*Read on for an explanation of why that’s not technically true.
The New Year came and went without any development in the Carlos Valdes transfer saga. The lack of movement on a loan or permanent transfer out of MLS means that the former Philadelphia Union captain has officially returned to the club’s roster.
Hold onto those happy thoughts, Union fans.
Valdes’ time with the Union most likely ended upon his initial loan to Santa Fe, despite that temporary transfer’s completion when the clock struck midnight on 2013.
Head coach John Hackworth has even publicly admitted that the Union won’t ever see Valdes play again for the team, leaving little to read between the lines on the matter in November:
“The reality is this is a good situation for Carlos right now,” Hackworth told MLSsoccer.com. “He needs to continue to be in that situation going into the World Cup because we’re in a good marketplace for him right now. I would think at some point he’s either going to get bought or we’re going to extend that loan through the World Cup.”
Valdes’ agent confirmed as much in a recent interview that clearly showed off the players’ wishes for 2014:
“If you ask me, ‘Is the player going to play in MLS?’ I can tell you with 101 percent certainty that in the first half of 2014, Valdes will not play in MLS,” Valdes’ agent, Ricardo Pachón, told FutbolMLS.com.
The center back’s push to be a part of Colombia’s World Cup squad in Brazil has led him to follow Jose Pekerman’s, the manager of the country’s international team, directive to seek playing time back home.
The best case scenario for both sides is a six month loan with an option to buy for a team, unless the Union want to bank on Valdes not only successfully making the 23-man roster, but also impressing in Brazil.
Philadelphia holds the second and sixth picks overall in the first round of this year’s MLS SuperDraft, which is laden with center back talent.