Bedoya shows Rangers what they are missing with Team USA winner

Jurgen Klinsmann

The ex-Gers winger was the hero for the USMNT, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic that may leave Rangers fans feeling wistful.

For Rangers fans with a good memory, the name Alejandro Bedoya will undoubtedly ring a bell and could even have a few Gers supporters asking the question “what if?”

Signed by the Ibrox giants for an undisclosed fee back in August 2011, big things were expected of the then 24-year-old winger who had impressed in Sweden with Orebro, having moved to Europe after progressing through the US college system.

A few weeks later the midfielder was making his debut for the Glasgow side and scored his first goal in the top-flight against Dundee United in a 5-0 win in May of the following year to help Rangers secure a second place finish.

But at that point the writing was already on the wall for Rangers and when the club entered administration, Bedoya was one of the first to be jettisoned, with his career going a step backwards with a move from the Glasgow giants to Helsingborgs.

He remained part of the US national team setup though and after impressing in Scandinavia, he got his second chance at a shot in the big time with Nantes.

His form for Les Canaris was enough for Jurgen Klinsmann to make him a key component of the Team USA squad that excelled at the World Cup in Brazil.

And with the German keen to step up the national side’s development, a friendly encounter with the Czech Republic in Prague presented Bedoya with the chance to stake a claim to be a key player for the USMNT over the next four years.

Starting the game against the Euro 2004 semi-finalists, Bedoya demonstrated a confidence on the ball that had visiting US fans purring.

Capable of playing in a central role or out on the right, his defensive contributions were matched by a keen eye for goal which culminated in the only goal of the game six minutes before half-time - albeit with a little help from recently-ousted Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, who gifted the US a goal with a poor clearance.

And while the future looks brighter for Team USA than it does for Rangers at present, Bedoya would undoubtedly relish the chance to one day return to Ibrox and right the wrongs of his short, badly-timed stint at the club.

"It's a club with a lot of tradition and history,” he told reporters in an interview last year.

"When I came in, I was really looking forward to it but I couldn't have come at a worse time. It is what it is.”

"Hopefully they will come back to the top and be back where they belong soon … I'm still following them on twitter and I keep up to date.”

Make a return to the Scottish Premiership with regular Old Firm meetings with Celtic and maybe Rangers fans can start dreaming about players like Bedoya joining the club again.

For now though, it’s nice to see one happy ending of sorts for a young footballer whose dream move turned into a nightmare.

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