EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Alejandro Bedoya, virtually unknown before the United States Men's National Team's January camp, continues to push for an unlikely World Cup roster spot. Although his chances of making the 23-man group have slipped in recent days -- partially due to the excellent play of primary competition DaMarcus Beasley -- the Orebro midfielder isn't giving up yet.
"You try to assess it and everything, but it's gone pretty well," he told Goal.com after practice at Rentscheler Field on Monday afternoon. "It's been a good grind."
Tuesday night's match against the Czech Republic could be Bedoya's last chance to impress Bob Bradley and his staff. The former Boston College Eagle knows he needs to play well.
"Tomorrow's a really important game for the fringe guys like me," he said.
Bedoya continued: "I feel like I've got to show something. There's great competition out here. There are 12 midfielders here and we all have what it takes to get to this level. I think I have to show something really special. Hopefully, I can get a couple good moves or a couple combinations. It's important to combine well with my teammates but also show the work rate and do my job defensively as well."
The midfielder looked strong in substitute roles against Honduras and the Netherlands and believes he can make a difference in South Africa.
"I think have the energy, the work-rate, whether we need to keep the win up or to tie it," he said. "I can bring that energy level both on the defensive side and the offensive side to get that goal or to defend a little bit more to get that win."
The pressure to perform is a constant but the 23 year old has a plan to deal with it and confidence in his abilities.
"For me, I just sit down and kind of meditate a little bit," Bedoya said. "Think to yourself. Pray to God a little bit. Just keep going the way you've been doing. You obviously got called for a reason. Just keep playing the way I'm supposed to."
Whether Bedoya makes the team or not, he'll have learned a lot. When asked to describe the best part of camp, he answered simply: "The experience."
"These are all top-level guys and it's a great honor to be a part of it," he said. "Taking it all in but at the same time, working hard."
Hard work just might lead to South Africa.
Noah Davis (@noahedavis) covers the United States Men's National Team for Goal.com and will be reporting from the World Cup in South Africa.Visit the U.S. national team page on Goal.com for more and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!