He comes at quite a cost, but U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya is leaving France to play in MLS.
Philadelphia acquired MLS rights to Bedoya by finalizing a trade with Chicago, which held top spot in the allocation rankings by which U.S. players are acquired by league teams. The Union traded General Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money, a first round 2017 SuperDraft pick, and the Discovery Priority on a player to be named later.
Bedoya, 29, has played the last three European seasons for Nantes, the fourth stop in a pro career that started in Sweden with Orebro and also included stints with Glasgow Rangers and another Swedish club, Helsingborg. For Nantes he scored 11 goals in 87 Ligue 1 matches.
“We have laid out very specific goals for our club this season and Alejandro adds the type of quality that can instantly guide us in achieving them,” said Union sporting director Earnie Stewart in a team statement announcing the deal. “He’s a tremendous player in the prime of his career and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the club.”
He’s been a mainstay in the U.S. team for the past seven years, earning 53 caps and scoring two goals. He started three of four games at the 2014 World Cup and four of six at the 2016 Copa America Centenario.
Financial terms were not disclosed by the parties involved. According to reporter Jeff Carlisle of ESPN.com, the transfer fee is $1 million paid to Nantes and Bedoya’s salary will be $1 million. Sam Stejksal of mlssoccer.com cites the deal with Chicago involves $100,000 in General Allocation Money and $75,000 in Targeted Allocation money.
Bedoya's ability to play wide or centrally should add a lot to the Union attack, which has been rebuilt this season with the acquisitions of Chris Pontius and Roland Alberg. Pontius leads Philly with eight goals, Alberg is second with seven (including four penalty kicks). C.J. Sapong has six goals.
To make room for Bedoya the Union also traded attacker Sebastian Le Toux, an original member of the squad in its 2010 expansion season, to Colorado in exchange for general allocation money. Le Toux led the Union in goals that season with 14 and came back to Philly in 2013 after playing for Vancouver and the Red Bulls in 2012. Le Toux, 32, had started his MLS career with Seattle in 2009.
In 236 MLS games (191 starts), Le Toux has scored 56 goals and recorded 55 assists. He scored two goals and registered five assists in 21 games for the Union in 2016.