Alejandro Bedoya becomes latest USMNT player to join MLS, signs with Philadelphia Union

Alejandro Bedoya has left Nantes and signed with MLS, joining the Philadelphia Union. The midfielder joins the Union as a Designated Player and their most high-profile signing in the team’s seven-year history.

There has been a long line of national-teamers joining MLS in recent years. Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard, Jermaine Jones, Brek Shea, DaMarcus Beasley and Mix Diskerud have all left their European sides to sign with MLS in the last few years. The league has made signing U.S. internationals a priority and has been able to bring a slew of them over, ranging from giant stars to fringe players.

Bedoya isn’t a star like Dempsey or Bradley, but he is one of the most important players to the national team. His ability to play across the midfield and provide help defensively, as well as with the ball, has made him a regular for the Yanks.

Bedoya has never played in MLS before, opting to go straight to Europe after college. First he signed with Orebro in Sweden, then went to Rangers, Helsingsborgs and finally, Nantes in Ligue 1. He played well for Nantes, regularly starting for the French club and showing himself to be capable of playing in one of Europe’s five best leagues. But he also recently became a father and many other national-teamers have made the move to MLS because they wanted to raise their children close to home.

The Union are paying Nantes a $1 million transfer fee and Bedoya will earn $1 million-per-year, according to ESPNFC. The Union were second in the allocation order and had to make a trade with the Chicago Fire to move up a spot and acquire Bedoya. They reportedly sent general allocation money and targeted allocation money to Chicago, a 2017 first round pick, discovery rights to an unnamed player and the Union’s place in the allocation order, which is now No. 1.