Colombian Connection: America de Cali Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo Says The Union Are Interested In A Transfer

With the relegation of Colombian powerhouse America de Cali for the first time in the team's 84-year history, speculation was that Roger Torres' loan may finally turn into a permanent transfer to the Philadelphia Union. Instead, it appears that Cali's fall could bring in a different player to MLS and Philadelphia.

Diego Restrepo has stated that both the Union and Chivas USA, along with other Colombian teams, are interested in acquiring his rights. The Venezuelan born American was the first choice goalkeeper for Cali at the beginning of the Colombian season, but a coaching change early into the campaign moved Restrepo to backup behind Julian Viafara. After Viafara was banned from Colombian soccer for six months due to a drug related situation, Restrepo returned to the top goalkeeping spot, and fellow American goalkeeper Kevin Piedrahita moved up to the backup role.

Cali has had a rough three years, despite qualifying for the first division's playoffs this season. While the team prepared for the possibility of winning the league, it was also forced to prepare for the possibility of being relegated from it. Colombia works on a three-year relegation system, so that an average of three seasons worth of games is the deciding factor in which teams go into the relegation playoffs. Winning the league one year doesn't automatically protect a team from being demoted to the second division.

Due to their inclusion on the "Clinton List," a designation that precludes Cali from using funds in American financial institutions and recommends that American businesses do not work with the team, Cali was already in dire straits in regards to finances. The team has nearly $1 million in the USA frozen and has over $2 million in debt currently. A fire sale may happen now that the team will need even more money with the loss of first division revenue levels.

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