Reports out of France indicate that U.S. international Alejandro Bedoya will soon be signing with Ligue 1 side FC Nantes.
The source, Ouest France, claims that Bedoya is poised to sign a three year deal with Nantes, arriving from Swedish champions Helsingborgs IF after his contract expired. Bedoya is expected to arrive at the Pays de la Loire club tomorrow to finalize the deal.
Assuming all goes smoothly, Bedoya will become the seventh American to play in Ligue 1, following David Regis (Strasbourg 1993-96, Lens 1996-97, Metz 1998-02, Troyes 2002-05), Greg Vanney (Bastia 2002-2005), Quentin Westberg (Troyes 2006-2010, Evian 2010-2012), Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes 2008-2010, Saint Etienne 2010-2011), Freddy Adu (Monaco 2008-2009) and Charlie Davies (Sochaux 2009-2012).
For Nantes, Bedoya represents a great signing. Les Canaris won promotion to Ligue 1 this past season after finishing third in the Ligue 2 table behind winners AS Monaco and second place Guingamp. Last season Nantes were led by 25 year old Serbian international striker Filip Dordevic, who scored 20 league goals in 34 appearances.
For Bedoya, signing with a newly promoted Ligue 1 side may not be the most ideal move but one that he must nevertheless capitalize on. Since the expiration of his Helsingborgs contract he has been without a club, which is a dangerous situation for any player looking to make an impact in a World Cup year. At Nantes, Bedoya should be able to earn consistent playing time, a key component in USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s selection process.
Bedoya heads to France in what is arguably the best form of his life. The attacking midfielder was instrumental in this summer’s Gold Cup, assisting on both of Landon Donovan’s goals in the semifinal 3-1 victory over Honduras and setting up the game-winner in the 1-0 victory over Panama in the final.
The XI is set in a 3-4-3, with the New York Red Bulls, DC United, and Atlanta United leading the way with a pair of players each.
My predictions? Well, I only got six correct. Whoops. The only absence that really surprises me is Graham Zusi, and Sporting KC not having representation at all. I guess that explains why SKC manager Peter Vermes is going to be announced as the next USMNT– Wait, what’s that? Oh. I’ll stop talking.
2018 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen (Columbus)
Defenders: Kemar Lawrence (RBNY), Aaron Long (RBNY), Chad Marshall (Seattle)
Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta), Luciano Acosta (DC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal), Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Serie A lags behind other top European league in TV money, which has hindered its ability to recruit top end talent relative to its competitors.
Ricci says if American sports see value in bringing their top leagues to Europe, it holds that the reverse would be true. From the BBC:
“If we look at some other more developed leagues in terms of commercial strategy; the NBA and NFL, they are exporting one or two of their matches abroad, to the UK or elsewhere in Europe. I think it is a good strategy. It is a way to export something that is not an exhibition.”
Would a regular season match bring any more eyes or attention than the International Champions Cup, at least enough to offset the sacrifice of atmosphere? It seems doubtful, but the money is the key here. Italy wants to catch up with Spain, Germany, and England.
Sticking with the orange and blue color combination which has served them since inception, the shield has FC in the top left corner, Cincinnati running diagonally left-to-right in blue script on white, and a winged lion holding a sword as the primary icon.