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Valdes loan talk finally over? Eastern PA Open Cup qualifier final, open tryouts, more news

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

Three months? Six months? Deal, no deal?

The latest round of Carlos Valdes rumors began with a report on Wednesday from Gol Caracol, the soccer programming wing of Colombia’s Caracol Television network, which said that Independiente Santa Fe had announced in a press release that club president Cesar Pastrana “already arranged the contract with defender Carlos Valdes and is only awaiting the endorsement of the MLS. The loan of the Colombian national defender would be for six months.” (Original Spanish language report here, crappy Google translation here.) Nothing new there except that now the loan was back to six months.

Various tweeting Sante Fe fans then began saying that according to Bogota radio program FM Futbol Mundial (that’s Monday through Friday between 3pm and 5pm at 94.9 on your FM dial if you happen to be in Bogota), the deal was complete. They may be referring to this interview with the Sante Fe president from Wednesday which probably says the same thing that has been said for several weeks: Santa Fe has a loan deal on offer for Valdes but nothing happens without the agreement of MLS. But I wouldn’t know because I don’t speak Spanish.

Come this morning, various tweets out of Colombia say that there will be no loan because MLS will only approve a permanent sale. (See here, here, and here.)

So, can the talk of a Valdes loan finally be put to bed? We’ll let you know when we get a comment from the Union.

Taking a look at the potential integration of USL PRO with the MLS Reserve League at Sporting News, Brian Straus writes, “Ironically, it is the Union that anticipated the potential partnership when it reached a formal agreement with the third-division Harrisburg City Islanders in early 2010.”

The men’s soccer page on the Drexel Dragons website notes the return of Jeff Parke and is illustrated with a dashing picture of the locally born and raised defender from his Drexel playing days.

The Examiner looks at the Union’s offseason moves and says a playoff appearance in 2013 is a possibility.

ProSoccerTalk digs the Union’s video Christmas card. As we said when we posted it on Tuesday, we like it too. Here’s another look:

Speaking of Christmas, Union Dues has some presents for a few members of the Union.

Local

The Eastern Pennsylvania US Open Cup qualification final will take place on Saturday at 2pm and feature West Chester United v United German Hungarians. Click here for directions to the game.

Ocean City Nor’easters will be hosting open tryouts for their PDL team on Saturday, Dec. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 5 at Rutgers-Camden Community Field. Click here for more information.

Reading United have announced open tryouts for both their PDL and Super 20 teams, which will take place on Jan. 5. The women’s Super 20 team will have tryouts on Dec. 27. Both sessions will take place at Body Zone Sports and Wellness in Wyomissing. Click here for more information.

Please take a moment to vote for Philadelphia Street Soccer, who have been nominated for the Philly Do-Gooder Award.

MLS

Former US U-20 standout defender Gale Agbossoumonde signed to the league yesterday and was picked up by Toronto via weighted lottery. Me thinks Toronto may not be so leaky in 2013.

Soccer America takes a look at Agbossoumonde’s rather circuitous path to MLS.

The LA Galaxy announced on Thursday the signing of 21-year-old forward Gyasi Zardes as a Homegrown player. He has a knack for finding the back of the net.

SI reports that the Galaxy is close to signing Tottenham backup goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.

Apparently, Celtic are keen on Juan Agudelo.

The league and adidas unveiled the official match ball for the 2013 season. Shocking observers everywhere, the ball continues the radical trend of roundness that began with previous ball designs.

US

US Soccer announced on Thursday that the USWNT will host a second match against Scotland on Feb. 13, this time in Nashville. The US will first play Scotland on Feb. 9 in Jacksonville.

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy takes a look at potential hosting sites for the Hexagonal and omits PPL Park.

Elsewhere

Grant Wahl offers his top 10 favorite soccer stories of the year.

The schedule for the next round of the Europa League was released on Thursday. There are some tasty matchups and, as several reader commented in yesterday’s news roundup, here’s hoping Liverpool take it to Zenit St. Petersburg.

Could Diego Maradona be the next coach of the Iraq National team? Not so, according to the Iraqi Football Association.

 

9 Comments

  1. I’m pretty critical of the MLS overall (call it tough love) so I don’t like this development. I understand all the caveats with soccer in the USA, but why aren’t we trying to modernize our approach? Exactly why does the MLS get a say in our players or our choices? We found Valdes, we coached him, we started him, he played for our city and our fans. He used our training facilities and came to our fan events. So why are some accountants making soccer decisions for us in the league office?
    I for one accept the role of the MLS, and the role of leagues in the world where developing players to the point that bigger, better teams/leagues want them is considered a good thing. If Valdes had a real chance to take the next step in his career, I would have let him take it like a proud father watching his son graduate.

    • Do you still believe in the tooth fairy too?

    • The tooth fairy comment is a tiny bit harsh, but the points are:
      1. MLS has in fact modernized its approach to the concept of a professional sports league. It’s the rest of the world that’s watching, to see if it works out. It may be too modern for you, but it is modern.
      2. Carlos Valdes works for MLS. His salary is negotiated by MLS. He works out of the Union office, but he is an employee of MLS.
      3. Based on my very rudimentary understanding of the Colombian league schedule, I have no idea how this loan would have helped anyone involved. Perhaps that’s why it’s not happening.

      • Sorry, very bad syntax in point 3, what I mean is: it doesn’t look like Carlos would get many games in during the loan spell. Does anyone on this board know more? BTW I know for a fact that there is a quite excellent Colombian community in Philadelphia. We need some of them to chime in here.

      • Good points.

        I think that MLS would have a different viewpoint if Valdes was going on loan to a higher profile league as it would likely increase his market value as well as show that MLS is on par with the best leagues in the world. If he went to play with Santa Fe, that doesn’t accomplish either of those things.

      • Ed Farnsworth says:

        From the reports I’ve seen, I understand that, 1) Santa Fe wanted him primarily to help their Copa Libertadores campaign and 2) Valdes wanted to play in the offseason to maintain his fitness for Colombia’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers (the first of which is March 22).

        Stepping back and thinking reasonably about the whole saga, why would the Union consent (through the league) to let their captain and starting central defender, a player who has two years left on his contract, go on loan, whether it be for three months or six months, and so risk serious injury, particularly at the beginning of what will be an important rebuilding campaign aimed at playoff qualification after a terrible year?

        Second, Valdes is unlikely to get much playing time in Colombia ahead of the start of the MLS season on March 2 (preseason training began for the Union last year on Jan. 15, I believe). The Colombian league, Liga Postabon, operates on an Apertura and Clausura system and is currently on break; the next season doesn’t start until the beginning of February. Also, Sante Fe doesn’t start play in the Copa Libertadores until the second round of the tournament, the group stage. While I cannot locate dates for the tournament, the draw for the first stage only took place today. Anyway, wouldn’t most observers agree that it seemed pretty plain that by the end of the 2012 MLS season, Valdes looked like someone in great need of a rest?

        Now, if the deeper issue is that Valdes wants to move on, why he would want to return to Colombia at this stage of his career rather than move on to Europe is probably a good question to consider. But, if he does want to move on (wherever that may be to), doesn’t it behoove the Union and the league to hold out for a profitable deal rather than some loan, regardless of how long the loan might be for?

      • whoa snazzy links in replies. I need to beef up on my html skillz.

      • Ed Farnsworth says:

        The latest link: ESPN Deportes’ Jorge Ramos reports that Colombia national team coach Jose Pekerman has “recommended” Valdes to Boca Juniors. Now there’s a move that would make sense.

      • That would be amazing for Carlos, but a single tweet does not a transfer make.

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