U.S. notes: Bedoya stresses victory, Cherundolo joins team in Dublin
DUBLIN — News and notes from the U.S. camp ahead of the team’s 2014 finale on Tuesday against Ireland (2:45 p.m. ET, ESPN2):
• After Friday’s 2-1 loss to Colombia in London, the U.S. comes into this game with just one win in its last seven matches, a 1-0 victory at the Czech Republic in September. For that reason, U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya says getting a win may be even more important than usual on Tuesday.
“It could matter a little bit more in that sense that we want to finish 2014 on a high note,” Bedoya said. “But also as kind of a statement for next year. Most of the guys won’t be together again until March, so you definitely want to have a good showing and get a result. The guys want to win. The last few games we’ve given up late goals. We want to work on that.”
Added U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann: “We play for wins no matter where we go and get experiences, and no matter what the challenge is and who the team is, we want to win the game. We could play every game at home and choose nations where we have a big advantage, but then I’m not developing this program, I’m not getting the team to another level. We need those benchmarks: Playing Colombia, playing here in Ireland, playing next summer in Europe, going down to South America. We need those experiences in order to get better.”
• Former U.S. right back stalwart Steve Cherundolo is here with the U.S. team ahead of Tuesday’s game.
A U.S. Soccer spokesperson said Cherundolo was invited by Klinsmann to observe this week, though the federation website said Cherundolo is serving as an assistant coach. Cherundolo retired from a sterling playing career earlier this year in Germany and is currently working as a youth coach at Hannover, where he played for so many years with distinction.
• Rubio Rubín, the 18-year-old who did well in his first U.S. start last Friday, missed practice on Monday with an illness.
• Four U.S. players were let go from camp ahead of this game, including three still involved in the MLS playoffs: New England’s Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen and Seattle’s DeAndre Yedlin. DaMarcus Beasley was also released.
For its part, Ireland released Robbie Keane so he could rejoin the LA Galaxy ahead of its playoff game against Seattle.