Union's Valdes proud to take captain's armband for now

CHESTER, Pa. — For the past two games, Carlos Valdés has worn the captain’s armband in place of Danny Califf, who’s been sidelined as he recovers from offseason knee surgery.

After the Union’s third straight loss this past weekend – a 1-0 defeat to the Fire – Valdés showed part of the reason why he’s been tasked with that role.

Feeling that fans’ frustration was probably imminent, the center back took to Twitter to tell Union supporters how hard the team will work for them and that the results will soon come. He then retweeted a flood of positive responses from the fans that appreciated his message.

HIGHLIGHTS: CHI 1, PHI 0

“We got a lot of support in Chicago,” Valdés told MLSsoccer.com following Tuesday’s training session. “I think that right now it is extremely important to be united, to be a family, and to try to turn around our current situation since we have lost three games in a row and we weren’t expecting that.”

Although he knows it’s only temporary, wearing the armband is something Valdés does not take lightly – or for granted. And he’ll wear it proudly until Califf returns to the starting lineup.

“It’s been a great experience for me,” he said. “It is something that makes me feel good about myself since it shows that I’ve been doing things right and that I have qualities and attributes that are important for the group.”

Despite this being only his second year in MLS, the 26-year-old Colombian has always made an effort to embrace a leadership role. Combined with his skill and aggression, he’s a player the Union are fortunate to have anchoring the backline, along with Califf.

“I think I’m a good teammate and a good leader,” Valdés said. “I try every day to set an example and to show younger players what they can achieve. I believe the technical staff has seen these qualities in me and they have given me the opportunity to be captain because this has been reflected in the group.”

Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com.