Danny Bedoya has heard his fair share of the word “no.” The former Long Island Rough Riders midfielder has been rejected by countless coaches and teams after trials and workouts.
But he never gave up because one “yes” would make it all worthwhile.
A native of Queens, Bedoya knew he had to take full advantage of his latest opportunity – a scrimmage against New York City FC on July 19 – even telling his brother Santiago about its importance.
“I knew I had to show up and do my thing,” Bedoya, 24, said. “Thankfully, the coaches watched me and they liked me. I tell people, just don’t give up and keep working for what you want because you never know who is watching.”
New York City FC head coach Domènec Torrent was impressed with Bedoya’s control, soccer IQ, and his fit between Maxi Moralez and Jesus Medina in the midfield.
“He is a very smart player, and knows exactly what is going on in the field, which for me in football is very important because you need to know when to slow down and bring the ball back, or when you need to play quick or slow,” Torrent said. “This is a quality that Danny has.”
Bedoya said the biggest transition from the PDL to MLS is the players’ fitness levels as well as overall match speed. After dealing with some obvious nerves when he first signed, Bedoya has found his groove, continuing to showcase his abilities in training each week. His play has warranted a spot on the bench in six matches already, though he is still awaiting his NYCFC and MLS debut.
“At any moment coach could call my number,” Bedoya said. “I know I have to be ready when that chance does come. I know I will give it my all. I’m just waiting for it.”
Bedoya, who played collegiately at St. John’s University, made 21 appearances for the Rough Riders, exclusive PDL affiliate of NYCFC, notching four goals and three assists. Bedoya had previously spent time in the New York Red Bulls Academy and played for Red Bulls II in the United Soccer League.
Now, he’s playing alongside the likes of David Villa, Alex Callens, and Maxi Moralez as NYCFC is in the thick of the MLS Cup Playoffs race. New York City FC (14-8-7) is currently in third place in the Eastern Conference with 49 points.
“To come into the season and to potentially play in the MLS playoffs would be amazing,” Bedoya said. “It would be very exciting to be part of that, especially with my hometown team where I was raised. It hasn’t gone our way the past few games but I know playoffs are around the corner and I know we’ll be ready for it. We’re up for the challenge of whatever comes our way.”
BY: Michael LoRé