Bedoya feels "anger, disappointment, disgust" at USA failure and benching

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CHESTER, Pa. — For Alejandro Bedoya, the pain in Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday proved to be double.

Not only was he in Ato Boldon Stadium as the US national team’s World Cup hopes evaporated in crushing fashion, he had to watch from the sidelines as the longtime USMNT contributor, perhaps surprisingly to some, didn’t get into a game where all the team needed was a draw.

“It freaking sucks,� the Union captain told Philadelphia reporters Thursday. “For me to be on the bench and not take part of this game in a do-or-die situation, it really sucked. There was a lot of emotions: anger, disappointment, disgust. I was pissed I wasn’t part of it, obviously, with my competitiveness and being a passionate guy.

“You can say whatever you want – I’m not the most skillful, not the guy that’s going to do stepovers, go 1-v-1. But for me sitting on the bench, watching the guys not really getting stuck in and that I didn’t feel that proper energy out on the field – we were kind of complacent. It was lethargic. … We got ourselves in a bad situation and paid the price for it.â€�

Bedoya said “the most disappointing part of it all� was how sharp the Americans were Friday night in a 4-0 home dismantling of Panama, a game in which the Union midfielder played the final 11 minutes to help close it out. That win reminded Bedoya of how well the USMNT has always played with “our backs against the wall,� and gave him a lot of confidence on the flight to Trinidad.

It’s still hard to fathom how it all then fell apart.

“We let our country down, we let our teammates down, we let our families down, and we let ourselves down,� Bedoya said. “It’s an utter disappointment. The first half was pretty embarrassing.�

Considering the emotions and craziness of Tuesday’s 2-1 loss â€“ which was made even crazier, he said, by hearing staffers and media members shout out the Honduras and Panama scores as the doomsday scenario began to set in – Bedoya hasn’t thought too much yet about what the World Cup qualifying failure might do for the sport in this country, although he did say that everyone involved with US Soccer “has to take a good, hard look in the mirror.â€�

He also isn’t entirely sure what comes next for a 30-year-old player like himself who would have been in a good position to play in his second straight World Cup had the US qualified for Russia 2018.

“I’ll be a lot older in five years, so I don’t know what the future brings,� he said. “But for me, whenever I step over those white lines, I just give it my all and all I’ve got, and that’s the same for country. Whatever happens now, I’ll just sit back and do what’s best for the Union and see what happens with US Soccer and where we go from here.�

Bedoya will return to the field Sunday when the Union, already eliminated from playoff contention, face the Chicago Fire (5 pm ET | MLS LIVE) in their penultimate game of a disappointing 2017 season.

But when asked if that game, in any way, might take his mind off the USMNT heartbreak, Bedoya said there’s only one thing that’s been able to do that.

“My wife came to the airport with my two kids and my son ran up to me and for me, family, that just took my mind off of everything for a little bit,â€� he said. “I had dreams of taking my son to the World Cup. He would have been three-and-a-half years old by then and just to experience that with him, there was a lot of sadness, a lot of emotions after the game on Tuesday night. For me, that was kind of the most disheartening thing. I always dreamed of having my son experience that with me and my family — and I let him down, I feel like.â€�

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