For the second consecutive year, the Philadelphia Union’s captain will be representing the club in the MLS All-Star Game.
Last year, it was goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon.
In 2012, it’s central defender Carlos Valdes. He was one of two selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, the other being defender Ramiro Corrales of the San Jose Earthquakes.
The MLS All-Stars will square off against UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea FC in the AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25 at PPL Park. The midseason showcase will be broadcast live on ESPN2, TeleFutura and in Canada on TSN and RDS starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.
This is Valdes’ first ever MLS All-Star selection and the club’s third in history. In addition to Mondragon, Sebastien Le Toux was named in the club’s expansion season in 2010.
“Carlos is very deserving of this honor,” Union interim manager John Hackworth said. “I’m happy for him and the entire club is proud that he will be representing us in the All-Star Game. I think it’s fantastic for Carlos and he's most deserving of this.”
Valdes joined the Union in 2011 from Independiente Santa Fe and helped anchor a defense that finished the regular season tied for second in goals against average (1.06) with 10 shutouts. He started in all 34 games for the Union last season, including two games in the postseason. The Colombian captain has continued his stellar play this season in starting every game this season. Valdes tallied the game-winner in stoppage time in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact.
He also has made four appearances for the Colombian national team, scoring one goal.
"Carlos has had two outstanding seasons with us, he's our captain and it's an honor,” Hackworth said. “We needed another centerback on this roster, and Carlos is one of the best centerbacks in the league. He's very deserving of this."
Valdes’ game-winner in stoppage time was his first goal this season and second of his MLS career.
“It felt great to score, but I just want to win and get three points,” said Valdes. “We need points. I was glad to help out. I want to keep winning and getting points. We have a lot to make up. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”