Alejandro Bedoya has been a leader throughout his entire football career. Bedoya has captained the United States Men’s National Team, played in World Cup matches and is now the Captain of Philadelphia Union. The quality Bedoya has on the pitch is visible to the public, but his approach to life off the pitch is what makes him a true leader for the organization.
Last season as part of the club’s Pediatric Cancer Awareness Night, the Union partnered with artist Kickasso in creating custom cleats for members of the Union that were designed by children with cancer. Bedoya was paired up with Liam, and since that day the two have been friends.
Bedoya talked about why he took part of the initiative and Liam’s reaction when he first saw the cleats last August.
“It was special obviously, seeing a kid like that deal what he’s had to deal with, more than what many people have throughout their whole life, what he’s been through,” Bedoya said. “Seeing his family and their support, I can do the smallest thing and provide more awareness for the type of cancer he has.”
The players had planned on wearing the custom cleats for pre-match warmups, but Bedoya took it a step further and wore the boots throughout the entire match against Chicago Fire.
“For me, it was about making Liam happy and making his family happy. I felt the best way to do that was to actually wear them and be in full support throughout the game, Bedoya said. “It was a game that we won and his whole family came out. At the end of the game I took them off and gave them to him, but he told me he wanted me to keep one of them.”
Fast-forward to April 2018 and it was Bedoya who was reunited with his friend Liam. At the end of pre-match warmups against Orlando, Liam was waiting for Bedoya near the tunnel and the two got a chance to reconnect.
The two chatted pre-game and then Bedoya again surprised Liam, this time with a custom jersey with Liam’s name on the back that Bedoya signed. As everyone involved continues to spread awareness for Liam, it is certain that Bedoya and Liam will always be friends.