Bedoya joins rare group in France

[AMERICANS ABROAD] U.S. Gold Cup champion Alejandro Bedoya signed a three-year deal with promoted French club Nantes. Americans have been few and far between in Ligue 1, where only six U.S. players (two of them French-Americans) have previously made appearances.

U.S. defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Greg Vanney both established themselves in Ligue 1, but Charlie Davies' career at Sochaux was cut short by the car accident in which he was involved in 2009, a year after Freddy Adu's short stint at Monaco.

David Regis and Quentin Westberg were both born in France. Regis was naturalized in 1998 so he could play in the World Cup the same year, while Westberg was born to an American father and French mother and joined the U.S. U-17 national team for the 2003 U-17 World Cup. He now plays in the third level for US Luzenac.

Current MLS players Andrew Jacobson (Lorient) and Joe Cannon (Lens) signed with Ligue 1 clubs but never played Ligue 1 appearances.

Several U.S. World Cup players have played in the second level -- notably Oguchi Onyewu, who began his European career at Metz. For both Hugo Perez and Christopher Sullivan, the French second division was the first pro stop in their careers abroad.

The early 1990s saw several U.S. college stars -- Dario Brose, Henry Gutierrez and Billy Thompson -- enjoy success in the amateur third level of French soccer.

Americans in Ligue 1:
GP/G PLAYER, TEAM (YEARS)
245/1 *David Regis, Valenciennes (1988-1993), Strasbourg (1993-1996), Lens (1996-97), Metz (1998-2002), Troyes (2002-03)
99/4 Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes, St. Etienne (2008-2011)
60/0 Greg Vanney, Bastia (2001-2005)
10/2 Charlie Davies, Sochaux (2009-12)
9/0 Freddy Adu, Monaco (2008-09)
4/- **Quentin Westberg, Troyes (2003-2010)

Americans in Ligue 2:
GP/G PLAYER, TEAM (YEARS)
71/9 Dario Brose, St. Brieuc (1993-1995)
42/6 Ronil Dufrene, Reims (1986-1988)
25/7 Jeremiah White, Gueugnon (2005-2007)
6/- **Quentin Westberg, Evian (2010-12)
3/0 Oguchi Onyewu, Metz (2002-2004)
1/0 John Maessner,  Istres (1993-94)
n/a Hugo Perez, Red Star (1989-1990)
n/a Christopher Sullivan, Le Touquet (1988-1989)

*U.S. citizen since 1998 by virtue of his marriage to an American wife.
**U.S. citizen by virtue of his birth to an American father.
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