There are any number of personnel decisions the Seattle Sounders have made over the past few seasons that have contributed to their current predicament. As is usually the case in situations like this, it’s not just who the Sounders decided to have on their roster, but who they didn’t. Apparently one such player was Alejandro Bedoya, the United States international midfielder currently in France’s Ligue 1 with Nantes.
Just watched that performance by Seattle vs KC.— Alejandro Bedoya (@AleBedoya17) July 24, 2016
Still remember them telling me my value & they signed Valdez for double that!
Bedoya was widely rumored to be looking for a move to MLS last summer, and there had even been reports that he was going to join the Philadelphia Union only to have the deal nixed at the last minute. Those reports suggested the Union were prepared to pay Bedoya about $1.2 million annually and give Nantes a $1 million transfer fee.
The Sounders, of course, ended up signing Nelson Valdez last summer on a contract that guarantees him nearly $1.5 million.
Before we turn this into a simple binary decision between two players, a few pertinent facts should be know.
Even taking Bedoya at his word, it’s unclear when the Sounders would have tried to sign him. It’s possible this all happened last summer, and that the Sounders were attempting to convince Bedoya to take a TAM-level contract. Part of their valuation may have also been that signing Bedoya would have also required the Sounders to trade something to the Union in order to move into the top spot in the Allocation Order.
Nothing about Bedoya’s Tweet says when the Sounders tried to sign him, either. This may have been in a previous transfer window and their effective low-balling of Bedoya may have come at a time when freeing up a Designated Player spot wasn’t quite as easy as it is now.
Either way, this only serves to highlight the nearly inescapable reality that Valdez's signing stands out as one of the more ill-advised in Sounders history. While he may be a great teammate, a positive locker room influence and never seems to lack effort, form and fitness have limited him to just 11 starts in league play in a span of time when the Sounders have played 31 times.