Union bringing back Valdes

Posted: August 05, 2014

UPDATE [1 p.m.]: The Union officially announced Carlos Valdes returned to the club on Monday afternoon.

From earlier: THE UNION is set today to add to its active roster its second 2014 World Cup player in a 5-day span when it announces the return of Colombian center back Carlos Valdes, a source confirmed to the Daily News.

Valdes, 29, played in 65 games for the Union in 2011-12 but had since been on loan, in 2013 with Colombian club Independiente Sante Fe and this year with Argentine side San Lorenzo. He recently represented Colombia in Brazil, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in his country's 4-1 win against Japan in group play.

The Union had for the last month publicly expressed interest in bringing back Valdes, but the process took longer than expected. His return should help bring consistency to a defense that has seen eight different combinations of center backs this season, and more recently the move of box-to-box midfielder Maurice Edu to the central defense to stabilize the backline.

Back in early July, Union interim manager Jim Curtin called Valdes "a top center back in MLS" and said the club would like the 2012 MLS All-Star representing Philadelphia for the long term. The re-addition of Valdes will come on the heels of last week's signing of Algerian World Cup veteran Rais M'Bohli, deemed the Union's goalkeeper of the future.

A press conference with Curtin is set for noon today. The Union stated in a news release only that the manager would make "a player announcement."

In other club news, Edu was added on Saturday to the roster for Wednesday night's MLS All-Star Game in Portland against Bayern Munich. The Union has had at least one All-Star in each of its five seasons.

Edu, in his first year with Philadelphia, has started 19 games, most in the midfield but more recently on the backline, and recorded three goals and two assists. Edu as well as D.C. United's Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin replaced Seattle's Chard Marshall and Los Angeles' Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez in the All-Star Game, which starts at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

Also in Portland, Union midfielder and Dresher native Zach Pfeffer will take part in tonight's inaugural MLS Homegrown Game against Portland's U-23 team. That game starts at 10 p.m. but will not be televised.

The seventh-place Union (5-8-9) returns to action Saturday against the last-place Montreal Impact (3-13-5) at 7 p.m. at PPL Park. It will mark Jack McInerney's first game back in Chester since the Union traded him to Montreal for Andrew Wenger on April 4 and could also signify the MLS debut of M'Bohli.


On Twitter: @jakemkaplan

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