Carlos Valdés, Faryd Mondragón in Colombia's provisional World Cup squad
Two former Philadelphia Union fan favorites could be headed to the World Cup with Colombia's national team.
Defender Carlos Valdés and goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón are among the 30 players named to the cafeteros' provisional roster by head coach José Pékerman.
Valdése, who joined the Union in 2011, is technically still their player. He is on loan to Argentine club San Lorenzo. It is the second straight year the Union have loaned him to a South American squad, after he was sent to Independiente Santa Fe in Colombia last year.
Those moves were made with the specific intention of keeping Valdés in Pékerman's good graces. Now it appears they have paid off.
Mondragón spent just the 2011 season at PPL Park, after a career spanning over two decades andsix countries. In 2012, he returned to his native Colombia to play for Deportivo Cali, his first professional club back in 1990. He has already retired from club soccer, and announced a few months ago that this summer's World Cup will be the end of his professional career.
It will be Mondragón's third Cup, after playing in the 1994 and 1998 tournaments. Colombia has not made it to soccer's biggest stage since then. The chance to help end that drought - and to do so in Brazil - was too great an opportunity to pass up.
As for the rest of Pékerman's squad, the biggest news is that star forward Radamel Falcao has been includede even though he's still recovering from a knee injury suffered in January.
If Falcao recovers in time - surgeons initially gave him a 50-50 chance - Colombia could be one of World Cup's most best teams.
They will play in Group C, opening on June 14 against Greece. Ivory Coast and Japan are also in the group.
Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragón (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Santa Fe)
Defenders: Mario Yepes (Atalanta), Aquivaldo Mosquera (América de México), Cristian Zapata (Milan), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo), Amaranto Perea (Cruz Azul), Eder Álvarez Balanta (River Plate), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Camilo Zúñiga (Napoli), Pablo Armero (West Ham).
Midfielders: Carlos Sánchez (Elche), Fredy Guarín (Inter), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto), Víctor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Edwin Valencia (Fluminense), Alexander Mejía (Nacional), James Rodríguez (Monaco), Macnelly Torres (Al Shabab) Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Fiorentina).
Forwards: Luis Fernando Muriel (Udinese), Teófilo Gutiérrez (River Plate), Radamel Falcao García (Monaco), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Adrián Ramos (Hertha Berlín), Jackson Martínez (Porto).