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Union signs Colombians Mondragon and Valdes


The Philadelphia Union continued the revamping of its second-year squad on Thursday with the announced signings of Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon and Colombian defender Carlos Valdes.

Mondragon, 39, joins the Union from German side Cologne while Valdes, 25, comes to MLS from Colombian club Independiente Santa Fe.

Both players are expected to step in and start for a Union side with playoff aspirations in its second year of existence.

The Union will unveil both players at an appearance at Fado Irish Pub in Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon.

What do you think of these signings? See Philadelphia being a playoff team in 2012?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. this is exactly what Philly needed, more steel and experience in the back four. Hopefully the pups will learn from these pickups. One solid season out of both of them could be enough to make the moves worthwhile. If Friedel is any indication, Mondragon could play for another 5 years if he stays healthy.

    I am very excited about the upcoming season. dig it, yo.

  2. Josh D,

    Solidarity, I share your experience with Colombia. I am loving the MLS gateway for Colombian players, I think they have made a huge positive impact on this league (Angel, Ferreira, Torres, Hurtado, Conde, Valderama, Montero, – these are not average players, but great players) I have dated a Colombian for four years and my travels there have been nothing short of amazing. If you like to eat, and dance, and party, explore, and appreciate beautiful women – this is the place for you. Do yourself a favor and visit Tayrona National Park, and Cartagena. Vive Cafeteros!

  3. Columbia’s poor reputation is mostly from the past, 80s and 90s, it’s been much safer recently and all the major narco violence has moved north to Mexico.

  4. My girlfriend is from Colombia and I have visited many times – Colombian players are untapped gems, I’m glad to see MLS bringing so many!

    By the way, Colombia has a very poor reputation here but I’ve enjoyed every second of my time there with no safety problems. For those wondering if they should go down or not for the World Cup – I say see you there!

  5. HAHA dont think we will see an expansion for a bit, mostly because of 2 reasons 1)its crown owned land (literally owned by the queen/archaic nonsense/province) and they have to ok any changes, if im not mistaken and 2)they have been expanding slowly (added 1k extra seats) but realistically support has dropped (not noticibly to anyone not at live games) due to how we’ve competed. I do think the new FO will instigate a positive change and in a few years it might validate further expansion but as of right now, packing in the 21k seems to be appropriate imo.

    It was a pretty smart move to go small in the beginning. Although this is definitely a soccer town, it was a gamble, especially as at one point there had been discussions to have the team play on the outskirts of town. Thankfully that fell through.

  6. Not even a Union fan, I’m from LA lol

    But I read about the 15 yo kid, I think his name was Pfiffer or something?

    Hey btw, is TFC ever going to expand BMO Field, I have this annoying theory of how they are missing out on money they could of been making if they had started out with say a 32-35K stadium? Even if only expecting an 18K fan base they would of been wrong since I have read there’s a waiting list between 10-15K? Just wondering, I know you guys have been waiting for some playoffs but still.

    I was sad Preki couldn’t turn it around, De Guzman needs to start playing in Best XI form or be cut, he’s getting DP money which was very very dumb!

  7. Mintal’s a slovak. CUrious to see where he end’s up as theres been conflicting reports between him going to you guys and coming to us at TFC. I kinda suspect hes going to you and im jealous ftr.

  8. Edwin’s right, im talking about the league. I support TFC.

    If im not mistaken all clubs need academies as to how far they go with them is up to them.

  9. Given they didn’t announce the length of contract(s), that I could find, I’m wondering if they try to move Knighton should there be a suitor.

    Though, in your scenerio, Knighton is the back-up and McMath sees Reserve League duty, I suppose.

    Ah, the Reserve League….welcome back. You’ve been missed (and sorely needed).

  10. You think so? Didn’t he start out at LB though? I know he started coming in as a sub at LM and even started a game or 2 but I thought he was great, but you might be right, with him starting consistently on LM that gives them a nice pair of guys who can provide service in Le Toux and Torres, wonder if Le Toux will play right wing or Central with say Okogu or someone? almost like a diamond? Letting Mwanga and whomever up top playing forward, would love to see Jack Mac start about 20 games this year!

  11. Umm no offense but yes Philadelphia does have a Youth Academy, maybe not a full blown out one like in Bradenton which is what most teams have in other countries where they all live & eat together go to school in morning and practice in the afternoon but they have an academy, in fact they signed a 15 year old who played in the exhibition friendly vs Chivas de Guadalajara last year!

    And I believe Ossington might of been refering to the MLS as a whole producing players. Dynamo for example signed 1 in 08, then 1 last year and 2 yesterday! Dallas has like 5 or 6 too, DC has 3 or 4 I think, NYRB 2 could have more? LA messed up letting go of Bowen who was the 1st MLS academy signee but still

  12. Valdes is a center back, and reading the article on their unveiling, Philly seems hopeful the relationship between Valdes and Mondragon will strengthen the backline. Orozco could also battle for the LB spot…he’s certainly more suitable that Torres who belongs in the midfield.

  13. Ives who were the other 2 Colombians you had mentioned somewhere who Philly was considering?I think Mintal was one of them?

    Also does this mean that Michael Orozco and Danny Califf better get ready to battle for minutes vs each other in CB? Or what kind of defender is Valdez? I’m sure he’s no RB with Williams there and no LB either?
    Do you think Roger Torres will start more games at LB this year? I really really liked the kid!

  14. Mondragon is younger than a certain goalkeeper currently plying his trade up in the Pacific Northwest … his name eludes me now, however. That said, I like the Union’s GK pecking order: Mondragon-Knighton-McMath.

  15. Mondragon had a great game against England in the 98 WC. That despite the fact that Beckham scored his first ever goal for England on a great freek kick in that game. I guess that puts dudes age in perspective.

  16. Dunno anything about Valdez (know abit about the keeper) but im down with the fact that we are now scooping players from SA and CA on a regular basis. THis coupled with our academies producing players will surely strengthen our league.


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