In place of the Gold Rush this week we're bringing you a more logical candidate for Atlanta United to sign. Earlier this week, SI's Grant Wahl reported on the uncertain club future of United States international Alejandro Bedoya. The report states that if Bedoya can't find a move to a European club in the summer he'll look to join an MLS side in January from his current club Nantes.
Late in April, Bedoya penned a great piece for The Players' Tribune on what he loves about playing abroad. In his conclusion, he states that he still has ambitions of playing at a top club in Europe, but that MLS is always in the back of his mind.
"I still have ambitions of playing at even higher levels â whether in England or Germany, but with a son, you start to think how it would be nice to play in front of family and friends, and be closer to home, so MLS is still in the back of my head."
-Alejandro Bedoya; Source: The Players' Tribune
Alejandro Bedoya is a player that splits opinions. If you ask 10 people what they think of the midfielder you'll probably have 50% telling you they love him and the other 50% rolling their eyes.
At the international level, my opinion of him probably falls in the latter half. He's a solid dependable player but he offers very little in the attack and just isn't a creative force. His work rate and determination are two aspects of his game that are undeniable.
With the USMNT he leaves you wanting more. However, we've seen time and time again a player who is less than impressive on the international stage really take their game to another level in MLS. Chris Wondolowski, Graham Zusi, Sacha Kljestan, and Gyasi Zardes are prime examples of this. Bedoya is a very respectable player with the national team, I have no doubts he'd be a very good performer in MLS.
The reported timeline of Bedoya's supposed arrival in MLS lines up with Atlanta United's search for impact players perfectly. While there have been no official links between the player and the Expansion club, it's common sense to assume there could be some interest if he is indeed heading back home. Some of his family lives in Florida, so playing in Atlanta would offer him his chance to play close to them like he desires.
Would this make sense in the grand scheme of Atlanta United? It entirely depends on what kind of money Bedoya is looking for. It's likely that he'll be expecting at least the $2 Million a year that Tim Howard is getting from Colorado. I'm just not convinced he'd be worth a Designated Player contract. Sure, people know who he is but no one is flocking to the ticket booth to watch him play nor are they lining up to buy his kit. He's a known commodity but he's not an impact name either on the field or off of it.
If he's willing to accept a contract similar to what Mix Diskerud signed then it could very well be worth it. Mix agreed to a $750,000 a year deal with New York City FC. With allocation money buying his contract down he didn't occupy one of the club's three DP spots. That would be an ideal scenario to bring Bedoya in with. I'm just not sure it's a realistic one.