Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Union's Hackworth sees Edu as critical piece of midfield puzzle
by Ridge Mahoney, January 24th, 2014 1:57PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  americans abroad, mls, philadelphia union

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

Maurice Edu
would certainly be a welcome addition to the Philadelphia Union, but if a transfer from Stoke City materializes as expected, he won’t replace Jeff Parke at center back.

During a telephone interview Thursday, Union head coach John Hackworth reiterated that a deal is close but not yet done. He also specified Edu will fill a vital role in central midfield, and not replace the veteran center back who requested and was granted a trade to D.C. United.

“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,” said Hackworth. “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.”

Team president Nick Sakiewicz left the country Thursday, presumably to finalize a deal with Stoke City. Hackworth sees Edu as a vital piece in his upgrading of a team that as late as August was in second place but eventually faded out of the playoff chase.

“Hindsight is 20-20 and based on where I felt we were gonna be going into the season last year, what we did is we probably overperformed,” said Hackworth of the 2013 season. “We did that early and we kind of stayed there for a long time. We were a team that for most of the year, and I don’t know if we finished this way, but we didn’t lose two games in a row for an awful long time. In this league, that’s really impressive.”

Hackworth is correct. No other team went as long as did Philly without losing two straight games, which it did in the 28th and 29th games of the season. It also lost its last two games to wind up seventh, three points short of a playoff spot. A franchise-record 12 wins and 46 points weren't enough.

“Without making excuses or telling you this guy or that guy didn’t do it, collectively as a team we let ourselves down,” said the coach. “But at the same time I’m really proud of that team for putting themselves in that position. I don’t think anybody would have given us a shot to be a contender if you would have asked them in February, for sure.”

The signing of Edu would be another significant shakeup in the Eastern Conference. New coaches in Montreal, Columbus and Chicago and the blockbuster moves of Toronto FC have ratcheted up the pressure throughout the 10 teams. Philly still needs to replace that hole left by Parke and would miss Edu for nearly two months if he makes the World Cup team, yet quality upgrades are imperative.

“We’re almost there,” said Hackworth. “It’s not done and until these types of contracts are signed I never think they’re done. I’m an optimist but it’s so tenuous when you go through these. We’re close. Everyone’s working hard and we are very motivated to get this done.”


2 comments
  1. Doug Lister
    commented on: January 24, 2014 at 8:38 p.m.
    This kid needs to play and for whatever reason, he can't seem to play since he left rangers. He has tons to contribute.
  1. Zoe Willet
    commented on: January 25, 2014 at 12:31 a.m.
    Has he played for even 1 minute at Stoke? I just don't understand!

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Legal primer explains past and (possible) future of soccer litigation    
The lawsuit filed by U.S Soccer against U.S. Women's National Team Players Association in U.S. District ...
Chicago Fire's Paunovic is counting on new youngsters    
A major makeover of the Fire under head coach Veljko Paunovic and general manager Nelson Rodriguez ...
For once, USA starts off a year just as it's supposed to    
Defensive miscues. Sloppy touches. Blown assignments. Confusion. These negative facets of play have been part and ...
Jozy shows he's still the man up front    
U.S. soccer fans have a love-hate relationship with most of their big stars. For every fan ...
Lee Nguyen on how he parlayed longer offseason into national team success    
Revs attacker Lee Nguyen got his first U.S. start against Iceland last Sunday and turned in ...
Revs' Heaps relishes competition and preaches consistency    
Aside from the apparent departure of Jermaine Jones, not a lot has changed on the New ...
USA-Canada match underscores Olympic issues for Klinsmann    
A games against Canada Friday may be the last opportunity for USA coaches Jurgen Klinsmann and ...
Christian Pulisic, 'the American Jewel,' must be protected    
I can think of 10 reasons we should be excited about Christian Pulisic. Those are each ...
Paths of Miazga and Cropper cross with both at crucial points    
An FA Cup match this weekend between MK Dons and Chelsea is a tussle between a ...
Return of Movsisyan reconnects Real Salt Lake with its rise to success    
After five years in Europe, striker Yura Movsisyan has come back to Real Salt Lake on ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives