World Cup Quote Sheet - Alejandro Bedoya

U.S. MNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya
On boosting his profile at the World Cup:
“I think that’s just part of it because it’s the World Cup, but personally I don’t really think about that because if I worry about playing my best for the team, people will see that. I try to focus on what I can bring to the team and focus on what the coach wants me to do. I know if we play well as a team, every individual player will stick out no matter what and things can happen.”

On the experience being what he anticipated:
“I’m in Brazil, the mecca of football. Having the World Cup here is even that much more exciting. You can just sense it. The hype all over the states and around here is just incredible. It’s been a life-long dream and to be able to be here is kind of surreal. I still haven’t been able to stop and look around and see everything but I look around here and the media coverage is crazy. I know my family is very excited and my friends and everything. I’m very grateful for this.”

On realizing he is going to the World Cup:
“It’s like you kind of have to pinch yourself. Everybody was really excited when we arrived to Miami airport and we had some fans there and the airport organized some stuff for taking off for Brazil. We got on the airplane and everybody’s trying to take selfies and everybody’s just excited to be part of this and it’s amazing. It’s a wonderful opportunity and it’s a great experience. Hopefully we make the most out of it, enjoy ourselves but also try to take care of business obviously.”

On his role changing when in a different position:
“I feel like that’s the story of my career. I’ve always been a versatile type of player. It can be bad or good, but I think in my case it serves me well that I can play in different positions and fit in different formations and styles. For me, the last game I played a little be deeper and just tried to get in front of the back four, help them out and also when we sprint on the attack be one of the first guys to be able to spread the ball out wide and start the counterattack. I think that’s part of my game. I think I’m a two-way player, box-to-box player, and I have the stamina and endurance to track back always and help out on the right back or the left back or whoever it is and help out the back four and also be able to have legs to spring forward.”

On what Kyle Beckerman adds on the field:
“Kyle is a very disciplined player. I think when we play all these types of formations and things like that, whatever you guys want to speculate, he’s the type of guy that will be that number six, that anchor guy, that makes sure when players like myself or the outside back springs forward, that we know he’s going to be there covering our backs. He’s a key player, obviously, anybody who plays in that position is a key player because they’re going to have to take care of the defense but also, most likely, start the attack as well.”

On who he needs to listen to the most on the field:
“Well you have the center mids mostly, but I think the center backs, they have to be the most vocal, they’re the ones that are facing the field most of the time and can see everything in front of you and can help me out as a midfielder, where to position myself and things like that. A guy I listen to on the field very much is Clint. We’re good friends off the field as well, and he’s somebody I look up to. Whenever he talks to me on the field he tells me what to do or where to move or things, I listen to him.”

On being called underdogs:
“Underdogs abroad? That’s fine with me. I don’t have a problem with it. I mean, I think people still have, around the world, a little bit of a prejudice maybe or something that maybe America is still growing in the soccer world. It’s not the biggest sport here. They still poke fun maybe that we still call it soccer and not football, things like that. But I’m not bothered by it. I’ve said it before, when I got to France in Ligue 1 there haven’t been many Americans in that league, and I felt like I had a good campaign this year and showed that as Americans, we can be technical and good players and do well.”

On how Jurgen Klinsmann’s internal optimism helps:
“It helps a lot. I’ve said it before, in terms of myself as a player, he has helped me with confidence a lot. He’s a good speaker, good at motivating players. For me, his optimism just feeds on everybody and you can sense that really.”

On whether there has been uproar caused by Klinsmann’s comment that it is unrealistic for U.S to win World Cup:
“I mean, not really. The media, when they get a chance to get a hold of anything, they’ll get it going, right? But no, like I said, he has been optimistic since day one and there’s nothing short of confidence in him and his belief in us and the players and the qualities that we bring and what we can do on his term.”

On what is the most fun about being in Brazil:
“The whole experience, really. You see the hype around it. First of all, I’m fulfilling one of my dreams and I can just sense how happy and excited and proud my family and my friends are and myself to reach this point and really it’s just the pinnacle of any player who plays football.”

On having the chance to wander around outside the hotel:
“We have not yet. I think we will have that chance this afternoon maybe.”

On seeing his family:
“I have not seen them yet. I saw them in Jacksonville, obviously, but they arrive later in Brazil next week and my girlfriend will be here earlier.”

On family and friends coming to Brazil:
“Just my father, my mother, my brother, my sister, my grandfather is coming who’s a big football fan. He lives in Colombia now. Steve and Christina Ziegler, Steve was my first coach at Weston, and they’re close family friends. My girlfriend and two of my best friends that I’ve known since middle school, Beau Brudzinski and Cesar Aquirre, I went to St. Thomas with them, high school and everything and they’re going to come.”

On what would define a successful World Cup for the U.S.:
“First of all, I think the most important thing we have to get out of the group stage and then after that it’s anybody’s game, really. I think when you play any team after the group stage, you’re obviously already confident and you’ve got some motivation from advancing out of the group stage and it’s football, anything could happen and I wouldn’t be surprised. Hopefully we can make it out of the group stage and advance into the quarter-finals.”

On reality being at here compared to expectations:
“It has obviously exceeded my expectation, I feel like. The security is crazy but I feel like I’m in Brazil, playing the World Cup, this is the mecca of football. Growing up, Brazil has won the most World Cups, all this and that. It’s just amazing, you see on TV all the coverage and everything. The hype around it is awesome.”

On appreciating Brazil being a South American:
“I do and I’ve seen plenty of Colombian jerseys around here too so it’s kind of cool being Colombian-American just to see Colombians out here.”

On who is best on the team in FIFA:
“It’s funny we just had a competition last night and I feel like me and Jozy were going at it at each other, beating everybody else but we were beating each other”

On who won in FIFA:
“Jozy got me, 2-1. It’s fine, I’ll admit it, he got a little lucky.”

On how diet has changed since arriving in Brazil:
“It hasn’t really changed much, maybe I’m eating a little bit more cultural Brazilian food. The mangos are good.”