All the pieces are falling into place for the Philadelphia Union to have a new ... and high-profile ... goalkeeper in place for the 2011 season.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Faryd Mondragon has terminated his contract with Cologne and will leave German Bundesliga club at the end of the year. Cologne said Mondragon's contract will end on Dec. 31 by mutual consent.
The 39-year-old Colombian will be available for the final Bundesliga game before the winter break, against Schalke on Saturday, and for the German Cup game against Duisburg next week.
That development comes on the heels of multiple reports, including some published in the Philadelphia Daily News and the German soccer magazine kicker, that Mondragon will sign a deal with the Union imminently.
Mondragon has played in 11 of Cologne's 16 games this season ... his fourth with the club, having previously had a long stint at Turkish giants Galatasaray.
Union supporters who attended the Oct. 12 game between the United States and Colombian men's national teams at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. got a chance to see Mondragon's abilities firsthand.
In that 0-0 friendly, the U.S. rarely threatened Mondragon's goal, but he had a presence about him just not seen in the Union's keepers last year, Chris Seitz and Brad Knighton.
Although advanced in age, Mondragon would be the perfect mentor for Seitz, provided manager Peter Nowak can keep the one-time University of Maryland star on the roster beyond Wednesday's Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft.
And that's where things get very, very interesting. Speculation is rampant that Nowak will make a move for Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel on Wednesday, the face of the New York Red Bulls franchise for the past few years.
A goalscoring machine in his prime, Angel is also good friends with Mondragon. Throw in the presence of Colombian defender Juan Diego Gonzalez on the Union roster and you have a nice veteran presence to go with young guns like Danny Mwanga and Roger Torres.
The Union was a decent start to the season and some better goalkeeping away from making the playoffs last season in their inaugural year, and as Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids have shown, anything can happen once you punch your ticket to the dance.
Nowak and team executive Nick Sakiewicz won't want to be on the outside looking in again in 2011, especially with the tremendous fan support the team engendered in its first season. It's the playoffs or bus, and Mondragon ... as well as Angel ... can help the team reach that goal.