Americans Abroad: Bedoya’s Helsingborg faces climb, Grella scores again and more

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If Alejandro Bedoya and Helsingborg are to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage, they'll need to pull off an inspired road performance.

The Swedish champions conceded a second-minute goal to Kris Commons that set the tone for Celtic's 2-0 victory in the first leg of their final qualifying round tie, one that happened on Helsingborg's home ground. 

Bedoya started and played 90 minutes on the right wing in his second game with his new club, and his best chance came in the 16th minute, when he was denied by Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster's kick save off a chance from inside the area. Celtic doubled their lead in the 75th minute, with Greek international Georgios Samaras' header off a corner kick providing the second away goal. Helsingborg will need to overturn the deficit in next week's second leg in Scotland.

Here are a few more items involving Americans abroad from a busy Tuesday:

GRELLA SCORES AGAIN

Mike Grella's move to Scunthorpe United has paid off with some early dividends, as the former Duke University striker scored his second goal in three games for the League One side in its 2-1 loss to Crewe Alexandra.

Grella, playing on his sixth team (including loans) in England since trying his hand abroad in 2009, started and played all 90 minutes, scoring an equalizer in the 15th minute before his side ultimately succumbed in the 73rd.

BOCANEGRA CAPTAINS RANGERS IN CUP WIN

Bedoya has left Rangers, and Maurice Edu appears on his way out, but Carlos Bocanegra has remained with the fourth-tier Scottish club, and he captained the side to a 1-0 victory over second-tier Falkirk in the second round of the Scottish League Challenge Cup. Bocanegra played the full 90 minutes, as Rangers moved on to the third round.

LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP RUNDOWN

It was a busy day in the League Championship, with a number of teams featuring Americans in action.

Jonathan Spector got the start and went the distance for Birmingham City, while U.S. U-20 midfielder Will Packwood was an unused sub, in the club's 3-2 loss to Sheffield Wednesday.

Tim Ream and Conor Doyle were both spectators on the bench for Bolton's 2-0 victory over Derby County, the Trotters' first points in the second tier as they attempt to climb back to the Premier League. 

Robbie Findley did not make the team sheet for Nottingham Forest's 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town, and Zak Whitbread suffered the same fate for Leicester City's 2-1 loss to Charlton Athletic.

Robbie Rogers was an expected no-show for Leeds United in their 2-1 loss to Blackpool as he continues to search for a new club after being transfer-listed by Leeds a couple of weeks ago.

GOMEZ SET FOR CCL OPENER

Santos Laguna came within a game of winning the CONCACAF Champions League in April, and their quest for a 2012-13 title begins Tuesday night against Salvadoran side Aguila.

Herculez Gomez, who scored six goals in CCL play for Santos Laguna last season, will aim to get started on the right foot again in Group 1 play. Toronto FC currently leads the group after rolling past Aguila 5-1 in their first match, an indicator that high-octane Santos Laguna could be in for a field day at Estadio Corona.

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Disappointed in Helsingborg's performance? Encouraged by Grella's start to the season? What do you make of Bocanegra sticking it out at Rangers? What's your take on the lack of participation of Americans in games in the League Championship? Expecting Gomez to get on the board tonight?

Share your thoughts below.

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9 Responses to Americans Abroad: Bedoya’s Helsingborg faces climb, Grella scores again and more

  1. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Uh oh. Why is Ream not starting?

  2. somedude says:

    got Ream’d (out-muscled for a goal) in the last game

  3. Mr. Jones says:

    Helsingborg actually looked better for most of the game but their finishing was extremely ineffective.

  4. George3000 says:

    What are the odds on Mike Grella getting a call up for Jamaica?

  5. Spencer says:

    right now not very good. I don’t know his status, but I assume they would want someone to be very consistent and do well in a league that is below the MLS.

  6. Dinho says:

    absolutely nil.

  7. argh says:

    Grella must be making a nice amount of dough to stay in League 1. His chances of his team being promoted aren’t high. I’d say he should come back to MLS but i guess they wouldn’t pay him more than 100 K tops

  8. Larry says:

    League 1 is on par with the MLS. Plus, it has more visibility for a jump to a higher league. Plus, the player can decide what team to play for. If he comes back to the MLS it is the MLS that chooses what team he plays for.

  9. Joe says:

    Is it possible that Bocanegra is staying at Rangers through the end of his contract so he will be a free agent when he returns to MLS?
    This is what Ricardo Clark did and he was able to chose to sign with the Dynamo.