NEW YORK — At the age of eight, Daniel Bedoya and his family moved from Colombia to Queens, N.Y. – a borough with a vast population of Colombian immigrants.
On Thursday, Bedoya proudly signed a free agent contract with Major League Soccer and New York City FC.
“It’s awesome that I’m in the city that I was raised in,” Bedoya told NYCFC.com. “Playing for the team of my city – I’m very excited.”
The 24-year old Bedoya attended St. John’s University. He was a member of the New York Red Bulls Academy and played 25 USL games over two seasons with NYRB II. Most recently, he played for the New York City’s PDL affiliate the Long Island Rough Riders.
In a recent midweek scrimmage between City and the Rough Riders, Bedoya was impressive.
“I went into the scrimmage and knew that I had to stand out, and I think I did that,” Bedoya said.
“We watched this friendly game and we saw this player Danny, and saw he has a special quality to play in between the lines,” NYCFC head coach Dome Torrent said. “He’s a smart player. I’m sure 100 percent he’s able to help the team.”
Bedoya trained with the team for two weeks before Torrent and sporting director Claudio Reyna made their final decision. He had scored four goals and three assists in 13 appearances for the Rough Riders.
“The first training sessions there were obviously nerves,” Bedoya said. “But the guys have been great – very friendly, very nice. The leaders like Maxi, David and all of them have been helpful.”
Said Reyna: “You can see why we have relationships like this (with the Rough Riders) because at any moment you can find a player like Danny. We’re really happy with Long Island and the work they are doing.”
Reyna indicated early this year that a hybrid relationship will be the preferred path to the formation of a USL or reserve team for New York City and anticipates that a deal will be consummated by 2020. The Rough Riders could be a strong candidate for that role.
“The relationship with the Long Island Rough Riders and PDL is very positive,” Reyna said.