Valdes injury could force backline changes for Philly in NE
CHESTER, Pa. — MLS All-Star Carlos Valdés was putting in another all-star performance on Wednesday when he felt something in his leg late in the first half.
The Philadelphia Union center back – who had already scored a goal, while effectively marshalling Philly’s backline as usual – tried to fight through the pain at first. But 10 minutes into the second half, with the game tied 1-1, Valdés called for a sub and exited to the locker room.
HIGHLIGHTS: Philadelphia 1, Columbus 2
Without their captain, the Union ended up giving up a late goal and dropping a disheartening 2-1 decision to the Columbus Crew.
“He tweaked his hamstring pretty high late in the first half,” Union interim manager John Hackworth said. “He thought he could go. He wanted to try. I told him if it felt like it was going to get worse [to come out]. It was clear he wasn’t moving very well in the second half, so he said, ‘Give me a sub.’ And unfortunately, that’s a big [loss].”
Hackworth later indicated that the injury didn’t appear to be too serious, saying that it was “more preventative for him to come him out.”
Still, Hackworth called Valdés’s status “up in the air” for Saturday’s game against New England at Gillette Stadium (7:30 pm ET, live stream on MLS LIVE).
If Valdés is ruled out, Hackworth could slide Sheanon Williams to center back and insert rookie Ray Gaddis at right back — the set-up used in the second half vs. Columbus. Hackworth can also plug in Bakary Soumaré or Chris Albright at center back.
Whether or not he plays Saturday in New England, Valdés will meet up with the Colombian national team following the match for two World Cup qualifying games. He will return in time for Philly’s next game, in Toronto on Sept. 15.
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.