[MLS SPOTLIGHT]The Philadelphia Union concluded the deal that had been in the works for several weeks to bring Maurice Edu on a one-year loan from English Premier League club Stoke City. The agreement includes an option for the Union to purchase Edu for an undisclosed fee.
The last first-team game Edu played was on April 27, 2013, for Turkish club Bursaspor -- nine months ago. He hasn't even suited up for Stoke's first team since returning to England for the 2013-14 season.
Edu gives the Union immediate help as a box-to-box player in midfield, for which it has recently acquired Argentine winger Cristian Maidana.
MLS Confidential: Sakiewicz: Edu deal is 'win-win deal for everybody'
Union coach John Hackworth told Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney last week that Edu will fill a vital role in central midfield -- the position he hopes to earn a spot on the U.S. World Cup team at.
“One of the reasons why Mo is interested in coming back to the league is, one, he knows from [Jurgen] Klinsmannhe 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.”
Edu's last appearance for the USA was as a starter in the 0-0 tie with Mexico at Azteca Stadium in March 2013.
He leaves Stoke having played all of 10 minutes in the EPL since arriving from bankrupt Rangers in 2012. He had spent four seasons in Scotland after playing parts of two seasons at Toronto FC, which he joined out of Maryland.
Maurice Edu, European Career
GP TEAM (COUNTRY)
1 Stoke City (England, 2012-14)
11 Bursaspor(Turkey, 2013, on loan)
96 Rangers(Scotland, 2008-12)