Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya remains questionable for Saturday’s MLS Cup final but the veteran midfielder expressed some optimism in a press conference with media on Thursday.
“My leg is still recovering, I’m training to the side still, but I’m gonna do everything I can to get on that field,” Bedoya said. “It’s still a work in progress, but I remain optimistic I’ll be able to play a part in the game.”
The 35-year-old started in Sunday’s Eastern Conference final against NYCFC but was unable to make it past halftime after appearing to re-aggravate the injury that had kept him out of the conference semifinal against Cincinnati. He was visibly limping when he brought the trophy up the steps of the stage to celebrate with his teammates.
“For me you know this means a lot obviously,” he said of Saturday’s final. “It’s a culmination of all the hard work we’ve put in since I’ve been here. I was sold on the project, the ambitions of the club, wanting to go in the right direction, wanting to earn the respect and I think we’ve earned that.”
If Bedoya is unable to start — which seems likely at this point — 19-year-old Jack McGlynn would be the next man up. McGlynn came off the bench in the second half and made a big pass to help set up Daniel Gazdag’s game-winner. McGlynn also played a role in last year’s penalty shootout win over Nashville to get them to their first conference final.
“McGlynn is somebody I believe in a lot,” Bedoya said. “I think we can all agree that he has one of the best left foots in the game. You know he’s got great vision and the game has slowed down for him a bit now as well.”
As promising a talent as McGlynn is he’s not a like-for-like replacement for Bedoya, who is better known for his two-way play, grit and leadership on and off the field than he is for picking out passes that lead to goals. Whether he’s in the game or not, Bedoya’s influence on the game and the team he’s led since 2016 will be felt.
“As long as we play our game, and our style and are hard to play against, I think we can get the job done,” he said.