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Bedoya’s play in Sweden caught Bradley’s attention, and he made his debut against Honduras in January. He made three appearances for the U.S. before being among the last players cut for South Africa.

“It was tough. But looking back, it was just a learning experience for me,” Bedoya said. “It just helped me out with my confidence. I have a lot more motivation now to do bigger and better things. Hopefully I can be a part of 2014.”

Eddie Johnson was part of the 2006 World Cup team and figured to be a key player in the lead-up to South Africa with 12 goals in 40 international appearances. But he fell out of the mix after a move to Fulham in January 2008 resulted in little playing time.

After being loaned to Greek club Aris last season and scoring three goals in the playoffs, he was invited to the World Cup training camp but arrived with a strained hamstring. He, too, was among the last players cut.

Now back at Fulham, he got his first start last weekend alongside U.S. teammate Clint Dempsey, a rare pairing of American forwards on a European club.

“The good thing is I’m still young in my eyes,” Johnson said. “Four years is a long way from now, but I just want to focus on the short-term goals right now. I want to have a good, strong year in Europe, score a few goals and do well for my club and keep (Bob) believing in my ability so he calls me back into camp and I can keep showing myself.”