Major League Soccer announced today that the 2022 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year has been awarded to Philadelphia Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.
The 35-year-old Alejandro Bedoya has a long and powerful career of activism. Following the tragic events at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas in May, Bedoya led the team out in a demonstration wearing orange "End Gun Violence" t-shirts for warmups in their match against New England. After the game, Bedoya said, “The easiest way to put it is some things are bigger than sports.”
As a member of Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization advocating for gun control and against gun violence in America, Bedoya was invited to the White House this year to celebrate the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. In 2019, Bedoya spoke out on-field against gun violence when he addressed Congress directly using a field mic following a goal against DC United. Bedoya continues to advocate for gun safety by participating in PSAs and speaking engagements, and has discussed mental health awareness in a long-form video.
In 30 games in the 2022 MLS regular season, Bedoya scored an MLS career-high six goals and tied his career-high six assists. He recently became the ninth player in club history to score at least 20 goals for the Union and only the third to score 20 goals and notch 20 assists. He also tied the club record for most assists in a single game with three helpers against Houston Dynamo. Bedoya has been an integral part of a midfield that helped the Union finish first in the Eastern Conference, earn a spot in the 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, and secure a berth in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League.
In recognition of his humanitarian efforts, MLS WORKS will donate $5,000 to Bedoya’s charity of choice, Group Violence Intervention.
The finalists for this year’s MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year – Bedoya, Kei Kamara of CF Montréal and Brad Stuver of Austin FC – were determined by votes from current MLS players, technical staff and front offices and media members.