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Valdes loan expires, Union return possible

Photo: Earl Gardner

UPDATE (Dec. 27): John Hackworth tells Matthew De George of the Delco Times, that the Union is “pretty close to a resolution that will be good for both of us that we hope to announce soon.”

UPDATE (Dec. 26):’s Dave Zeitlin tweets that John Hackworth said, “I think we’re close to having a resolution that’s going to make sense for both us and for Carlos.” Hackworth also tells Zeitlin that the Union plan on keeping the rights to Valdes until after the World Cup in order to maximize his value.

UPDATE (Dec. 19): reports (crappy Google translation here) that Colombian clubs Atletico Junior and Deportivo Cali are interested in Carlos Valdes.

UPDATE (Dec. 18): Carlos Valdes’ agent Ricardo Pachon tells (crappy Google translation here) that he’s “101 percent” certain the former Union captain will not play in MLS for the first half of the 2014 season. The article also confirms earlier reports that Santa Fe want to purchase Valdes’ rights in installments An English language version of the article that later appeared on the full MLS site omits mention of Santa Fe wanting to pay in installments.

UPDATE (Dec. 17): Santa Fe president Cesar Pastrana says the club “is currently negotiating for Carlos Valdes to stay” with the Colombian club. (Crappy Google translation here.)

UPDATE (Dec. 16): Rumors on Twitter — tweet 1 (crappy Google translation here) and tweet 2 (crappy Google translation here) — that Liga MX side Monarcas Morelia is interested in Valdes.

UPDATE (Dec 14): An article from La Banda Deportiva (crappy Google translation here) says the Union own “60% of his sports rights.” An article from Dec. 13 at (crappy Google translation here) says the same.

UPDATE (Dec. 13): An article on the Santa Fe website (crappy Google translation here) says the club “has a 40% stake in the player’s rights”

UPDATE (Dec. 13): Independiente Santa Fe president César Pastrana told WinSports (crappy Google translation here) that the Colombian club wants to buy the rights to Carlos Valdes “in installments.”

“There is an option to purchase in December,” said Pastrana, “and we are looking for negotiations to pay in installments.”

Valdes’ value is put at $1.5 million in the WinSports report, which also says that if Santa Fe cannot reach a deal to buy the central defender, it will ask for his loan to be extended. puts Valdes’ value at £800,000/€900,000, which at the time of this writing equals $1,302,960 and $1,236,773, respectively.

Independiente Santa Fe has allowed the loan of Carlos Valdes to expire, thereby returning the Colombian international center back to Philadelphia Union.

Santa Fe announced Wednesday that Valdes was departing the Colombian side, along with several other players.

A Union spokesman confirmed Wednesday to the Philly Soccer Page that Santa Fe would allow the one-year loan to expire, which would return Valdes to the Union roster. However, no decision has been made yet on the future of Valdes. His loan technically runs till Dec. 31, Union manager John Hackworth told PSP last month.

Valdes, 28, spent two years with the Union, eventually becoming team captain and an all-star in mid-2012. He sought to go on loan to a South American club after Colombian national team coach Jose Pekerman said his national team prospects would improve if Valdes was playing closer to his home nation. Union manager John Hackworth agreed to the one-year loan, which included an option to buy.

The Union now have several options with Valdes:

  • Sell him to another club;
  • Loan him to another club;
  • Trade him within MLS;
  • Keep him.

Valdes was on the books for a salary of $321,000 in 2013, a figure that may increase in 2014 and would make him the highest paid player returning to the Union if he stayed with them. Philadelphia replaced Valdes with local native Jeff Parke, who played well in his place. Fellow starting center back Amobi Okugo could theoretically move back to defensive midfield if Valdes is retained, but Hackworth has made clear he thinks Okugo’s best position is center back.

More likely, Valdes will seek an opportunity elsewhere in South America, either via loan or transfer. Hackworth has made clear he will work with Valdes to help him ensure a spot on Colombia’s World Cup team, provided those interests coincide with the Union’s interests. And Pekerman has made clear Valdes needs to be in South America to keep his national team starting spot.


  1. Bring back Valdes, move Okugo to DM and make Carroll a coach cause his useful playing days were over in 2011


    I agree with TC. Do that, and this team already is massively improved even before we make all the other moves we were going to make!

    This gets me excited again. Don’t ruin it Hackworth!

  3. Can they loan him out for 6 months so he can spend the pre World Cup time in South America and then come back to the Union for the second half of the season?

  4. Valdes is a great guy, but the Union need to consider what is best for the organization. He either needs to be sold or start for the team again with Okugo at CDM. The loan spells offer nothing to the Union, apart from a potential injury that would see his worth drop considerably. He should not be traded within the league because he is far too good and the Union are not in the market for draft picks and fringe players. For me, a trade within the league would only be acceptable if the Union received a starting left back and a CAM in return.

  5. I would love, love, love to have Valdes back. But realistically he will probably be sold.
    The coach of the Colombian national team probably wants him on a competitive squad.
    And Hackworth probably wants Okugo at centerback because it is his +6 amulet of protection against criticism. And any transfer fee gotten from him could pay for a new contract of either Okugo or Mac.
    Assuming they want to stay.

  6. We definitely need to keep Valdes. If Okugo is not moving from CB then Valdes get’s Parke’s spot. He’s younger and more athletic. Him and Okugo would make a solid back pair. Along with Williams and a solid LB we have a really strong defense.

  7. I think everyone would love to have Valdes back, with Okugo playing DM, it would immediately make us better, create depth and competition.
    It will never happen for 3 reasons.
    1) Hackworth MUST start Okugo and Carroll the same as last season, or else he will have always Been wrong.
    2) Valdes costs a lot of money, which the team just got rid of, and they need to pay other guys (and we all know they will never overspend)
    3) Valdes can get them a lot of money back.
    That’s how the FO thinks here. Not “oh wow we can add a superior quality CB, and upgrade at DM, and have depth, all for nothing but agreeing to pay a salary”, but more “rather than pay him $300k, we’ll move him, and get $100k back. Then we can pick up a trash heap midfielder for $50k. This nets us $350k! Yayyyy!”

  8. John O'Donnell says:

    Carlos is done here, at least until the World Cup is over. That’s to much salary to give up for this team for a player who will miss a good portion of the season playing in the World Cup. If they can loan him for six months to a team in Europe, that would be great but it probably makes more sense to sell him.

  9. Look, I’d love to have him back, but we live in a salary cap world. And there’s no way that, even dumping Carroll, the U can afford a back end of MacMath (off of GA), Valdes, Parke, CDM Okugo (with raise), Shaennon, a $80K left back, and two $50-75K backups. I mean, they theoretically could, but doing so precludes adding the two essentially needed midfielders.
    Forwards are good and fairly paid. But our midfield is a disaster and will be so again if we divert the money to take a very good backline and make it great.
    Ideally, Carroll goes, Okugo moves to CDM, and the U goes out and gets a $100K and a $80K CB to be part of a rotation with Jeff Parke.

  10. While having Valdes back in the starting 11 would be a huge boost, it will not happen this season, if at all. Hackworth helped Valdes with his WC dream by loaning him last season and the Colombian manager has said Valdes will only keep his starting job if he is playing in South America. Therefore, Valdes will not risk his WC dream by coming back to the Union. Whether or not the FO want him back is a moot point because Valdes will not come back until after the WC. Perhaps a partial season loan could be worked out but that may not be in the best interest for the Union. If the back line is playing well, does it make sense to bring in Valdes midway through the season? As much as I like Valdes and believe he could be a great asset to the club, it may be best to sell him now and use that money to improve our central midfield.

  11. CASH IN NOW!!!

    A few thoughts:

    1. Valdes’ value will never be higher than it is now. Take the money and use it to reshape the team. The money the club gets back in return can pay for upgrades in the midfield and at left back. The club could also opt to lock up Amobi & Jack Mac with long term deals with the Valdes money.
    2. I’m not as enamored as many are about sliding Amobi into the holding midfield role. The back four was the strength of this side in 2013 and Okugo had a key role in central defense.
    3. As much as we hate to acknowledge the business side of the game, it exists and players are an asset. Successful clubs make the tough decisions (see RSL). Selling your All-Star captain isn’t easy, but if the FO believes they can better the team by selling Valdes, do it. Our job as fans is to support the team on the field and hold the front office accountable for off the field transactions.

  12. Valdes was playing well enough to impress Pekerman and earn call-ups while playing with the Union. Valdes and Hackworth shouldn’t have been strong-armed into the loan deal in the first place.

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