KENYA BROWN - Thursday, February 5, 2015
At a time when the media is reporting stories of U.S. internationals signing with teams in MLS, Alejandro Bedoya has bucked the trend as he has signed a contract extension with Nantes.
It seemed that the 27-year-old would see out his current contract with the team based in northwest France as he only had one year left, but both sides were determined to hammer out a deal. Now it has happened and Bedoya will stay through to the 2018-19 Ligue 1 season.
According to reports, Bedoya had received interest from teams in Germany, England and the United States before he agreed to extend his contract with Les Canaris.
The New Jersey-born midfielder bypassed MLS for a career in Europe after playing at Boston College. He first signed with Swedish Allsvenskan side Orebro SK in 2009. After two seasons with the team, where he earned his way into becoming a regular in the starting lineup, he made the move to Scotland and signed with Glasgow Rangers. Bedoya saw minimal action with the Ibrox side and after the team went into administration he headed back to Sweden where he signed a short-term deal with Helsingborgs IF.
After his spell with the Reds, Bedoya joined Nantes which had just been promoted to the France's top division in 2013. He would make his debut for the team on Aug. 25 that year against Paris St. Germain. He would go on to make 32 appearances in all competitions and scored six goals for the team last season.
While the Florida-bred player found himself on the bench at times at the start of the current campaign, he has made his return to the lineup and scored one of the goals of the season on Dec. 6, 2014 against PSG - a long-range strike that beat goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu. Nantes currently sit in ninth place in the Ligue 1 standings with 32 poins.
Bedoya has also played an integral role for the U.S. national team as he has so far amassed 37 caps. He played a big role in the team's campaign at the World Cup in Brazil last year as they reached the round of 16. His play for club and country also earned him a finalist spot for U.S. Soccer's Male Athlete of the Year award.