading, 3-0.
He was playing the No. 8 spot, which is a midfielder with equal offensive and defensive responsibilities.
"He gave us a calming presence in possession," Union coach Jim Curtin said. "He was able to make a lot of little plays that let our team collectively kind of breathe as a group in a hostile environment."
C.J. Sapong, who scored the Union's first goal before suffering a head injury late in the first half that sidelined him the rest of the game, said Bedoya has been a quick study.
"Being with us such a short time, he already understands how we play and has definitely assimilated well with our playing style," said Sapong, who is going through concussion protocol but is confident he can play Saturday against visiting Toronto FC. "He has a stature on the field as well and makes guys around him better and guys want to work a little harder and he reciprocates that as well."
Bedoya hasn't played the No. 8 spot extensively, but he doesn't see that as a major adjustment.
"No disrespect to MLS, but the play is a little slower than I am used to, so I think I am more comfortable," he said.
Bedoya's confidence is unmistakable. He won't shy away from the expectations.
"I was brought in here as a DP [designated player] and I have to show I can make the team better," Bedoya said. "I think I am confident enough to say I can do that."