Alejandro Bedoya has had plenty of experience with the Union dominating an opponent and failing to win a game.
But over the last year and a half, the Union seemed to have grown out of that. They’ve had the depth and diversity of attacking talent to find ways to beat opponents that sit back and defend for long stretches, as the Chicago Fire did Sunday night at Subaru Park — at times having all 10 of their players behind the ball, after Wyatt Omsberg’s first-half ejection.
So it wasn’t surprising the Union’s captain didn’t hold anything back as he assessed his team’s performance.
“Did we create enough chances? Maybe so, yeah, but we’ve still got to do better,” Bedoya said, a nod to the Union outshooting Chicago by 25-4. “We weren’t able to put away our chances, and up a man, you know, even though maybe Chicago caves in, bunkers in, we’ve got to be better. ... It is an empty feeling — 1-1, up a man, not happy about that at home.”
That Sunday’s game was the Union’s sixth straight with just two active forwards was unquestionably a mitigating factor. Sergio Santos might have won this one single-handedly had he been available off the bench.
But it shouldn’t be an excuse for that performance, and Bedoya won’t let it be.
“Unfortunate that Sergio wasn’t available today, but we’ve got to keep chugging away,” he said. “Whoever’s on the field, whoever’s dressing, we always believe in one another. That’s the team spirit we need, that’s a culture we’ve created. It’s always next man up.”
Bedoya knows the “next man” might not be on the team yet. Matheus Davó likely won’t be a magic solution to all the Union’s attacking woes, but the sooner his signing is finished, the better.
The likely departure of Jamiro Monteiro isn’t going to help either. It’s one thing to want Quinn Sullivan, Jack McGlynn, and the rest of the Union’s academy products to play more; Sunday was the first time in Monteiro’s two-and-a-half years here that he missed a game for any reason beside injury or suspension.
But it’s another when one of the Union’s best players is in talks to leave the team so he can reunite with his wife and kids because they can’t get into the United States because of COVID-19 protocols. It can be understandable, relatable, and a big blow on the field all at the same time.
“I don’t know what’s going on with the transfer window, and that’s not for me to be worried about — that’s upstairs,” Bedoya said. “We’ve got to work with what we’ve got, and that’s how we’ve always done it since I’ve been here.”
At least there were good signs from Dániel Gazdag, who took four shots, completed 22 of 29 passes, and made four recoveries at the defensive end. It felt at times like he was doing everything except score.
“You can see that we’re continuing to work on our chemistry, and he’s a great player,” Bedoya said. “I think it’s just continuing to work off of one another, continue to understand our runs, continue to create overloads, and just become sharper in the final third.”