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Official: Carlos Valdes on loan to Sante Fe

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Finally, the Carlos Valdes loan saga is officially over.

The Philadelphia Union announced on Tuesday afternoon that an agreement has been reached to loan Valdes to Colombian club Independiente Santa Fe “for the length of the Liga Postobon Primera A season.”

“We will certainly miss Carlos for this season, but this is a unique situation,” said Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth the announcement. “We have done everything possible to make sure this move works for both the player and our club. Our hope is that this allows Carlos the best chance of reaching his dream of playing in the 2014 World Cup.”

Per MLS and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. For what it’s worth, Valdes’ estimated market value according to transfermarkt.co.uk is £800,000, or $1,289,760.

Valdes officially joined the Philadelphia Union from Sante Fe on a one year loan deal on Jan. 20, 2011. On Aug. 5, 2011, the Union announced that they had secured the full rights to the central defender. Over two seasons with the Union, Valdes made 65 appearances, all starts, scoring three goals. In 2012, he was selected for the MLS All-Star Team.

Valdes asked about loan at end of 2012 season, Hackworth and Ansaldi talked to Pekerman

In post on the Union website published shortly after the loan announcement, Hackworth provided more details about the development of the loan.

“Carlos and I talked about the possibility of this at the end of the season,” Hackworth explained. “I and [Union director of international player development] Ricardo Ansaldi did speak on a conference call with [Colombian national team manager] Jose Pekerman and we all agreed that a move like this one gives Carlos the best possible opportunity to represent Colombia.”

Timeline of the move

Reports connecting Valdes with a return to Santa Fe first emerged via a tweet from MLS’ Spanish-language website FutbolMLS.com on Nov 6 , 2012 (translation) and a subsequent report on that website on the same day (translation), shortly after Valdes received his second call-up of 2012 for the Colombian national team. The reports suggested that Valdes would train with Santa Fe in the MLS offseason and that club’s president wanted to secure Valdes’ services to assist in Santa Fe’s Copa Libertadores campaign.

After linking to these reports in our morning news roundup on Nov. 7, we asked for comment from the Union. A Union spokesperson told PSP of the reports on Nov. 8, “That’s not true.”

Reports continued to link Valdes with a Santa Fe return through December with the Union steadfastly denying that Santa Fe had made any contact with the club.

New reports emerged at the end of December that claimed Valdes would begin training with Santa Fe on Jan. 3. On Jan. 2, A Union spokesperson told PSP, “We have not given permission for Carlos to train with Santa Fe or any other club in the offseason. We also have yet to be contacted by any club regarding a loan for Carlos.”

On Jan. 7, reports emerged linking Valdes with Uruguayan club Nacional, followed two days later by reports saying that Colombian club Deportivo Cali was also interested in the defender.

a Union spokesperson told PSP, “Santa Fe has approached us with an offer, as have two other South American Clubs, which we are considering. However, no deal has been agreed to.”

Santa Fe jumps the gun

On Saturday, Jan. 12, El Tiempo reported that Sante Fe had received approval from MLS for a one year loan deal for the former Union captain that includes an option to purchase (Google translation of the report here).

This report was soon followed by another from Terra.com (translation).

Another report from GolCaracol said that Sante Fe president César Pastrana had confirmed the deal was done (translation).

On Sunday afternoon, Caracol Radio posted a report that said, “Independiente Santa Fe confirms the return of Carlos Valdés” (translation).

On Sunday evening, a statement signed by Pastrana appeared on the Santa Fe website confirming a one year loan deal but making not mention of a purchase option (translation).

On Monday morning, Jonathan Tannenwald posted an article at that said, “A source with direct knowledge of the talks told Philly.com that the paperwork has not yet been signed, and has not even been received by the Union’s front office yet.”

Meanwhile in Colombia, Valdes told El Tiempo in a Q&A published on Monday evening that he had already begun training with Santa Fe (translation).

Later on Monday evening, Valdes tweeted a thank you message to his followers who had sent him their congratulations for the loan deal (translation).

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, an announcement from the Union confirmed that a loan agreement had finally been reached.



  1. I hope this doesnt compromise the likelyhood of Okugo going back to DM.

  2. Bueno suerte, Carlos.

  3. Glad this is all over for now. I wish Valdes the best in his quest to make the 2014 world cup.

    As for the Union, I believe they are well equipped to cover his departure regardless of whether or not Soumare is able to play at a high level. A CB tandem of Okugo and Parke is a great backup plan to have.

    Wouldn’t be a bad idea to inquire about Tyler Ruthven for CB depth, who was waived by NYRB and had some connections to Harrisburg.

  4. Let us all be happy for Carlos and for the Union. He played very, very well for the team, and I wish him the best. I also hope that the Union got $1,289,760 for him. At least $1,289,750.

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