DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, June 7, 2011
On the eve of Gold Cup group play, Örebro midfielder Alejandro Bedoya officially replaced Benny Feilhaber on the final squad due to an ankle injury suffered by the New England Revolution midfielder more than one week before in his team's MLS game against Los Angeles Galaxy.
Bedoya was brought in at the beginning of the week to train with the squad while Feilhaber's ankle was being evaluated, however a decision on his official addition to the team for the tournament was put off until the last possible day.
His addition will now cause him to miss several league and cup games with his Swedish club Örebro, where his standout play has generated talk of a possible summer transfer.
The Miami-raised midfielder has amassed eight camps with the US so far, all having come in 2010, although he was one of seven players on Bob Bradley's initial 30-man roster prior to the World Cup to be cut before the trip to South Africa.
With Feilhaber's absence, the US will be missing one of its most inspirational figures from the 2007 edition. The Brazilian-born midfielder scored a dramatic 73rd-minute volley in the final against Mexico to send the US to the championship.
While he was not expected to be in contention for a starting spot in the 2011 tournament, Feilhaber had been utilized to some success by head coach Bob Bradley as a creative substitute in the World Cup, a role which Bedoya will try to fill in the upcoming games.