Danny Bedoya signed his National Letter of Intent Friday and hand delivered it to St. John’s University Monday. The magnitude of what he did, though, didn’t strike the Francis Lewis star midfielder until he got back into the car with his older brother Santiago.
“I went in the car and was like, ‘It’s official, I’m a Red Storm,’” Bedoya said. “He was excited for me.”
He’s not the only one. While there have been other Francis Lewis soccer players to commit to Division I programs, no one has gone higher than Bedoya.
“It’s amazing to have a prestigious program like St. John’s looking at a kid coming from our program,” Patriots coach Roger Sarmuksnis said.
Bedoya helped guide Francis Lewis to back-to-back appearances in the PSAL title game and stretch the Patriots division unbeaten streak to 57 straight games.
The maestro in the midfield had 16 goals and 14 assists this year and always seemed to make the right decision, whether it was slowing down the action, switching fields or playing that killer ball forward.
While he was a classic No. 10 for Francis Lewis, Bedoya, who earned first team All-City honors by MSG Varsity, also plays on the outside left and right for the New York Red Bulls U-18 Academy team.
That versatility is just one aspect of his game that will translate to the college game.
“He brings many different things, most of all is a tremendous work ethic,” Sarmuksnis said.
Bedoya has already played on the pitch at Belson Stadium – losing the PSAL final on penalty kicks as a junior. But he’s also been in the stands to watch the Red Storm play and envisioned himself donning the jersey and playing for the perennial powerhouse.
“It’s crazy with the crowd, a lot of people attend the games,” Bedoya said. “I could look back at those games I went to and put myself in those games, like I was actually playing.”
While he received interest from national programs like Clemson, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Bucknell, Bedoya wanted to attend school close to his East Elmhurst, Queens home. He chose St. John’s over Adelphi and Iona.
“It’s a great school, it’s close to home, just 15 minutes so my parents can go and watch me whenever they can,” Bedoya said. “I’m excited, I can’t wait.”
College soccer is going to be an adjustment for Bedoya, who is a creative force in the midfield, but Sarmuksnis is sure Bedoya will thrive at St. John’s, just as he did down Utopia Parkway at Francis Lewis.
“I’m pretty sure Bedoya is also going to be a name you’re going to hear about in college as you heard about him in high school,” Sarmuksnis said.
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