Mondragon and Valdes intro: Live updates

The Union announced Thursday morning that they had agreed to terms with Mondragon and Valdes. See link below.

If you can’t make it to Fado at 12pm to see for yourself, have no fear. The PSP will be posting updates live from the even here. Hit refresh for continuing updates!

1:15pm Both players, as well as Nowak, John Hackworth and Diego Gutiérrez, spent time signing autographs and having their pictures taken with Union supporters. The Union do an excellent job at this kind of fan outreach and it goes a long way toward connecting fans with the club.

12:33pm Both players were very impressive. Mondragon’s fluency in English is sure to make him a go-to guy for interviews. Both struck me as very serious and thoughtful individuals.

We’re sure to have pictures and analysis up soon.

I’ve got to go back to work…

12:26pm Mondragon and Valdes presented with jerseys. SoBs erupt into “C’mon, the U” chant followed by “Zolo” and the “Come on you boys in blue” chant where they hum Yankee Doodle Dandy.

And its over.

12:22pm Mondragon stresses importance of team spirit.

12:17pm Mondragon says he’s done his homework about the kind of support to expect from Philly fans. Looking forward to having that support in his favor.

Nowak says work still to be done. Can’t hide the problems the team needs to fix. Praises the experience of new signings; believes Mondragon will be a great mentor.

Valdes says MLS will be one of the major competitive leagues in the coming years. Says this is a great day.

12:12pm Mondragon says coming to the Union a dream come true. He thinks of his future not just with his head but with his heart. Chemistry he felt when he played with Colombia against the US at PPL was important. Praises SoBs and Union supporters.

12pm Sakiewicz, Nowak, Mondragon and Valdes are on stage. Sakiewicz has some opening remarks and now Nowak speaks.

  • Says new players will be great additions to the team; introduces them to huge cheers.
  • Says “we are still not done.” Roster will be finalized in a couple weeks.
  • Invites public to watch open training at YSC.
  • As new players are signed there will be similar events.

11:59am Nowak is in the house!

11:51am For some reason a “Cosmos suck” chant just went up.

11:48am Mondragon is in the house and he is huge!

11:41am Having a Guinness. Why not?

11:37am …Very crowded.

11:34am We’re (PSP photographer Nicolae Stoian and I) are in. Grabbed a seat at the bar. It’s going to get crowded in here pretty quick.

11:24am Waiting in the lobby to go in. Some familiar faces from the SuperDraft.

10:54am About to head down to Fado.

9:43am It’s official, the Union announce they have signed Faryd Mondragon and Carlos Valdes. “Both players will be eligible to play for Philadelphia Union upon receiving their P1-Visas and their International Transfer Certificates. Per MLS and Club policy, terms of the agreements were not disclosed.”

7:43am Good morning Union fans! Kerith Gabriel reports on Philly.com that the Union will introduce “Colombian stars today,” naming the two new players as Faryd Mondragon and Carlos Valdes. No surprise there. More updates, including from Fado after 11:30am, to follow.


  1. A little preview of things to come, to whet our collective appetites. 😉 http://i52.tinypic.com/eb77tx.jpg

  2. What’s the point of being a keeper if you don’t get to yell at people?

  3. How huge is Nowak?!

  4. Can’t wait for the season to start. No excuses. The Union WILL make the playoffs this year.

  5. Mondragon sounds pretty intimidating at 6’3″, 207lbs…. yikes!!

  6. As I’ve told my wife many times…”size doesn’t matter” 🙂
    Chris Seitz was physically a beast too. What the Union need is GK with the heart of a beast and by all reports that is Mondragon.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      Mondragon’s eyes really struck me. He has a very intense and focused gaze, something I don’t remember seeing with Seitz.

  7. Ed Farnsworth says:

    Mondragon really is one big guy. And Valdes didn’t seem to be much smaller. Both were very impressive, hitting all the right notes in their answers to questions. And both gamely signed autographs and had their pictures taken with fans for 30-45 minutes. I walked away with a very good feeling about these guys.

  8. Good stuff again, Ed! Wish I could have been there with you. Will look out for Nicolae’s pictures!

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      Guido! Good to hear from you – I was hoping I’d see you there. It really was a good event – I think I had a big grin on my face the entire time. I shoot you an email – hope to see you soon.

  9. Do we have any idea about the status of Orozco and Torres? The idea of having Orozco and Valdes at such a young age is really encouraging for our long term prospects. I wonder though if Valdes means Orozco is gone?

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I wondered the same thing about Orozco in one of the news roundups a few days ago. Here’s what a piece on the Union website says: “The technical staff has hinted that Orozco Fiscal – who also played out wide and briefly as a holding midfielder last season – will be back in 2011, making for some intriguing preseason battles.” Not exactly definitive, is it?
      I haven’t heard a peep about the status of Torres. Has anyone come across anything?

      • Andy Dillon says:

        Hackworth was quoted after yesterday’s presser as saying the deals for MOF and Torres are all but complete and that they will be with the team this season. Nowak confirmed this about MOF at the SuperDraft, according to one person’s post on BigSoccer. RT20 (that’s Roger Torres, aka “Pepito” in case you couldn’t break the code) tweeted yesterday about “coming home after a long day in Philly”. Now, I know players had to report for physicals last night (Olivia Newton John anyone?), and training/conditioning begins today, so why else would he be in town?

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