The Gold Cup roster was made up largely of players on the fringe of the national team, players Klinsmann wanted to see in a tournament setting. Bedoya, Chris Wondolowski, Mix Diskerud, Eddie Johnson, Brek Shea, Nick Rimando were all auditioning.
“My goal is to make it as hard as possible for the coach when it’s time for him to pick his team,’’ Bedoya said by phone Monday before heading back to Sweden, where he played pro last season. Bedoya was one of the last players cut from the 2010 World Cup team. He vowed to make it this time around. Klinsmann started him in the Gold Cup semifinal and final, and Bedoya responded with three assists, many timely runs and smart passes in the box.
His family was unable to attend because they were at his grandfather’s 88th birthday party in Colombia. But his youth coach Steve Ziegler, his brother Santiago, and four high school friends from St. Thomas and Cypress Bay were at Soldier Field on Sunday.
“I think I showed flashes of what I can bring this team,’’ Bedoya said. “We are playing a different style under Jurgen. High pressure. More creativity. He wants us to try new things and not be afraid. It took some time to get used to, but everything’s clicking now.’’
Assuming the U.S. reaches the World Cup, Klinsmann’s true test will come next summer. With all due respect to the teams that played in the Gold Cup, the competition in Brazil will be far better. Nobody knows that better than Klinsmann, the sixth-leading scorer in World Cup history with three goals for the champion Germans in 1990, five in ’94 and three in ’98. Klinsmann also coached Germany to third place in the ’06 World Cup.
Yes, Klinsmann apparently knows what he’s doing.