Marcus Tracy & Alejandro Bedoya Get Called Up

Tracy was impressive in his debut versus Man City in the UEFA Cup

Tracy was impressive in his debut versus Man City in the UEFA Cup

Two players that have seemingly been discussed ad nausea by me on this website finally have been called into the US National Team for the January camp. Alejandro Bedoya and Marcus Tracy are both players that fit a serious need for the United States.

Marcus Tracy has the speed, strength, and tactical discipline to be a valuable striker for the USMNT. In the wake of Charlie Davies’ injury, Tracy with his European club experience at Aalborg may have the inside track on claiming the final striker spot.

While Tracy does not score goals at the rate of some MLS based strikers, he has a skill set built for the international game. Tracy is incredibly adept at playing with his back to goal, a trait often times missing in American strikers.

Another critical function Tracy can serve is to find space in the opposing half.  Tracy makes interesting runs off the ball and is often times involved in the build up play for goal scoring opportunities. Quite frankly, Robbie Findley and Jeff Cunningham are not anywhere close to Tracy in this department.

However, Cunningham and Findley are both better out and out goal scorers and posses better speed than Tracy.

The 2008 Herman Trophy Winner at Wake Forest led his team to a College Cup in 2007, and an incredible 2008 regular season in the ACC. Tracy also spent the summer of 2008 playing for the Carolina Dynamo of the PDL and that gave helped him make the move to Europe right after Wake Forest lost to North Carolina in the 2008 College Cup.

Tracy made an immediate impact for Aalborg coming off the bench in a UEFA Cup match versus England’s richest football club, Manchester City. In the match, Tracy helped  AaB, score twice within 15 minutes to force extra time. Alas, for Tracy Aalborg lost in a penalty shootout.

Given this immediate impact, it was disappointing to see Tracy left out of one US camp roster after another. While Tracy is untested at the international level and could not be counted on for qualifying, several friendlies and games with “B” sides went by without him being called in.

Perhaps Tracy’s history of not having been selected for the Bradenton Academy as a youngster worked against him? Maybe the fact that Tracy was never capped for the USA at a Youth National Team level factored in as well?

A player with such obvious quality and skill being constantly overlooked is worrying. However, Bob Bradley does deserve credit for finally calling him into this team, despite his non-history in the national team program.

Bedoya too is an exciting pick. For more of my thoughts on this player, reference this MLS Talk article.

This entry was posted in Alejandro Bedoya, Marcus Tracy, MLS Talk. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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9 Responses to Marcus Tracy & Alejandro Bedoya Get Called Up

  1. Phillip says:

    Great camp by Bob. Getting a good number of young kids that opportunity to really show something here in a small-bit international friendly.

  2. short passes says:

    I am anxious to see how these two prospects turn out. If they do (at this late date), it again shines a massive spotlight on the process (or lack of same) that US Soccer has in place to identify young talented players. When one considers the extremely small pool of players in the national youth teams plus those in MLS, it should be obvious that we need a much better method of identifying the future US stars out of our vast national pool. Given the number of club teams (including the various ethnic leagues) and college teams we are not even close to exhausting the potential pool of players. A friend of mine who once coached some of the lower level Jamaican national youth teams marveled at how the US could not develop a stronger and larger talent pool. He said we have the population, the money, and the facilities to be a major power.
    As a small example: last year I had the opportunity to watch the Chattanooga FC play one of their NPSL rivals. I was shocked and amazed at how entertaining this team was. Its passing, dribbling, and scoring were a joy to watch. All of its players came from very small colleges in the region (Shorter, Bryan, Covenant, etc. While I wouldn’t be presumptuous enough to say that any of them should be on the national team, several of them deserved a strong look !! How many other potentially great players are out there in the smaller colleges? BY the way, this team of no names from small colleges drew an average crowds of 3500 people in their first year.

    Since MLS has the most to gain, I would urge their leadership to look at developing more innovative ways to identify this potentially vast pool of players. MLS teams’ open tryouts is a nice start but it is geographically limiting. MLS also needs to take a more concerted look at the ethnic leagues.

    It’s time that the politics of US Soccer and its generally inept coaching fraternity are bypassed and our best players, not the most visible or most connected, are allowed to rise to the top.

  3. Jon says:

    Just curious, how many times have you actually seen Marcus Tracy play, Kartik? You make it seem as though you see all of Aalborg’s matches and I find that very hard to believe.

    • Seen Aalborg four or five times since he went there. He doesn’t score alot ( and actually doesn’t shoot alot either) but fulfills a Brian Ching/Emile Heseky like role with a little more attacking intent.

  4. The development of players like Tracy and Bedoya are an outstanding example of one of the unseen biases in U.S. MNT and youth team set ups. Both played for major NCAA soccer programs, but for some reason didn’t really get a look in the youth programs. Clearly someone saw their talent, why isn’t U.S. Soccer.

    Clearly, ODP programs are helping, but not so much as you would think when players of this caliber are getting missed on a regular basis.

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  6. El Conductor says:

    Nice Chattanooga shout-out in the comments. Whoo Hoo!

  7. over there says:

    Bob needs to get creative in his search for a striker. Tracy is far and away one of the most interesting prospects.

  8. CT Soccer says:

    I’m pretty sure Marcus would blow Findley and Cunningham out of the water in a sprint, Marcus runs a blazing 400m…and that was in High School.

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