© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
Alejandro Bedoya will go down as one of the best players in Philadelphia Union franchise history when he hangs up his boots, and although there has been a previous link of the veteran midfielder potentially departing the club this winter, Jim Curtin and Ernst Tanner are not ruling out a return for him in 2024.
Both Curtin and Tanner spoke to the media on Monday at the Union’s end-of-season press conference following the club’s announcement of their roster moves for 2024. Bedoya remains in negotiations with the Union over a potential stay in Philadelphia, which would add to an already stellar club career.
The 36-year-old has been an impactful player for the Union since his arrival in 2016, leading the club to playoff appearances in each of his seasons in MLS. The Union haven’t agreed to a deal with Bedoya, or left back Kai Wagner, but are open to keeping him as a key leader in the squad.
“I think we can talk openly on that now and we’ve talked internally,” Curtin said. “We made some mistakes in communication, all of us made some mistakes in communication and now we have an opportunity to rectify those and we’ll have to find a solution that is best for Alejandro, that makes sense for the club and makes sense for him and his family.
“That is our hope and that’s why in the press release you see that it is ongoing still,” he added. “Nothing is done or finished or anything like that but we all know what he has brought to the club. How he helps the young players develop and declaring that new role for Alejandro moving forward whatever that might be, has to be a fit. You know how much I value and respect Alejandro as a player and as a person and I think we are in a good spot for an opportunity to do the right thing and have Alejandro still part of the Union where he only wears this jersey.”
Bedoya has totaled 225 MLS appearances with the Union following his move from Ligue 1 side Nantes in 2016. He has contributed 24 goals and 33 assists in league play, but most importantly, Bedoya has been a valuable presence on and off the field in Curtin’s squad.
The Union have a slew of midfield options heading into next season with Jesus Bueno, Leon Flach, and Joaquin Torres all committing their futures to the club in recent days. Daniel Gazdag, Jack McGlynn, and Jose Martinez are also key players in Curtin’s midfield, while Sanders Ngabo was also signed as a potential contributor for 2024.
Bedoya is the oldest player in the Union squad and although he would fight to continue being a starter for the club long-term, Curtin and Tanner might want to give others a chance during what will be a busy schedule across multiple competitions.
“He’s a competitor and he’s still in good shape and because of his soccer IQ and brain and his ability to stay fit, he still contributes in a big way to the group,” Curtin said. “He makes the players around him better. Exactly what those parameters will be, we’ll discuss and keep it internal. He’s going to be helping in that development role like he normally does and already does but he’ll still be contributing on the field. That is my hope at the end of the day for this.”
“Nobody doubts what Ale Bedoya has done for the club,” Tanner said. “We also need to see where we are going in the future. We think in cycles and the future cycle is the next five years and it is definitely too long for a player who is 36 turning 37 years of age. At the same time there is a possibility, and we need to see what kind of role we can foresee for him.”
The Union remain in talks with both Bedoya and Kai Wagner heading into what will be a crucial offseason for the club.