Bedoya continuing to convince Klinsmann he’s deserving of spot on USMNT roster

Alejandro Bedoya

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When 2013 began, Alejandro Bedoya was just another U.S. Men’s National Team hopeful, a player on the outside of Jurgen Klinsmann’s picture.

These days, he finds himself well inside.

Bedoya has seen his stock with the U.S. rise tenfold since his inclusion in January’s U.S. camp, going from someone who was on the radar to someone who has broken through after really making a case for himself. The 26-year-old midfielder, like several other Americans, used the Gold Cup in July as a launching pad to make it onto Klinsmann’s A team, but that was not the only place where he made strides.

On the club level, Bedoya has found a new challenge by signing with French side FC Nantes and he is off to a strong start there. It is for that reason, combined with his performances in a U.S. jersey in July and in the friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina in August, that Klinsmann now sees him as a player deserving to be among the 23 that will compete for starting spots for World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico in the coming days.

“Bedoya made a huge jump over the last seven, eight months just during my time now, because he came pretty late into my picture,” said Klinsmann. “He was with (the U.S. under previous head coach Bob Bradley) already, and compared to where he was in the January camp to where he is now, it’s just really wonderful to see.

“He became a lot more confident, he became a lot more mature and he proved that, he proved that during the Gold Cup and even in Bosnia. He proved that in his first game with Nantes against Paris Saint-Germain, it was very impressive how he played there for a very good club in the French first division.”

As was the case under Bradley, Bedoya is being looked at as an option on the right wing by Klinsmann. It is unlikely that Bedoya starts either of the upcoming two matches given that Landon Donovan and Graham Zusi are on the U.S. roster, but he could be a primary weapon off the bench given his high energy and strong work rate on both sides of the ball.

In any case, Bedoya has come a long way since being on the fringes of Klinsmann’s squad back in January, and that is in and of itself an achievement considering the deepening talent pool that the U.S. boasts.

“He deserves absolutely to be a part of that roster now going into Costa Rica,” said Klinsmann. “That gives us another option there with him and with Graham on the right flank. I think we’re looking really good.”

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67 Responses to Bedoya continuing to convince Klinsmann he’s deserving of spot on USMNT roster

  1. Mike E. says:

    He has really stepped his game up.

  2. TomG says:

    Crazy to think that not much more than a year ago, he was buried on a bad Rangers bench.

  3. Sheriffbart says:

    Another piece of the puzzle. However we are loaded in the mid-field and not so much with the back four especially on the right. Has he every played RB and could he be an option there?

    • AlexH says:

      Additional depth in midfield helps us at the LB and RB because it frees up Fabian and Cameron to cover the fullback positions without weakening the midfield should coverage be required.

      • biff says:

        What in the heck are talking about, AlexH? Why in the world would we want to play Geoff Cameron at right back for the USMNT? I mean, he does not have the proper qualifications for right back, which are either 1) to be playing midfield for your club team or 2) not making game-day rosters for your club for the past six months. Cameron is excluded because for the past 12 months he has played almost exclusively right back as a starter under two different coaches in the one of the best leagues in the world.

        But seriously, I got my fingers crossed that we see Fabian and Geoff as fullbacks against Costa Rica. IMO they are beyond a a shadow of doubt at the current time the best fullbacks in the pool and both are very good.

        • Gary Page says:

          I still can’t get over the fact that last week a poster on this site said Cameron at RB was garbage.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            Unfortunately, I haven’t caught much of him for Stoke this year, but I have to think w/ Pulis out and some hint of offensive ambition this year, Cameron will show much better there offensively and look better playing in JKs system. I’ve been a convert from a total skeptic to impressed by Evans, but think Cameron is superior defensively and certainly has the tools to be so going forward. Hopefully my assumption that Cameron gets the nod at RB is correct and we see that this week against CR! Evans going down could be a great opportunity for Cameron to assert himself and find a permanent home in the starting 11.

            • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

              According to the (English) radio commentators, Cameron had a MoM perfomance for Stoke against West Ham. I didn’t see the game, but they specifically mentioned how well he was getting forward etc. If this is true and he is starting to deliver good crosses, than he has addressed the final weakness in his game.

            • biff says:

              @mike: Cameron started at RB and played 90 (I think) in each of the first three games. The first was was a 1-0 loss against an excellent Liverpool offense and Cameron was very strong defensively and did okay under the new Stoke offensive system under Mark Hughes. I didn’t see the next game, a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace but apparenlty he had a decent performance. Against West Ham he was excellent on defense and showing real fire attacking. After that game someone on SBI posted the link below to a Stoke fan board. Makes for interesting reading, although I suppose most of ‘em are Brits and not as smart as us. But is seems Cameron is starting to win them over.

              It boggles my mind that a majority of USMNT fans, as well as his majesty, Jurgen Klinsmann, don’t yet seem to get it (that Cameron is a right back).

              link to

              • Left Wing says:

                The reason for me is this.. What makes Cameron a pro is his first touch and clever/clean possession skills. It isn’t his first step quickness. The best outside backs are darts. They dont get beat on the dribble or have recover speed and they can sling forward and back in an instant. The skills Cameron possess are D MF skills but he’s not getting these repetitions for his club. In some ways Cameron is a stronger/better Spector.

              • Long Time Listener says:

                I see what you did there Left Wing.

                And I’m afraid you are right.

                Essentially you are saying that Geoff Cameron can be a right back within certain systems, but that he is not the type of right back that Klinsmann wants in his system, no?

              • GW says:


                The biggest difference is and it is a big one in JK’s system, Spector can more consistently provide good crosses

    • Andrew says:

      I was thinking this, too. With his work rate and defensive abilities, he seems a fairly natural fit to go the route that Beasley and Brad Davis have.

  4. blokhin says:

    Bedoya is a nice back up option for now and ultimately I hope that he or Corona displace Zusi on the wing.

    People keep mistaking the fact that Zusi has assisted on a good portion of USMNT WCQ goals this summer for him being efficient-which he is not. He gets a lot of chances against CONCACAF level opponents and he capitalizes on a few of them. Against better teams the number of chances will dwindle dramatically. He has skied more than his fair share of crosses into the box when US had attackers waiting to pounce on a well-placed ball. Bedoya and Corona can offer a bit more speed and beat people off the dribble…

    • Jeff carter says:

      Agreed, and this is coming from a Zusi fan. He’s been serviceable, but I think he’s become slightly overrated since he kind of took over the wing after the whole Danny Williams’ experiment there, so naturally, he looked like a godsend. He could be a decent option off the bench since he hustles his ass off and chases down every lost cause, but other than that, I think we’ll see his role with the “A” squad start to dwindle a bit

      • Sandtrout says:

        Hard to believe that Danny Williams spent all those games wandering around on the right wing, wondering what to do.

    • LAMF says:

      Right on. I made a similar remark about Zusi recently and people went ballistic.

    • alocksley says:

      This is 100% correct. I expect we’ll see Donovan or Bedoya out there from here on.

      • Jared says:

        This is a great comment. Agreeing that Zusi will lose his place because he’s only been good against Concacaf level competition yet he’s going to lose it to Bedoya who showed promise against B/C level teams from Concacaf.

        • Left Wing says:

          Bedoya played well against Bosnia. He played well against PSG. Both are strides above Concacaf club and most countries.

          Bedoya is finally where his promise showed he might be a few years ago..

    • Neruda says:

      Bedoya and corona were great in the GC and will develop into even stronger players. However, Zusi isn’t going to be displaced so easily. He has a lot of talent and natural abilities like speed (not that he’s in the same class as LD or Beasley).

      All three players are great so it’s exciting to see who rises to the highest level for club and country. Btw that means Zusi can stay in MLS and keep scoring goals and serving up assists etc for kc and he will continue to be on the usmnt. Now that duece is in Seattle and LD and Omar G are staying put in LA it makes a lot more sense for Zusi to stay in MLS if he wants.

      • louisz says:

        Out of the 3, the fastest is LD, the better defender is Bedoya. Zusi, is the jack of all trades but master at none.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          It’s an interesting way to look at it. I really don’t know if LD is faster than Bedoya; both seem quite fast, and anyway both are fast enough to trouble any defense. More importantly, both run fast tirelessly; it’s one thing to run a 4.6/40, but another thing to run it 30 times in 90 minutes.

          Bedoya might seem the better defender, but since LD is rarely called upon to play that role, again I struggle to make the comparison. Still, when LD plays defense he does so with correct positioning, excellent field awareness, poise, etc.

          You didn’t bring up crossing/passing, which Zusi is great at, but then so is LD. In fact, LD is probably superior to Zusi in this regard (but again, how does one quantitate such things?). And LD knows how to finish as well, not just assist.

          Bottom line: Donovan > Bedoya > Zusi*

          Zusi: as you said, “jack of all trades but master at none.”
          Bedoya: better defender than Zusi and faster, but perhaps not so strong sending crosses into the box; a jack of all trades, master of 1.
          Donovan: if Zusi is a jack of all trades, then LD is a king of all trades.

          * But I still believe that Zusi > Bedoya in Klinsmann’s lineup…for now.

  5. Paul says:

    I think he’s becoming the role model for US players trying to break into Europe professionally. He bypassed MLS after playing at Boston College, and tried out overseas. He won a slot with a Swedish team, and put in the requisite work and training to move up the ladder to other clubs before earning his latest move to France. he did have a short injury-filled stint with Rangers, but bounced back to Sweden and worked his way back into a prominent club role. I think the GC training boosted his confidence and profile.

    One cannot help notice he’s put in the full 90 minutes in the first 2 games for Nantes. He’s earned the callup.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Meh, I don’t know how many players go abroad and never do cut it, then come back to MLS and flourish, and they would have some sort of talismanic player who re-started their career here. Landon started out in Germany but flourished here, for example.

    • OPMG says:

      I don’t understand how bouncing around the lower leagues until finally signing with a newly promoted team in the French league is a model to follow for other players. I’m happy for him that he finally found his way into a top league. But it’s still Nantes, they could be right back down next season.

      Is MLS not a better route? I bet Dempsey, Cameron, Bradley, Holden, Boca, and many others think so

      • GW says:

        I’ll bet if you spoke to Dempsey he would mention how MLS severely restricts your movement as they did with him.

        However, I don’t think you can use a one size fits all approach for all “American players” Everyone is different.

      • Paul says:

        At the time a few years back Bedoya was deciding between MLS and other options, MLS was considered second tier to many leagues in Europe, including pay. The risk with testing Europe back then was a chance at a bigger payday. I would agree MLS has definitely improved in this area.

        At the time he was looking at a pro career after BC, there was a few local collegians (UConn, BU) who signed with MLS. I recall they didn’t earn much in the league. Charlie Davies took a similar route after finishing college soccer at BC.

      • MG says:

        Nantes are not your average “newly promoted team”, though. They’re a massive club in French terms – they’ve won the title numerous times, and it wasn’t all that long ago they were playing in the Champions League. They just hit a bit of a rough patch for a few years.

        It’s a great move for him.

  6. Josh D says:

    Bedoya has won me over. I was against him up until this summer. I now think he’s above Corona.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Zusi can hold onto the right wing spot with Donovan back, Bedoya lurking, and Corona still pushing. I think Zusi not going to Europe will ultimately cost him a plane ticket. Klinsi rewards ambition.

    • CroCajun1003 says:

      Carona has got to start making an impact for Xolos. I was a Carona fan after the Gold Cup, but he’s had a slow start to the season.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      Have to love Bedoya’s engine. He is one of those players that gives you fits… goes after every ball aggressively, makes you earn everything… wears you down, forces mistakes.

      • Dave80 says:

        This was how a 3rd rate midfielder (me) played up a division or two in regional club play: hustle, hustle, hustle, and field vision to make the unexpected play when your hustle pays off with possession. +1 for Bedoya, who has those attributes plus a bundle of skill.

    • bh ring says:

      Corona is a much better backup for Dempsey than he is as classic winger. I still think Corona, Kljestan, and Goodson can still make the USMNT for Brasil.

  7. joshw says:

    Reading Klinsmann’s comment about Bedoya (“That gives us another option there with him and with Graham on the right flank”) together with his comment about Fabian Johnson (that he is the left winger) and his recent comment that Donovan (that he provides us “another great option”), does anyone else think that Donovan may have to wait a little longer to break into the first team. Pretty clear that Clint (the captain) and Jozy will start if available.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Interpreting Klinsmann is like throwing the bones. That said, here’s my attempt:

      “That gives us another option there with him and with Graham on the right flank.” Hmmm, he cites Bedoya as “another option,” but who then is the first option? In other words, Klinsmann has a starter, an “existing option,” and “another option.” Is the “existing option” Donovan or Graham?

      Seeing that Klinsmann did not mention Donovan (at least in this sentence; maybe he did in the full interview), it would seem strange to interpret Donovan as one of the “options.” Thus, I think Klinsmann meant that Bedoya and Zusi are “options,” leaving Landon as the starting RW.

      • Shaggie96 says:

        I don’t read it that way at all. I read it as Bedoya gives him another option besides Zusi on the right flank. I think he is implicitly stating that Donovan is not a wing option.

      • joshw says:

        I think that’s the correct strict construction. If he’d said that Bedoya gave us an alternative, rather than another option, with Zusi then that would mean he just has two to choose from at RW. Using the word option implies 3 choices (with Donovan being the other obvious candidate). I wasn’t really reading it that closely, given English may be Juergen’s 3rd or 4th best language and most people aren’t that precise when speaking. My feeling is, I guess, more grounded in the fact that Donovan hasn’t been mentioned in connection with any position. I know that Clint hasn’t either, but I have to believe that he’s going to be the #10 even though he’s probably most effective on the left.

        If you think about Klinsmann’s statement that he likes to have two players for every position, who are the two players for LW? I would argue that Clint is one (based on Fulham days) and Fabian Johnson is the other. Of course Beasley and Castillo can also play there. May be a little silly to be so rigid because most guys can play multiple positions, but if you had to do 2-man depth charts for each of the attacking positions, this makes the most sense to me:

        Striker: Altidore, EJ

        Second Striker: Donovan, AJ

        LW: Dempsey, FJ

        RW: Zusi, Bedoya

        • paulwp says:

          This or switch Donovan and dempsey

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          joshw: I like the idea of thinking through 2 players for each position. I agree with paulwp on switching Donovan and Dempsey. I hope Dempsey is never ever played on the wing again.

          That said, it’s tough because while I would agree that Donovan > FabJo at LW, I think Donovan is also the best RW option and FabJo is Klinsmann’s preferred LW. That means that Donovan starts at RW but if FabJo gets injured we see Donovan switch to LW. If Dempsey is injured, then perhaps Donovan moves to second striker and Zusi/Bedoya come on as RW. Or, heaven forbid, Klinsmann keeps imagining that EJ can play LW when it should be obvious that EJ is a striker not a winger!

          As you say, “May be a little silly to be so rigid because most guys can play multiple positions.” Does make it tricky!

          • joshw says:

            Interesting exercise because having an A team and a B team is something Klinsmann has referenced a couple times. Also makes sense when you think about a 23 man roster being two teams plus a wild card (usually a 3rd keeper).

            I agree that I don’t really like the idea of Dempsey on the wing, but that was his position during most of his best season in the EPL. Part of my concern comes from the fact that I’m not a strong enough tactician to know how Fulham pulled that off (having a forward at LM). I suppose it helps to have a LB like Riise as part of the equation.

            I wish we could figure that out because I have a problem with playing Donovan as a wide midfielder. Even though he may be our best wide midfielder, he’s also the best at putting the biscuit in the basket. And while he may also be our best assist man, I don’t see why you’d want to play him farther from the goal, unless you plan on him tucking inside most of the game. And if that’s your plan, why wouldn’t you just play Dempsey out there, when tucking in from the left is his bread and butter?

            • GW says:

              JK seems to be focused entirely on the World Cup.

              Therefore, this far out, I think he would be very happy to have an A,B and C lineups fighting with each other for a spot.

              The one thing I have seen with World Cup teams is that injury is almost always your biggest nightmare.

              Look no further than Gooch, Davies and Demerit getting hurt and what that did to the 2010 Team.

              Imagine what might have been had all three been available. Bradley would have killed to have half of JK’s depth.

              So if for example, Bedoya, Zusi, Corona and LD are somewhat redundant, it is a great, great problem to have.

              It sure beats the alternative.

              • joshw says:

                And don’t forget Beasley. Though his injury was back in ’07, he never regained a starting job at Rangers after that. I think he played 10′ at the WC in SA.

              • Sandtrout says:

                Options?! Since when do we have options?! That concept is so foreign I feel like I’m rooting for another country. What a feeling to have options!

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              This is just my personal experience coaching and has nothing to do with what I think Klinsmann will do (in part because he’s a crazy fox and also because he knows the players far better than I ever could).

              The worst mistake I see coaches make is to identify their best player and plug him/her in at his/her strongest position. Then move to second best and plug him/her into his/her strongest position. And so on down the line.

              The reason this approach fails is that while it emphasizes and capitalizes on one’s strengths, it also exposes one’s weaknesses. It’s like realizing that you shoot best with your right foot and therefore practicing to become the best right-footed shot in football—who has no left foot.

              The better approach is to identify your weakest player (in your starting 11) and identify how to best utilize him/her and work your way up the line. This affects both the positions people play as well as the formation. In the case of Donovan, I think it pushes him further from the goal, with the knowledge that even though it withdraws a strong attacking threat, overall the team has more attacking potential and coordination.

              So no, I don’t see him tucking in most of the game. I see him running the wing, whipping in deadly crosses that find Jozy or Dempsey. Then sometimes faking a cross, cutting in on the defender, entering a one-two with Bradley, and curving in a goal from just inside the 18. Conversely, I haven’t seen Clint do any of that when he’s played on the left for the Nats. If you play Jozy up top, LD just behind, and Clint on the left what you really get is Clint and LD stepping all over each other as Clint can’t help himself from tucking in.

              • joshw says:

                I agree with the concept of shielding the weakest link. (And that’s probably the impetus behind playing FJ in front of Beasley.) But another concern is falling into the trap of shoe-horning your best 11 into a starting 11.

                If Landon is your best player and his most effective position is second striker, then I’d play him there unless you felt it exposed a weakness. Unlike teams at lower levels or even previous US rosters, this team has other great options for the wing, plus Donovan’s speed makes the combo of Landon and Jozy more dynamic than Jozy and Clint, in my opinion.

                Does that mean I’d sit Dempsey in order to play FJ in front of Beasley (or Beasley in front of FJ)? I guess so, if I couldn’t develop a system that allowed Dempsey to play on the left and not leak goals. I imagine that’s something they’re tinkering with (in addition to debating whether Donovan should start on the right). One thing I would consider is playing Bedoya on the right with instructions to play more defensively. Maybe that allows the CMs and back line to shield more to the left.

                Hope everyone stays healthy so we can see what the Herr comes up with on Friday.

              • GW says:


                Interesting post. I’d be curious on your take on a related topic, players being used by their national teams in positions that are not their “natural” one.

                My experience is that, unless you are one of the football factory nations like Brazil, Spain, Holland and so on, having to use players in positions other than their club positions is par for the course for most national teams.

                And of course, I think fans forget that even if you are a playing nominally the same position for the national team that you do for your club team it may not be the same thing because the manager and the scheme may be, and probably are, totally different from your club team. And of course, national teams often have a rotating cast of characters so your teammates may change drastically from game to game.

                My point is “playing out of position” in the sense that you are being asked to constantly adapt to new situations with the national team more often than not, and that is just part of being a national team player.

                And to add to that the USMNT does not play many games compared to a club team. The last four years Dempsey, about as regular a player as there is, averaged 14 USMNT games a year. And a lot of USMNT players don’t play in as many US games as Deuce does. In that same period he averaged 44 appearances a season for his club.

                In the case of the USMNT, I think JK has done a very interesting job in terms of taking the basic core of Bradley’s team, it is still mostly the same players, and turning them into a possession oriented attacking side. I think he is doing it to maximize the strong points of this US player pool, individuals who all seem to genuinely like each other, a willingness to fight to the last second for each other, strength of character, fitness , and a pre disposition towards team work and disciplined play, traits typically associated with American team sports.
                It seems like when he took over he had a surplus of midfielders, so in many of the initial friendlies they tried out those midfielders in a variety of roles. One good way to learn a lot about a player in fairly short order is to play him in a different position.

                Unlike many I have no problem with converting midfielders to other positions because by definition midfielders are supposed to be versatile . And in the system JK is using now the fullbacks, really withdrawn wingers, need winger or midfielder skills anyway. It is clear that JK is betting that retaining possession and denying the enemy the ball will serve defensively and explains his preference for attacking fullbacks, or the converted midfielder in this case. The traditional defensive fullback are not in evidence on US rosters. These guys seem to be happier attacking than defending anyway. So you may as well do what you are happy doing.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                joshw: “shoe-horning your best 11 into a starting 11″

                Amen. This is very often Brazil’s problem.

                GW: I can’t really add to what you say about playing players “out of position.” For all the reasons you state, the most valuable players to national teams are often those who can cover multiple positions well (Donovan, Cameron, Bradley). If you are a talented specialist then you can find a club team that needs your specific skills, but if you want to play for your nation then you’d better be flexible or you’d better be truly *exceptional* at your favorite position.

              • coldfusion says:

                Dempsey always ends up in the slot, and it used to be right of center, where he would get in Donovan’s way. BB eventually moved them left and right, and Clint’s experience at Fulham on the left side was useful in getting him comfortable left of center. The bottom line is that Landon plays on the right because he can, and be dangerous there at international level, unlike Zusi. I’d hope to see Bedoya behind him, but that’s unlikely just yet.

    • GW says:

      JK’s comments are designed, it seems, to leave him as many options as possible.

      In other words there is a lot “yeah but” there.

      The most you can say is that it is a good thing for Ale that JK is talking about him in detail at all.

      • joshw says:

        I like his game. He’s not the slickest of wingers, but he’s effective. He’s also scrappy, has great mobility and plays under a spotlight in a big league. I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable seeing his name on a team sheet, even at the WC. That’s more than you can say about most of the 40 or so guys in the running for 2014.

    • bh ring says:

      I’ve never been able to predict correctly all eleven starters that Klinsmann picks for the USMNT. However, Klinsmann had better play the best team possible for both the Costa Rica and Mexico games because every point is crucial. There is no teaching point anymore in holding any player out of the lineup just to show the player that Klinsmann is boss. I expect Donovan to start because I think Johannsson is a much better choice as a second half substitute than as a starter. Donovan and Johannsson both need to play, and I don’t see them both being second half subs.

  8. Freddie Footballer says:

    I love stories like this that chronicle the rise of a player who is sometimes off the radar and makes his way back into contention (see Eddie Johnson). It’s interesting to trace their rise and how they have forced their way onto a roster. I’m a big fan of Bedoya and Johnson as a result. Go Alejandro, keep it up!

  9. Hush says:

    Bedoya is a work horse, so I’m not surprise about his success this year.

    I am glad a lot more SBI’ers see Zusi as a clown too. Don’t get me wrong, the guy plays great in the MLS. But other than that, he has not convinced me one bit at the international level. He puts about a 30 shots to the box, and maybe 2 are decent. Not good enough ratio for me. I’d take Corona and Bedoya any day over that guy. Same with Sasha & Wondo

    • John says:

      Corona is a fine player but really seems out of place on the wing. He showed well when he cut inside but against better more organized teams we need width. Bedoya works really hard and can create chances out of nothing but I don’t know if he provides the service Zusi does. Its still Zusi’s job to loose.

    • Long Time Listener says:

      Agree on all points.

      Still feel Sacha has another level, but I am losing faith in my original assessment of him as a player.

      Now I’d like to see Benny get a proper call up under Klinsmann.

    • ThatKidNandez says:

      Finally someone who agrees about zusi! True great mls player but mediocre for the usmnt.

  10. YueFei says:

    So here is my projected lineup, without a back four picked because I didn’t want to type anymore names.

    —–Back Four——

  11. hoothoots says:

    bedoya is a terrible player, he needs moere than teo matches to prove himself in france, he still is a bad swedish league plyer.

    • hoothoots says:

      he needs more than two matches. We already had a strong right wing, i don’t know what klinsmann see’s in this joker. He got 1/3 of his all time club caps only last season and he’s 26. he then only playes twice and france and suddenly he’s good? I bet he will eventually ride the bench like he did in scotland. This player knows how to grab attention by taking crazy shots, but he never makes them cus he sucks. And he will not create any plays. Sweden is not any better than MLS, Sweden is ranked incredibly low for a european team.