Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
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
Cahill in the crosshairs for crucial second leg    
Bradley Wright-Phillips out, Tim Cahill in starts just about every discussion of the Revs-Red Bulls showdown ...
Three takeaways from LA Galaxy-Seattle    
The Western Conference finalists are separated by just one goal heading into the second leg in ...
Three takeaways from New York-New England    
The New England Revolution made it three wins in three playoff games with a 2-1 win ...
My advice to Jurgen Klinsmann    
I'll begin by saying Project Klinsmann is too big to fail, so Jurgen Klinsmann is going ...
Three keys that could decide New England-New York series    
New York hosts the first leg of the Eastern Conference finals against New England Sunday, more ...
Three keys that could decide Seattle-LA Galaxy series    
The top two teams clash as Seattle and Los Angeles vie for a place -- and ...
Tom Sermanni: I hope the USA does well    
Tom Sermanni watched a friend's child's U-6 game last weekend. He laughs and shakes his head ...
Running down the Dispersal Draft    
The Offseason of Drafts started Wednesday with the selection of seven former Chivas USA players.
Ireland-USA Player Ratings    
The USA's winless streak extended to four games with a 4-1 loss to Ireland in Dublin ...
Three takeaways from Ireland-USA    
The U.S. national team ended its 2014 schedule on a dismal note, losing, 4-1, to the ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives