Alejandro Bedoya injured, to miss USMNT friendly in Cuba

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Alejandro Bedoya will not play in the USMNT’s historic friendly in Cuba on Friday.

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Bedoya, 29, damaged his rib in the Philadelphia Union’s 3-2 defeat to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.

The central midfielder has been a mainstay in the USMNT’s midfield and although he will not be available for the game in Miami it seems like he could be fit for the friendly at RFK Stadium next Tuesday against New Zealand.

In a statement on their website, the U.S. national team confirmed they will not call up a replacement for Bedoya and gave the following details.

U. S. Soccer announced on Monday that midfielder Alejandro Bedoya would not join the Men’s National Team in Miami ahead of Friday’s historic friendly against Cuba in Havana.

The veteran midfielder suffered a strained rib muscle, forcing him to exit in the 52nd minute of the Philadelphia Union’s 3-2 defeat at the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

Bedoya’s injury will open the door for youngsters Paul Arriola, Perry Kitchen and Lynden Gooch to get some game in the historic game in Cuba. The latter would make his USMNT debut in his first call up to the senior team after impressing in five Premier League appearances for Sunderland early this season. If Gooch does take Bedoya’s place in a three-man central midfield then he still wouldn’t be cap tied as the Santa Cruz, California native is eligible to play for both England the Republic of Ireland but he told ProSoccerTalk last week that his allegiance is with the U.S.

As for Arriola, or even Kitchen, it would be a big chance for them to step up. Club Tijuana’s Arriola is a more attacking option and has scored twice in two appearances for the USMNT, while holding midfielder Kitchen has had a big few weeks after being named as Hearts’ captain in the Scottish Premier League.

Looks like Jurgen Klinsmann has plenty of options in midfield in Bedoya’s absence although the former Nantes midfielder will remain a key figure in this team and stay focused on being fit for the huge CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifier against Mexico on Nov. 11.