What's Buzzing:

America's unsung heroes against Ghana

Yahoo Sports

For complete World Cup 2014 coverage, visit Yahoo Sports and follow @YahooSoccer.

SAO PAULO – The most famous United States soccer player is still probably a guy who isn't on the team. One of the team's best players could be out of the tournament because of injury and most of the squad is a relatively low-key bunch.

But there were a bunch of unsung heroes in the U.S. lineup who shined on Monday night in battling to a 2-1 win over Ghana and a superb start to the World Cup. They are a hard-working group, many of whom have fought for years to get this kind of opportunity.

[Related: Klinsmann gets reward for global recruitment strategy ]

Thanks to the platform of soccer's biggest stage, recognition could finally be headed their way.

"There are so many guys who played a part in this," captain Clint Dempsey said after the Americans' thrilling win in Natal. "You can't name all of them, but they all deserve huge credit."

Against Ghana, the winning goal was scored by John Brooks, who, in all fairness, wasn't particularly famous outside his own household until his wondrous intervention on Monday night.

[Related: Brooks' goal happened just like in a dream ]

There was Geoff Cameron, a rock in defense who plays for Stoke City, one of the most unfashionable teams in the English Premier League. And there was Kyle Beckerman, a veteran of Major League Soccer for more than a decade who made his World Cup debut at 32, a chance he had all but given up on.

And perhaps more than any of them, there was Alejandro Bedoya, who has not played for an American team other than the national side since he represented Boston College in 2008.

Bedoya has bounced around Europe's second-tier leagues from Sweden to Scotland and back again and now to France with Nantes in Ligue 1, a sizeable step up from his previous levels of competition.

Plying his trade so far from home, and out of the spotlight of one of the most-watched European competitions, Bedoya could walk down any street in pretty much any American city and get less attention than a mediocre street musician.

That might change. The victory over Ghana was just one game, but the American public is getting to know these players and starting, or at least preparing to start, to fall in love with this team.

Bedoya was flooded with messages of well wishes in the hours following Monday's triumph and could not disguise his delight.

"I woke up this morning and you look on Instagram and Twitter and you see the videos people have posted and the reaction in bars," Bedoya said. "I feed off it. It is awesome. We are part of this movement to grow soccer in the States and it is really cool."

If the movement is to gain even more speed, the U.S. needs to keep going and keep performing in this World Cup. For that, it will need not only its stars but also its band of unsung workers.

View Comments (60)
  • Former German FA chief Niersbach to challenge FIFA ban

    Former German FA chief Niersbach to challenge FIFA ban

    Former German Football Association (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach will appeal against a one-year ban by world football's governing body FIFA, he said on Wednesday. FIFA's Ethics Committee banned Niersbach on Monday for failing to report … More »

    Reuters - 21 minutes ago
  • Puma expects even closer ties if Usain Bolt retires

    Puma expects even closer ties if Usain Bolt retires

    By Emma Thomasson BERLIN (Reuters) - German sportswear firm Puma wants to forge even closer ties with Usain Bolt, the highest profile athlete it sponsors, if the Jamaican sprinter retires after the Rio Olympics, predicting he could be just as … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 26 minutes ago
  • Guardiola denies any weighty problems in City squad

    Guardiola denies any weighty problems in City squad

    (Reuters) - Manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed reports that a small number of Manchester City players turned up for pre-season training overweight but stressed the importance of keeping players fit ahead of the new Premier League season. … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 40 minutes ago
  • FA Cup to allow fourth substitute in extra time

    Teams progressing to the latter stages of the FA Cup next season will be allowed to field a fourth substitute in extra time, the English Football Association (FA) announced on Wednesday. The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 52 minutes ago
  • TV punditry appeals more to ex-players than coaching - FA chief

    TV punditry appeals more to ex-players than coaching - FA chief

    (Reuters) - Lucrative broadcasting jobs is one of the reasons the Football Association (FA) is struggling to attract former England players into coaching, chief executive Martin Glenn has said. England appointed a homegrown manager in Sam Allardyce … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 54 minutes ago