Philadelphia Union fans received some welcome news a few days ago when reports swirled in South America that on-loan center back Carlos Valdes could return to Philly as early as this week.
Now for the not-as-good news: when the Union returned to the practice field Wednesday after a couple of days off, Valdes was not on it.
“It’s more of the same,” Union interim manager Jim Curtin told reporters. “It’s close. The second he’s on a plane here, I’ll let you guys now. We don’t have anything new or concrete right now.”
Since the day he took over as manager last month, Curtin has made it clear that the Union wanted Valdes back as soon as his time with Colombia at the World Cup was over, noting the club made an “aggressive offer” to lock up the center back to a long-term deal.
Curtin has also confidently stated that Valdes wanted to return early from his loan stint at San Lorenzo – words that were backed up last week when the former MLS All-Star didn’t report to San Lorenzo’s camp following the World Cup, and tweeted that he was owed money by the Argentine club.
For the Union manager, nothing has changed since then. And he remains hopeful that Valdes will soon anchor the defense for the Union, the team he starred on in 2011 and 2012 before being sent away on loan.
“We want him,” Curtin said. “It’s likely to get done. But until you sign all the paperwork and he’s physically here, that’s all that matters. And he’s not here right now.”
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Another played who would certainly help the Union’s struggling backline is US national team left back DaMarcus Beasley, the four-time World Cup veteran who’s expected to return to MLS this week.
But despite knowing him well from their time playing together with the Chicago Fire, the Union manager said Beasley is “probably not in our future.”
“I played with Beas for many, many years, and I think very highly of him,” Curtin said. “He’s a guy that literally covers the whole left side of the field. … Is he a perfect fit right now for us? Probably not.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.