MLS, Philadelphia Union Reportedly Okay Carlos Valdes Loan To Santa Fe

Drew Hallowell

The one year loan would include a purchase option for the Colombian club, according to El Tiempo.

Carlos Valdes' time with the Philadelphia Union most likely will come to an end today.

The center defender put his name on a loan deal with Independiente Santa Fe yesterday, according to El Tiempo. The news site reported that Valdes was emailed the contract and submitted his signature for approval on Saturday.

The one year loan included a purchase option, as previously reported by other Colombian outlets.

El Tiempo also appeared to signal that Valdes' International Transfer Certificate was received by Santa Fe at some point Saturday afternoon, signifying that Major League Soccer and the Union had agreed to the deal as well.

This Saturday afternoon came the document to finalize the agreement and immediately [Santa Fe] sent an e-mail to Valdes for revision and he gave his signature to the nation's capital.

The 27-year-old is scheduled to be in Bogota ahead of Monday's start of Santa Fe's 2013 preseason camp.

Valdes spent two seasons in Philadelphia after the Union acquired him on loan from Santa Fe in 2011. In August of that year, Valdes' contractual rights were fully transferred to the Union.

He was handed the captain's armband in 2012 after fellow countryman Faryd Mondragon departed for childhood club Deportivo Cali in the offseason, and Danny Califf was traded to Chivas USA.

In 65 appearances, all starts, for the Union in the Major League Soccer regular season, Valdes scored three goals and assisted on one more.

His stellar play in 2012 was rewarded with a spot on the league's All-Star team against Chelsea. Valdes went on to represent Colombia twice in 2012, after head coach Jose Pekerman selected him during a defensive crisis over injuries and suspensions.

The move broke a long standing unofficial mission operative by Colombian national team managers to ignore MLS players. However, Pekerman declared his interest in having Valdes move back to South America in order to see him play more often and to get him into the continent's famous Copa Libertadores tournament.

To make that happen, Pekerman reportedly recommended Valdes to Boca Juniors, while the Colombian also was given high marks by Paraguay's manager Gerardo Pelusso to Nacional (of Uruguay). Deportivo Cali snuck in late to try to capture Valdes' signature, but failed to entice Valdes and his family also rejected a move to Cali.

Valdes said on Colombian radio earlier this month that his contract with the Union extended through this season and the next, meaning that the Union control his rights through the 2014 World Cup. However, Santa Fe would likely have the ability to utilize their purchase option at any point during the loan at a pre-arranged fix price, meaning that whether or not Valdes makes it into the Colombian World Cup squad, his transfer fee will remain the same.

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