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This is the Alejandro Bedoya the Philadelphia Union paid for

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While two games are a small sample size, the transformation is undeniable.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After the Philadelphia Union’s latest loss draw against the Montreal Impact, the most striking image for me was the players sitting on the pitch looking absolutely dejected. There was nothing good about blowing a 3-0 lead against an absolutely beatable team, and the team knew it.

After the match, team captain Alejandro Bedoya went in front of the media and talked about the events that transpired.

This may have been the defining moment of Alejandro Bedoya’s young career with the Union.

A few weeks ago I questioned Bedoya’s ability to lead the team and pointed out his poor play. Since then he’s moved from the 10 to the 8 and has seen his play markedly improve. Whoscored.com has Bedoya’s rating at central attacking midfielder at a pedestrian 6.44, however his 7.47 rating as a defensive midfielder ranks him among the tops not only with the Philadelphia Union but in MLS as well.

Naturally there’s more to soccer than whoscored ratings, however anyone who has watched the Union this season will agree that Bedoya has performed much more like the Designated Player the fans thought they’d gotten. There’s also the leadership issue, and Bedoya taking the podium and facing the media after such a tough loss draw shows maturity and leadership that the Union sorely need.

When a team is in such dire straits, there has to be someone who steps up to hold the team accountable. Even if Bedoya’s play had continued to sag, his leadership could still be something that helped turn the team’s fortunes. At this point of a season with so few reasons to hope, Bedoya’s turnaround is something for the Union to build upon.