Alejandro Bedoya and the Philadelphia Union have agreed to a one-year contract, the club announced Thursday. Bedoya will also work with the team in its front office, serving as a Player Development and Front Office Specialist.
“We are happy to have found a solution that works best for Alejandro and for the Union to bring him back to the club where he can continue to contribute to the team and in the Player Professional Development role,” said Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner in a statement. “His leadership and work ethic are still vital components to our team’s success, and his passion, commitment, and insights after serving in unofficial business and leadership capacities over the years will contribute greatly to his new role. We are confident that his contributions as a developmental mentor and a front office specialist will benefit the overall organization and are grateful to be able to welcome him back.”
Bedoya’s contract was in question toward the end of the 2023 season, as Bedoya was reportedly told by the Union that he was not in their plans moving forward as a club. After protests from fans and head coach Jim Curtin, the Union reportedly worked on signing Bedoya to a new deal for several months, eventually landing on the current extension.
This wasn’t the first time Bedoya was involved in questions regarding his contract with Philadelphia, the midfielder was signed to a one-year contract after the 2021 season.
“Philadelphia is my home, and the Union is my club. This is the only Major League Soccer team I have ever played for and where I want to stay,” said Bedoya in a statement. “The development and ever evolving success of both the team and the organization from the first day I started here until now has been nothing short of incredible to witness, and I’m grateful to be able to continue to contribute to both sides of the business going forward. I will continue to give everything I have to this organization, and I look forward to a successful 2024 campaign.”
Bedoya, a longtime captain for the Union, returns to the club for what is likely his last season as a professional soccer player. Bedoya has long put off the notion that his retirement is impending, but the 35-year-old recorded his third-fewest minutes in a Union jersey during the 2023 season. The only seasons when Bedoya registered fewer than his 2,020 minutes from last season were the 2016 season, when he made 10 appearances for the club, and the 2020 season.
Across his career as a Union player, Bedoya has cemented his name into the club’s record books. The former USMNT player has registered over 17,000 in a Philadelphia jersey and recorded 22 goals and 33 assists, giving him the third-most assists in club history. Bedoya, who has 214 appearances for the club, is one of three players to make 200 appearances for the Union, joining the company of Andre Blake and Ray Gaddis.
Before playing in Philadelphia, Bedoya played for Ligue 1 side Nantes, Scottish side Rangers and Swedish side Helsingborgs IF. Before going professional, the Florida native played college soccer for Boston College and Fairleigh Dickinson.
In his role with the front office, “Bedoya will be responsible for supporting various Philadelphia Union front office initiatives in respect to marketing, digital, and social media,” per the Union. “Additionally, he will help optimize the club’s innovative player development model by serving as an important mentor to the club’s young players and their development and strengthening the club’s overall approach to player rotation.”