Two weeks ago there were rumors swirling around that the Philadelphia Union were close to acquiring USMNT central defensive midfielder Maurice Edu. After negations between the Union, Stoke City, and Edu, he is on his way to Philadelphia on a season long loan as the MLS club announced Monday. When the loan expires, there is an opportunity to purchase Edu's rights and contract. In order to land Edu, the Union used their first overall allocation order spot and an unspecified amount of allocation money.
This move is a win-win for both parties.
For Edu, his stint with the Union will provide much-needed playing time. USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann made it clear he needed regular playing time if he would have a chance of being called-up for the 2014 World Cup. Additionally, Edu should play to a high standard since he is trying to impress Klinsmann and earn a World Cup call-up
On the other hand, Edu's arrival is the latest addition to the Union's midfield. Likewise, Edu's presence is welcomed and he should start over 2013 Union captain Brian Carroll, and Carroll could be on his way out in the near future.
Edu playing defensive central midfielder is a much needed improvement. Last year, Carroll was hesitant to be an attacking mid, but Edu should have no problem providing both offensively and defensively. Moreover, his height of six foot adds another tall player to the squad.
Team Manager John Hackworth spoke highly of Edu's high-caliber talent and his addition the squad.
“As a U.S. international with experience playing against some of the best competition in the world, Maurice adds a wealth of knowledge, skill and leadership to our club while still being in his prime,” Team Manager John Hackworth said. “We think he will be an excellent addition to our squad and we are very excited to have him return to MLS and represent the Philadelphia Union.”
With the Union's signings and draft picks this season, 2014 is filled with the potential to succeed.