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Maurice Edu officially introduced, will wear No 21 for the Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union introduced Maurice Edu on Tuesday.
The Philadelphia Union introduced Maurice Edu on Tuesday.
Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images

On Monday, the Philadelphia Union announced the signing of USMNT and Stoke City midfielder Maurice Edu on a season long loan with an option to purchase.

A day later, the club held a press conference with Team Manager John Hackworth and CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz formally introducing their newest player.

Edu returns to Major League Soccer after spending six years playing soccer in Europe. During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Edu played for Toronto FC.

Sakiewicz spoke of Edu's return and what it means for the Union during Tuesday's press conference.

"We are really, really excited that Mo is with us and apart of the Union family," Sakiewicz said. "We (Sakiewicz and Edu) had dinner in London a few days ago. What I thought would be a one hour dinner turned into almost three hours. The longer it went the more I realized that Mo would be a terrific addition to the Union, to the way we run our club, the way we build our club, and how John (Hackworth) envisioned the team."

Hackworth was equally pleased with the signing. Additionally, he pointed out Technical Director Rob Vartughian's role in bringing in Edu.

"I want to recognize Rob Vartughian," Hackworth mentioned, "His relationship with Mo was key in this whole acquisition."

Just as Vartughian already had established a relationship with Mo, Hackworth and Edu are not strangers and have spent time in competition.

"I had the good fortune of coaching Mo on the national team," Hackworth explained. "I got to know him as a person and a player. I'm excited to have him here and I think he will do what Nick said. (He will be) an integral part of our team going forward."

Looking ahead to the season Hackworth touched on Edu's past experience.

"(Edu) is the kind of player who brings international experience, playing in Europe at a very high level, and he brings that back knowing (the league) well. He started his career here, but he's in his prime, and I know how excited he is to be here with the Philadelphia Union."

Tuesday's press conference capped-off a long process of bringing in a high-caliber soccer player like Edu and the move allows Philadelphia midfield improvement.

While the jury is still out for many on where Edu will play, Hackworth was clear during the press-conference where he envisions playing his latest star.

"We see him playing as a center midfielder. A box-to-box guy. He already mentioned that he wants to hear the Doop song (Philadelphia Union's goal song). That's truly why he is here. We think that he can be a guy that does all the work between the boxes, but can also put the ball into the back of the net. That will be a great moment when we do hear the Doop song after Edu scores the goal."

Lastly, as first reported by Kevin Klinkead earlier Tuesday, Edu will wear No. 21 for the Union.

A separate piece is coming highlighting Edu's thoughts and comments from Tuesday's press conference.

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