Fredy Montero isn’t the only Colombian heading back home, and like his countryman, Carlos Valdes’s Major League Soccer future is very much in doubt.
The Union’s All-Star defender is on the verge of a year-long loan to Independiente in Santa Fe, the type of deal that’s usually a precursor to a more permanent move. Sources confirmed to Soccer By Ives that the deal is close, while reports out of Colombia conflict as to whether the deal is actuallyh done.
The 27-year-old central defender has appeared in 65 league games over the last two years, having moved to the U.S. from Independiente in 2011. Valdés was selected to the 2012 MLS All-Star Game and also used his time in Philadelphia to claim a spot in Colombia’s starting XI.
Valdes was originally seeking a three-month loan that would allow him to maintain his fitness ahead of Colombia’s impending 2014 World Cup qualifiers; however, it was ultimately easier to secure a year-long move.
You can’t help but think Philadelphia’s depth in central defense played a part in this. If Valdés really wanted a three-month move but ended up with 12, it’s likely because one (or both) or the clubs insisted on the longer timeframe. Having acquired Jeff Parke to augment a central defense that already included Amobi Okugo and Bakary Soumare, the Union had near-$800,000 in salaries allocated to two positions. Valdes’s $268,000 base salary was the most expensive of the group.
Later today, we’ll circle back on this deal, Fredy Montero’s status, and the apparent Colombian exodus. For now, the news is the impending departure of one of Philadelphia’s best players.