Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
The Edu experiment
by Paul Kennedy, August 8th, 2008 6:45AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MY VIEW] The U.S. performance in its 1-0 victory over Japan Thursday wasn't so convincing that one doesn't think Peter Nowak's boys will be hard-pressed to get a result when they return to action in Tianjin on Sunday against the European U-21 champion Netherlands, but a few players stood out against Japan.

In goal, EPL-bound Brad Guzan justified the interest Aston Villa has had in him, handling just about everything thrown at him. Except for a late cross he failed to reach in stoppage time, the former Chivas USA goalie handled the Japanese pressure, which consisted of occasional half-chances rather than constant threats.

Then there was Maurice Edu, moved to the middle of the backline alongside Michael Parkhurst in the absence of the injured Jonathan Spector. The experiment Coach Peter Nowak made last December when the Americans traveled to Guangzhou last December was replicated in Tianjin.

Like Guzan, Edu wasn't perfect. He almost gave away a penalty late in the game with the USA clinging to a 1-0 lead and he showed an occasional rashness that you don't want to see in your central defender, but he was otherwise effective against the darting Japanese, showing great anticipation, speed to cover lots of ground quickly and the touch to hold the ball or move it forward.

In the last year, the 22-year-old Edu has had a number of impressive outings with the senior national team as a holding midfielder -- indeed, it's hard to think of another player having made such a quick transition from college (three years at Maryland) to the national team since before the launch of MLS -- so his future would seem set there. But his spot in the middle of the defense could become permanent if he repeats his performance against Japan when the USA faces the Netherlands and Nigeria, two teams that will certainly test Edu's ability to hold down the fort.

While national team coach Bob Bradley has shown a penchant for flooding the middle of the field with holding midfielders, he has more options there at the moment than in the middle of the backline, where none of his current choices has the qualities Edu has. Both Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra are the current No. 1 choices, but neither exudes confidence. After them, none of the candidates at center back has stepped to challenge for a starting spot.

If successful, Nowak's China experiment with Edu on the backline could have dramatic implications for the senior national teams for years to come.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Sebastian Saucedo strikes twice as U.S. U-20s advance     
The USA moved into the second stage of the men's Concacaf U-20 Championship with a 4-1 ...
Roster: U.S. U-23 women head to Spain    
The U.S. U-23 women's national team will play Japan (March 2), England (March 4) and Norway ...
USWNT: No Klingenberg, no A-Rod for SheBelieves Cup    
U.S. women's national team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23-player roster for the 2017 ...
Report: UCL headed to Turner and Univision in 2018    
Turner Sports and Univision have snatched the U.S. media rights to the UEFA Champions League away ...
U.S. Soccer: U-17 and U-20 women's coaches to be replaced    
B.J. Snow is no longer U.S. U-17 girls national team coach and Michelle French is out ...
U.S. Abroad: Johnson's M'Gladbach pulls miracle comeback    
Fabian Johnson came off the bench for Borussia Moenchengladbach as it came back from 2-0 down ...
Sneak Peek: Potent Impact seeks resiliency and depth    
Last year Montreal stunned Red Bulls, 3-1, on aggregate and took a commanding lead against Toronto ...
What They're Saying: Perry Dealy    
"It's worth preserving because we don't have a lot of icons. It would save a lot ...
Sneak Peek: Vieira is convinced NYCFC will be improved    
In his first season, Patrick Vieira proved that a foreign coach unfamiliar with MLS could find ...
Sneak Peek: Timbers look as good as ever    
From MLS champion in 2015 to out of the playoffs in 2016, it was quite a ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives