It was a historical day for Union fans when news broke that the club was going to sign U.S. Men’s National Team member Alejandro Bedoya. Among American soccer fans there has long been a stigma for homegrown players “wasting” their talent by playing stateside rather then showcasing themselves in Europe. But in the case of Bedoya and the Union that stigma can be put off to the side.
After being founded as an MLS expansion team in 2008 the Union have arguably never completed a major acquisition and even among those considered, not one played for the U.S. (don’t even mention Freddy Adu). Big contract signings don’t happen very often for the Union so there’s a chance that the club could be headed into a new direction.
Bedoya spent the last three years playing for the French club Nantes and the midfielder had been a focal point for the club netting 14 goals in all competition during his time there. Things get tricky when looking at how he’s going to fit with the players already with the Union. It’s obvious that the team is missing Vincent Nogueira who played well as the team’s box-to-box midfielder until he cut ties with the Union this past June. The Nogueira replacements haven’t played well enough for Bedoya to be out of the question at this position. Though there’s the possibility that Union coach Jim Curtin decides to move Bedoya over to the wing, it all depends on who’s being put on the bench.
Here’s a great goal from Bedoya against French powerhouse club PSG. (follow the “watch on youtube’ directions)
In order to sign Bedoya Philadelphia sent their 2017 first round pick of the MLS SuperDraft along with allocation money and international player discovery rights to the Chicago Fire. This trade gave the Union the right to sign Bedoya from Nantes where they spent a combined $2m in transfer fees and Bedoya’s salary. While he’s 29 years old and hasn’t made himself a household name around the world, Alejandro Bedoya has made a name for himself here in the U.S. after regularly being called on to play with the national team.
Back in May, Bedoya was quoted by ESPN FC saying “France is one of the best leagues, but I think I’d like to try to see if I could maybe make it to a higher level.” and although he also mentioned in that article that he’d like to stay in Europe for a few more years, hopefully Bedoya will embrace his time in the states playing for the Union.
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image courtesy of mlssoccer.com
video courtesy of ligue1official/youtube.com