Philadelphia Union bring back Colombia World Cup vet Carlos Valdes after year-and-a-half loan

The Philadelphia Union defense is about to get a a lot stronger thanks to a familiar face.

The Union announced on Monday the return of Colombian international Carlos Valdes, who left the club on loan in January 2013 to boost his chances of playing in the 2014 World Cup. Valdes, 29, spent time at both Colombian outfit Sante Fe and Argentina side San Lorenzo during his year-and-a-half away from MLS, but arrives back in Philadelphia to bolster a squad that includes Maurice Edu, Amobi Okugo, Ray Gaddis, Sheanon Williams and Austin Berry in its defensive rotation.

Valdes' loan stints in South America proved to be fruitful, as he was a member of Colombian World Cup team that made history by reaching the quarterfinals of the tournament in Brazil this summer. He played in one match in the competition, starting and going the distance in a 4-1 victory against Japan in group play on June 24.

The Union currently sit outside of the playoff picture -- they're seventh in the Eastern Conference headed into the All-Star break -- and have conceded 36 goals in 24 games, the fourth-worst total in MLS.

Valdes started each of the 65 matches he played in for the Union during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, scoring three goals and adding one assist. He was named an MLS All-Star in 2012.

The Union continue their postseason push on Saturday when they host the Montreal Impact (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE).