In the 1990s, the Detroit motor industry was in the driver’s seat, producing great vehicles and manufactured products that all of America could turn their eyes to. This was also true in the suburbs of Detroit, where the next wave of American soccer players were being born.
Among those, Adam Bedell has grown from a college standout, to a National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) star, to a Major League Soccer (MLS) athlete.
Like those powerful American-made cars, Bedell has been a workhorse up to this point at all levels of soccer and will now show what he can do in top gear.
“It’s been great,” he said of his time with the Columbus Crew, the team that drafted him in the third round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, “I’ve had some minutes here and I’ve been enjoying soccer and playing with this team. I am here looking to help the Crew out.”
His resume speaks volumes, as he’s been a goal scoring machine for years now. He started his success at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he won the Horizon League Player of the Year, Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year, and first team All-League in 2012.
“The Horizon League was fantastic,” Bedell said. “I don’t know too many that know about the league, as I do get a blank stare at times when I say I played there, but it’s a very competitive league. All the teams are neck-and-neck every year and that’s the best part of it.”
In 2012, his junior year at UDM, Adam amassed an amazing 27 points, scoring 11 times, both of which led the Horizon League. He also tied as the leader in the league with five assists.
“Winning Player of the Year was a great achievement,” he added. “It was not something that I set out there to do, but it was a great honor and something I hold dear.”
Interestingly enough, he’s run into his now teammates of the Crew several times before. One in particular is Crew goalkeeper Brad Stuver, who led the Cleveland State Vikings to the Horizon League title the year Bedell won MVP.
“He and I always go back and forth with each other,” Bedell said with laughter in his voice. “We bring up old memories and things like that. In training, whenever I score on him I give him a little word or two.”
As a side note, Bedell scored two goals on the Vikings that year, which completed his tally of six straight matches with a goal.
Because of his success at the collegiate level, the forward was drawn into the NPSL and naturally set his eyes on playing with Detroit City FC, currently playing in the Great Lakes West Conference.
“The team and the league helped me advance my development.”
He played for the Le Rouge for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the first two seasons of the team’s existence. He helped the club finish second in their first year as he scored four goals, but the team ran away with the regular season league title the next year, unfortunately falling to the Erie Admirals S.C. in the Great Lakes Divisional Finals.
“A lot of the guys were from the Metro Detroit area, so we knew each other, as they played with the University of Michigan and in that area. We had a lot of fun playing together and it drove us to a great season.”
The team from Detroit has done many things right, as Le Rouge find themselves again undefeated through three games in the 2014 season. The play has been great, but the Northern Guard supporters of Detroit City are another main factor of the success.
“It’s a great organization, but the fans there are probably the reason the club does so well. If they are not the best (fans) in the NPSL, they are close to it. The support that we had and still have is second to none.”
DCFC have been pushing uncharted territory of being so successful so quickly, but Bedell thanks the club for that.
“It’s something that’s up-and-coming. I was lucky enough to be on the inaugural team and between the coaches that we had there and the players, I attribute a lot of my success to them. It really drilled my game and helped me get to the next level.”
Bedell went through the NPSL in two seasons, but can endorse the league and what it can do for guys looking to make that jump to the MLS.
“The NPSL is a great level of really good soccer players that I’ve played with and against when I was there; if players have the chance to get on those teams during the summer, it’s going to help their game a lot.”
But that’s not the intriguing part that makes Bedell unique. See, like those cars that came off the assembly line, Adam’s sheer appearance gives him the “wow factor” that turns heads. That’s because Adam towers at six foot seven, not a usual sight on the soccer field.
“You certainly don’t see people my size everyday on the field,” he confessed. “I think it can bring people to see that soccer players come in all sizes and shapes.” With his first appearance as a sub in the March 8th match against D,C, United, Bedell became the tallest player in MLS history.
With Detroit City FC running on all cylinders and Bedell finding his way in the closest MLS club; you can be certain Detroit is proud to call Bedell one of their own.