The USMNT played Serbia to a 0-0 draw last Sunday. Union players Alejandro Bedoya and Chris Pontius were both there, and had a lot to say in the game. Bedoya and Pontius each played a key role in Sunday’s game, and they should have a lot to say in future USMNT games. Lets look at how each player did.
Alejandro played 63rd minutes of the 0-0 draw. He was playing out on the right-wing in what looked like a 4-1-4-1 formation. Bedoya did well to combine with his teammates when going forward. he looked to play give and go’s to make space for himself down the wing. He did this a few times and sent some decent crosses into the box. What might be more impressive than Bedoya’s attacking positioning on the wing was his defense.
Every time USA lost the ball, Bedoya tracked back to help break up the Serbian attack. His transition defense speed was amazing, especially since he is coming off of offseason. He looked like he was in mid-season form speed, and intensity wise, which is a good thing for the USMNT and the Union going forward. This was Bedoya’s 54th cap for the national team, he continues to be a bright spot in a variety of position for USA.
— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) January 29, 2017
Chris got his first ever USMNT cap this past Sunday, coming on for Bedoya in the 63rd minute. He looked lively as ever in the attacking third. In what was a massive occasion for the Union player.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) January 29, 2017
Pontius may only have gotten 25 minutes to play, but he made the most of it going forward. He made some great runs own the right side, and sent some good balls into the box. He also used his skill to cut inside on defenders to try to create chances. It was this skill of his that almost broke the deadlock late in the game. Juan Agudelo had the ball inside Serbia’s box, and had his shot blocked. The ball popped out to Pontius who tried to put a finesse shot back post to win the game. Unfortunately, he just barely missed. Had he been in mid-season form he would have nailed that shot. Pontius played well, and has proven he can be a difference maker when called upon.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 29, 2017
Both Bedoya and Pontius played an important role in this friendly. They could also play an important role in the next friendly this Friday against Jamaica. It should be fun to see Union goalkeeper Andre Blake go up against his team mates internationally!
For more Union-USMNT news come back to Philly Sports Network! A preview of the USA-Jamaica game will be up later in the week!