Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union have acquired midfielder Maurice Edu on temporary loan from Stoke City.
The move was confirmed by the club's official Twitter account Monday, Jan. 27:
Fox Soccer's Kyle McCarthy breaks down Philadelphia's new addition:
Maurice Edu counts as a Designated Player during loan deal from Stoke. Why? #mls/Union share of his wages exceeds max salary + no buy down.— Kyle McCarthy (@kylejmccarthy) January 27, 2014
According to Union head coach John Hackworth via Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney, Edu's interest in returning to the United States was fueled by his desire to make the U.S.'s 2014 World Cup roster:
One of the reasons why Mo is interested in coming back to the league is, one, he knows from [Jurgen] Klinsmann he has to play in order to make the World Cup team. He also knows he has to be playing in the center midfield position because that’s where Jurgen and his staff are looking for him to play, and that’s absolutely one of our key needs: a guy who can be a box-to-box midfielder. While I think he could play center back, my commitment to him and to his representatives is we will play him in the midfield.
Edu has made 45 appearances with the United States senior national team since 2007, but has seen his participation decrease in recent years as a result of his struggles to earn playing time with Stoke.
Edu last played in the MLS with Toronto from 2007 to 2008. The 27-year-old American has been with Stoke since 2012, appearing in 13 matches with Turkish club Bursaspor on loan in 2012-13.
In Philadelphia, Edu will have a much easier time finding his way onto the pitch and making an impact. The Union are coming off a mediocre season in 2013 in which they stumbled to a .500 record and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
While the Union will be thrilled to welcome a proven midfield talent to the mix, Stoke are unlikely to miss their investment as he's been forced to watch the Potters from the sideline in recent years.
Since joining the Premier League in 2012, Edu has struggled to earn playing time and make much of an impact at all, earning just one appearance with Stoke over the past two seasons overseas.
The defensive midfielder inked a multi-year deal with Stoke after scoring a dozen goals in 125 total appearances with Scottish club Rangers from 2008 through 2012. Prior to that, Edu scored six times in 41 appearances with Toronto over the course of two seasons.
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