Saturday, August 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Philadelphia Union considering offer from Colombia's Independiente of Santa Fe for captain Carlos Valdés

Philadelphia Union defender and captain Carlos Valdés may be returning to his native Colombia. (Michael Perez/AP file photo)
Philadelphia Union defender and captain Carlos Valdés may be returning to his native Colombia. (Michael Perez/AP file photo)

The Philadelphia Union may be without the services of last year's captain in the coming season.

A spokesperson for the Union confirmed to Philly.com Wednesday morning that the team has received an offer from Colombian club Independiente of Santa Fe to sign defender Carlos Valdés. The Union also acknowledged having received offers from two other South American teams for Valdés.

Although the Union would not confirm the identities of those other two clubs, Valdés told Colombian radio station Antena 2 that one of them is Uruguayan powerhouse Nacional. A source confirmed to Philly.com that Nacional is interested in acquiring Valdés.

While the Union would not confirm any specific details of Independiente's offer, Soccer By Ives reported that it would be a one-year loan with the option to purchase Valdés' contract afterward.

If that move goes through, it would be a homecoming for Valdés. He played for Independiente in 2009 and 2010 before coming to Philadelphia.

As for why Valdés would leave Philadelphia now, he told Antena 2 that it would improve his standing with Colombian national team coach José Pekerman.

Valdés has been called up to Colombia's national team multiple times recently, and the Cafeteros are trying to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1998. With just over half of the qualifying rounds played, Colombia is in third place - so a trip to international soccer's biggest stage is well within reach.

"Because of the things I have done in the United States, I am very grateful to the league [MLS] and the Union," Valdés told Antena 2. "Although the club didn't do so well, I had a great year and had the chance to get to the national team."

Valdés is not the only prominent Colombian in MLS who is considering a move back south. Seattle Sounders star forward Fredy Montero is widely expected to go on loan to Colombian club Millionarios, also with the aim of getting Pekerman's attention. Unlike Valdés, Montero has not played for Colombia's national team since Pekerman took over earlier this year.

Valdés also admitted that like so many other players around the world, he wants to move to Europe some day. For as much as MLS has grown in recent years, Valdés said going to South America gives him the best chance to cross the Atlantic.

"When I went to the United States I was always thinking about taking the next step [to Europe] and playing in the best leagues," Valdés told Antena 2.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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