CHESTER, PA- MARCH 26: Carlos Valdes #5 of the Philadelphia Union and Eric Hassli #29 of the Vancouver Whitecaps battle for the ball at PPL Park on March 26, 2011 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Union won 1-0. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Union announced today that the club has secured defender Carlos Valdes's full rights from Colombia's Independiente Santa Fe, while simultaneously announcing that forward Carlos Ruiz has actually, legitimately been transferred to Mexico's Veracruz. Of course, the Ruiz transfer was no surprise at all -- only logistics separated the deal from being made official over the last week, and there were suspicions that such a transaction with Ruiz would take place for the better part of two months now.
The full acquisition of Valdes's rights, however, comes as a nice surprise. Valdes came to the Union on loan from Santa Fe and, along with countryman Faryd Mondragon, instantly made a huge impact on the way that Philadelphia plays. The aggressive style and success that Valdes was becoming known for across MLS was likely not lost on his former club, and the longer that the Union didn't own his full rights, the more expensive it was going to be to retain him going forward. And the Union were not interested in losing the loan to another key defender after the debacle surrounding Michael Orozco Fiscal this past January. League and team policies prevent any disclosure of financial details from the Union, but it's likely that a significant number of dollars were transferred.
So...was this the "complicated" deal that Union CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz was alluding to earlier this week? Seems like it. Kind of a letdown, in one way, considering that the need to bring in a consistent finisher to replace Ruiz seems to be increasing by the day. It's important to note, though, that the Union are trying to bring in reinforcements -- these deals were not the only things had on their plates for this current transfer window. Earlier today, Sky Italia reported that Juventus's Fabio Grosso rejected an offer to join the Union. He wouldn't exactly have replace Ruiz's finishing, that's for sure, but he would have replaced his diving. It would have been a start, anyway.
There is still time for another deal to come through during this international transfer window, which closes on August 14th, and it's important to note that intra-MLS deals and other U.S. Soccer Federation and Canadian Soccer Association-registered player signings are allowed to continue through September 15. As with all professional sports player movement deadlines, things seem to intensify as the final day draws nearer, so don't start lighting things on fire and marching across the Commodore Barry Bridge just yet.