Union “putting finishing touches” on Edu signing

Maurice Edu

By DAN KARELL

The recent wave of U.S. Men’s National Team players returning to American shores is showing no signs of slowing down.

Just days after Michael Bradley and Michael Parkhurst re-joined Major League Soccer on permanent deals, Stoke City midfielder Maurice Edu is reportedly nearing a deal that would send him to the Philadelphia Union. The Union earlier on Tuesday moved up in the MLS allocation order via a trade with D.C. United, allowing the Union a first crack at Edu if he signs with MLS.

Neither the Union or MLS have officially commented on Edu signing with the league.

The report in Goal.com states that the Union “are putting the finishing touches” on Edu’s contract. According to multiple reports, Edu will have to go through the allocation process even as a potential Designated Player signing because MLS wasn’t involved in paying a transfer fee.

Edu, 27, has only played once for Stoke City since moving from demoted Glasgow Rangers in 2012. Edu did make 13 appearances last spring on loan at Turkish club Bursaspor. Edu’s last appearance with the USMNT came in the USA’s scoreless draw in Estadio Azteca.

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What do you think of this news? Surprised to see Edu return to MLS? Do you think he can still make the World Cup squad? How much of an improvement is this to the Union’s midfield?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, Featured, MLS Transfer News, MLS- Philadelphia Union. Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to Union “putting finishing touches” on Edu signing

  1. atleticodemadridfan says:

    More playing time is good for Mo.

    • Eurosnob says:

      Yep, Edu’s and Parkhurt’s moves to MLS make a lot of sense from the sporting prospective. They were not getting any playing time with their clubs and probably were not good enough to play in the leagues they were in – getting playing time at MLS may help their national team chances (both are currently on the bubble). On the other hand, Dempsey and Bradley are core players that will go to Brazil, unless injured or do something really stupid. Their moves to MLS make sense from financial prospective (and I don’t blame them for taking the money), but not from the competition prospective.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Only if you assume the status quo. With the ascent of Jozy, Zusi, and AJ, I think Dempsey’s spot was less assured. Bradley has less competition but might still be concerned about form and fitness. I think playing time is huge and when you’re talking about value to a 3rd party, if the league is even halfway decent it’s more benficial to be playing than not.

      • John O'Donnell says:

        So what you’re say is that it’s smart to take the money, but they would get better competition riding the pine in Europe, then actual playing time in MLS. Yea, that makes perfect sense.

        • GW says:

          Mr, O’Donnell,

          I’d be curious to know if there are any reputable people (someone like Bruce Arena for example) who would comment on the idea that training with EPL reserves keeps a player more fit than playing regularly in MLS.

          It seems to me playing regularly in MLS is sufficient especially for a vet like Mo who has a very good idea of where he needs to be and what he needs to do in terms of getting to World Cup level fitness and sharpness. That would not be the case with someone of lesser experience.

          A few years ago Harry Redknapp sent a bunch of his squad out on loan and dissolved Spur’s reserve team saying it did not provide the necessary competitive edge to develop the young ones or keep the older players sharp.

        • bb says:

          Umm, neither Dempsey nor Bradley were “riding the pine”,(not getting any playing time).

          • GW says:

            In Mikey’s case out of about 17-18 games, he started 5 and came in as a sub in 6.

            And Roma brought in some new competition for him during the transfer window.

            Now perhaps the new blood was in anticipation of selling DDR, Strootman or Pjanic, the starting midfield three but I have to feel like Mikey had a pretty good idea of where he stood with Garcia, the manager. If you followed Roma bit you got the feeling that Mikey was well liked, well respected but not a front line guy. Everyone talks about Mikey being at his peak which is another way of saying he is not likely to get dramatically better.

            So when you get a chance to increase your salary 600%, guarantee your playing time leading up to the World Cup and frankly get to be part of a pretty big deal in your home continent, sacrificing a few personal professional goals does not seem like much of a sacrifice. And while Rome is a fantastic city, Toronto is a pretty awesome place as well.

            It also should not drastically affect his form with the USMNT at least not for the upcoming summer.

            Which is to say sitting on the bench at Roma, playing every once in a while, becoming MB 30 instead of MB90, is probably not better than being the big cheese, a leader and a regular starter in Toronto.

  2. Kojo says:

    Think this is the perfect fit for both sides.

    • Esteban de la Sexface says:

      I don’t think this is a ‘perfect’ fit, but it’s an upgrade for sure. Philly needs help in creating chances, not stopping them. Brian Carroll certainly has deficiencies, but he’s far from incompetent as a defensive midfielder. So while this is a good move, it doesn’t really address the Union’s most glaring need – someone to create chances and dictate a game. While Bradley, Sacha Kljestan, Stuart Holden or Alejandro Bedoya would’ve been the ‘perfect’ fit, Edu isn’t bad at all.

      • Darwin says:

        Mo scored amazing goals for TFC, Rangers, in the World Cup, and had key passes against Russia, etc…

        He is not a DM, but a complete midfielder and Union would be wise to use him as such.

        • broadsthooligans says:

          Union line-up speculation time!

          McInerney
          Le Toux Casey Cruz
          Edu
          Carroll
          Gaddis White(Dean) Okugo Williams
          MacMath

          This is my expectation. My hope is that both White and Dean join, and rotate alongside Carlos Valdes until one looks ready, while Okugo starts in place of Caroll. Turning our central midfield from an endless hole of defensive deficiency and offensive inability into a stronghold that can light an occasional spark in the offense.

          That’s the dream!

  3. Big Chil says:

    I didn’t realize he was only 27. He was much better than Rico Clark in the last World Cup.

    • Revolucien says:

      never forget that he scored a crucial world cup goal

    • tom says:

      A big +1. I would have guessed he was about 30. I still don’t see him making the WC squad…but another great signing for the league.

    • bb says:

      Yeah he and Bradley were both breaking out at the same time for the USMNT, and some thought Edu was more deserving of the starting role before he got stuck in a bad club situation.

      • GW says:

        What you forget about the Edu vs MB nepotism competition was that right about the time when it reasonably should have started getting going, most of 2009, Mo blew out his knee and spent a long time rehabbing.

        That gave Mikey a very big head start on consolidating his place with the USMNT.

  4. Human says:

    Mass American player exodus.

    • Human says:

      From Europe but this could be good for the future.

      • Mike R says:

        Our players not being good enough for Europe while players like Gio and Vela dominate it is NOT a good thing. The only thing they’ll get in MLS is hacked.

        • GW says:

          Which explains why Mexico dominated the US in the HEX.

          • Chris says:

            bazinga

          • Paul says:

            That does speak towards individual skill as much as it speaks toward collective effort and willing to fight for something besides yourself. Which is precisely why Mexico did better when they brought in less talented players, but a better team.

            You see it all the time (Netherlands, France etc). However, to truly compete you need TALENT and COLLECTIVE effort. That is why I still think the better players should be fighting it out with the best players in the best leagues which is not here.

            While I still think improving the talent in the MLS is a good thing, we have to be honest and say there is huge gulf between the MLS and the top 5/6 leagues in Europe. MLS does not have the deep pockets or the attractiveness for that change quickly (no..not 5yrs). Therefore, why hurt our WC chances by having our best play here against inferior competition during their peak years.

            • Hogatroge says:

              I’m not entirely sold on the “Back to MLS” movement, either, but pointing out the Mexico-NZ results is laughable.

              The USA would have won those two matches 20-0 on aggregate. OK… 20-1 (cue Gonzo boneheaded mistake, NZ gifted goal).

              • Paul says:

                Clearly, NZ was not a difficult opponent and i think USA would have beaten them by 8 -10 goals (aggregate score). However, it was the way MX played/worked.

                That being said, I think we are the same side here. While I support MLS, I do not want it improving to the detriment of our most talented players. The depth and quality would not addressed by bring back the USMNT. You need 8/10 technical players per team (at least), some better coaching staffs and a significant increase in revenue to sustain that.

            • GW says:

              Paul,

              The Mikey/Duece deals are unlikely to be common place. Donovan is already here and there aren’t any other USMNT players out there with the same star power at the moment.

              Hopefully Brazil will change that.
              Your basic point is correct. I think the increasing likelihood that MLS teammates will be on the field at the same time increases the USMNT’s best quality, their togetherness as a team.

              Since the 70’s the Netherlands has produced enough top class players to field many World Cup contending teams yet all they have to show for it is one European Championship in 1988. That is because they excel primarily in hissy fits and stabbing each other in the back.
              And of course the initial edition of El Tri’s HEX team was the biggest bunch of petty, arrogant, lazy, gutless wonders out there since, well just about any given Dutch national team.

              I get the impression that the USMNT is not like that and you’d be surprised how much of a difference that makes.

              • Gary Page says:

                There is a saying that goes, What do you have when you have two Dutchmen in the same room? Answer–An argument. I have a Dutch friend who confirms this. As to the general question being discussed, you need to look at the various transfers individually. Yes, it’s better for US players to be in Europe, but for some it isn’t.

            • kris says:

              euro****

      • Luke luber says:

        I’d say its the guys who aren’t getting enough time for their clubs taking a season to come back to MLS to get fit and get some playing time for the WC next summer.. Its not much of a head start but they’ll get march, april and may to get fit before the WC starts in June. after a season here I’ll be some of them head back to Europe and continue on the path’s they were on before. or who know’s maybe they’ll stick around for a few years. Either way this year is going to be some exciting soccer action all around.

        • Paul says:

          Luke,

          If that was the reasoning then I agree with it. However, there appear to be long terms deals (3 – 6 years), nit season long loans.

          From what I read earlier today, it really appears that Edu wants to stay in Europe, so maybe that will be just that. However, I think Parkhurst and Bradley are staying for good.

    • midwest ref says:

      Didn’t JK recently comment that there is no market or demand for American players in Europe?

      I don’t know if that is really saying that they are not good enough. More likely there are similarly skilled players who don’t count against the non-euro markers in certain countries.

      I think an american has to be an all-world-best XI caliber player, and right now, they still aren’t.

      • the original jb says:

        This is the crux of it. Most of our USMNT players are “good enough” to play in the European leagues, but not significantly better than the easier signings, i.e. similar players from the home country. And then there’s the whole work permit thing for England. So, in essence, the American player has to be much better or have much more potential to be worth the risk to get signed.

        • GW says:

          There is bias against American players but there are also positive stereotypes.

          Most foreign players who go to Europe trying to make a living as a player in one of the top leagues there, fail to do so, regardless of their nationality.

          Competition is fierce.

          It should also be noted that there are not a lot of Americans, comparatively speaking, who try in the first place.

  5. joshw says:

    Would be a great move for Edu to demonstrate against the same competition why he was able to make a move to Europe in the first place (while guys like Beckerman never got that shot). Come May, the Union could be sitting pretty, and Edu may be receiving plaudits. The TFC situation is trickier for Bradley.

    • CroCajun1003 says:

      He really is a hammer in midfield. His downfall in the USMNT was the switch to JK’s style that depends on buildup play starting from the midfielders. That’s not Mo’s strong suit. Mo thrived under Bob Bradley’s counter-attacking system.

      However, Mo is a very strong, very athletic defender that can shut down attacks.

  6. Dainja says:

    now THIS is a move back to MLS that makes sense!! But after Edu, i’m putting up a wall around the United States, with instructions to custom agents to not let in ANY MORE American soccer players back into the country.

    • Brian S. says:

      So Gooch would just be stuck at the Airport after his new deal runs out and he needs a new home? Can’t we at least make a one time exception? And maybe even Adu if he changes his attitude.

  7. BrianK says:

    Great news for Mo and MLS. The league should cotinue to repatriate as many American players as possible.

  8. A.S. says:

    Who? I vaguely remember some guy named Edu (or was it Adu?), but it’s been a long long time…

  9. Cairo says:

    Excited for this. Hard working defensive mid who will make a difference on the field in all the little ways that nobody notices. Bigger news because Philly is making moves–with that nice stadium this is a team i’d like to see do well in MLS. Now Freddy Adu to CUSA and I will be satisfied–seriously, is there a better fit for a free agent in this league? The Mexican fans always appreciated him, he doesn’t have many options left, and he might sell a few tix. Salary always a problem with Freddy, but he’s certainly worth 150-200k for a team that is not inclined to spend DP money

  10. John says:

    Any rumors or news about Jones yet? All I’ve seen is Shalke are looking to bring back Holtby from Tottenham.

  11. Udo says:

    Once again the lack of transparency in MLS rules strikes again:

    “…Edu will have to go through the allocation process even as a potential Designated Player signing because MLS wasn’t involved in paying a transfer fee.”

    I was under the impression that the Dempsey acquisition meant that DP’s were exempt from the allocation process.

    • Reid says:

      And wouldn’t MLS not being involved in “paying the transfer fee” mean that the player would be contracted to the team who did pay the transfer fee, not the opposite? The MLS rule systems makes my head hurt

      • KJ says:

        Yeah… If a team pays his fee on their own, why would they have to be “allocated” a player? It makes sense if MLS helped pay for it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Unless he is not a DP. Come on Garber, be honest!

    • bryan says:

      that’s because both MLS and the Seattle GM specifically said that. they said, no matter what, players can only go through one avenue. DP and allocation, according to them, are two separate avenues. so this absolutely contradicts what they just said a few months ago.

      and not to mention the last two weeks all we have heard is that Jones would not be subject to allocation because he would almost certainly be a DP.

      guess we’ll find out soon enough.

      • Gilby says:

        Making it up as they go along. Its what MLS has always done. They set a precedent the create a “clarification” to do what best suits them. The questions is whether this is necessarily a bad thing. If the rules had prevented a player like Bradley or Dempsey from coming back to the MLS is that a rule we would really want.

        • bryan says:

          it’s true. but i think the rule to have players come through one avenue made sense. i have no problem with Bradley or Dempsey coming back the ways they did. but having someone come through the DP avenue and the allocation avenue if MLS didn’t help pay seems like a pointless change.

          why does it matter if MLS helped in the transfer? i’d bet a lot might feel like that team is now getting a major advantage because they get help from the league AND skip the allocation order. philly, if this holds true, gets no help (in fact, MLS is apparently not happy Philly is willing to pay Edu over $1M a year!!) and they are subject to the allocation order.

          i’m sure they’ll give an explanation as to why they added that rule, but for F’s sake. have a little more foresight when making rules. because again, MLS and Seattle both said the rule was simply, “one avenue per player,” just a few months ago. NO mention of this little detail.

  12. Benny Dargle says:

    The return of one player provides some competitive advantage to their team. When a bunch of players return, though, as seems to be happening in the last two years, then the competitive boost is for the league as the quality of play collectively rises. That can start a virtuous cycle of players wanting to stay and others wanting to come back. We’ll see if that happens here, but it is certainly promising for MLS.

  13. Anthony says:

    Gonna say it (receive a lot of hate for it).. How is it a guy that was good enough be the starter at his position at Champions league Rangers, start at Burasapor (who wanted to buy him) while making 7 figures goes to Philly. He is not going to make the World Cup team and he’s taking a hit in salary and prestige. So what you are not playing at Stoke force a move to another team in France or Turkey that has been showing interest.

    Bradley, I get. He had interest,but he want to come home at twice to 2.5x’s the salary.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Going to MLS is within his culture and language, ensures PT, and basically sets up a NT showcase for him. If he goes to a lot of teams in Europe he’s outside his culture, may not speak the manager’s language, has more competition for time, may be trying to fit into a midseason team that doesn’t need him to succeed (Gooch), may be downgraded for being American, no guarantees. If he’s making the move 6 months ago and had more control, maybe you risk it. But he’s been risking not making Brazil just because Beckerman plays for his pro team and looks ready when called upon, ditto some others. This takes a lot of the risk out of the equation and makes it just about playing to expectations.

    • bryan says:

      to be fair, this kind of contradicts the goal.com report:

      “To repeat what I reported yesterday: Top priority for Edu’s reps is loan somewhere in Europe leading to World Cup. If no deal, maybe MLS.”

      guess we’ll see!

    • Gary Page says:

      My thought exactly. You figure he could get a starting job at least in Turkey or Holland with France even a possibility. Considering Stoke’s standing, I don’t understand why he doesn’t even make their bench. Having seen a fair amount of both Edu and Stoke, he looks good enough to me to play for them consistently. He played well in a number of CL games for Rangers and I’m sure some football GM’s must have noticed.

      • Andy in Atlanta says:

        It absolutely baffles me… there is no way you don’t give the guy a chance in a match… he has shown he can play at the highest level with some success… you just don’t sit on an asset like that unless he does not get on with the manager…

  14. El Paso tx says:

    This move does make sense!!!!!! Is he goin to compare his move to Christiano Ronaldo :)

  15. Dave says:

    This isnt good enough. After toronto got defoe abd bradley and dc united got eddie johnson. This isnt that impressive.

    • jwb07 says:

      My sources say they’re in for Ronaldo…

    • BrianK says:

      A national team pool player in his prime who has World Cup and Champions League experience is not good enough? Wow! Tough crowd down in Philly.

      Good start at minimum.

  16. rafavic says:

    I’ve seen too many reports on allocation. Can we get Edu (DP) and Pappa thru allocation or am I missing something.

  17. dude1 says:

    So DC just made Philly a whole lot better, gave them a young, talented CB for depth, and got Parke. We’re the best.

  18. Joe says:

    Any thoughts on how a large number of USMNT coming to MLS may affect fan loyalties? It used to be that with many of the best players playing in Europe (with the exception of Donovan) it was a lot more easier to root for the best USMNT players because they never played against your favorite MLS team. I know leagues across the globe deal with this, but hasn’t been much of an issue in the US. This may be a dumb question but was curious how MLS and USMNT fans feel about this.

    • bb says:

      Good point! Never thought of it from this angle. The closest I can compare it to right now is in the NFL. I like Peyton Manning, but hate the Broncos! And it does make me conflicted. (Originally from KC, moved to Seattle. Oh and I have both a Sounders jersey and my old Wizards jersey. My dad taught me ya root for your hometown team and your current local team.)

      I’m a huge Donovan fan (how can any US fan not love him?) But as a Sounder I want us to beat Galaxy butt every time we play them! Root for your conference/divisional rival to do well, except for when they play YOU! I’ll probably do the same for my favorite players as they come back across the pond.

  19. bizzy says:

    Awesome news….great move for Edu moving to MLS although I wish he went to DC with Johnson up top. That would have been a killer combo. MLS direct kick is a definite with EDU, PARKHURST, DEMPSEY, BRADLEY and DEFOE now in the league. Now I’m waiting on ONYEWU and FREDDY ADU…..

  20. Pace says:

    This is such bull. Great signing for the U, but they shouldn’t have to go through allocation to get him! We just made up this rule 6 months ago and now we’re changing it again. Its completely bush league that Philly have to trade up to get Edu while Dempsey and Bradley get fast tracked just because they are bigger names.

  21. Cairo says:

    So many teams need an attacking mid…time for Sacha and Stuart to sign next, or even Jon Spector, who played a little bit of midfield a few years ago. Joking aside, Spector seems a natural fit for this ride of returning Americans, no? Quakes could use him as a replacement for Beita…

    • bryan says:

      Spector was getting regular playing time at his club until injury. he would be a great addition to the league, but it’s not like he wasn’t playing when healthy.

  22. K says:

    I can’t wait for the day when we have a league without single entity and all this allocation, DP and draft stupidity.

    MLS has real potential to be a really good league. It’s just too regulated. Open the league free agency, get rid of single entity and put in sensible financial rules that are compatible with soccer. The current low cap+ DP rule sounds great for the NBA where great teams have two stars paired with role players. It’s horrible for soccer.

    • usaalltheway says:

      +1

      You said it all!

      With THOSE changes and a great showing at the World Cup by the USMNT then maybe, just maybe, the MLS could become a decent, second tier league like France (as one example) Not great, but solid.

      • Edmondo says:

        First of all, France in not a second tier league (maybe if you consider BPL, La Liga, Bundesliga 1st and then maybe). Second tier is more like Turkey, Netherlands etc.

        Second, you must actually look at the level and depth of skill in this league. It cannot be solved after the world cup…really???? Listen , most MLS teams would need to completely revamp their squads with more technical and that is not happening in 1 or 2 years.

        I am big proponent of the MLS and I find myself defending it when I travel. However, it irks me as well when our fans also show a lack of understanding as the current skill level (or lack there of) and the speed at which it can be addressed. We are not close to France, trust me. We are however at mid-tier English Championship level, which is miles from where we used to be in 96-98 but still far from Top 5 Euro leagues.

    • GW says:

      K,

      MLS has a lot of byzantine rules and regs. And it is very conservative, could pay its players a lot better and the product can always get better.

      However, I have watched what seemed like an endless parade of soccer leagues fail in this country over the years. So you will have to forgive me if I regard fans like you as just a bit spoiled and entitled. You are lucky to have an American pro league of this level at all.

      MLS has dramatically improved the chances for the survival of soccer in this country and it has dramatically improved the USMNT.

      My primary take on the Dempsey and MB30 deals, coupled with the rise of NYFC is that I hope the league is not going too fast, too soon, something that killed the late, lamented NASL. Clint and Mikey are past their prime and it took a while to build up their reputations to where these deals could have the impact they did.

      I’m guessing MLS are hoping Brazil 2014 produces some new USMNT stars

      • KJ says:

        I honestly believe that MLS will benefit more from the NFL concussion problem more than any other professional sport in America. Kids are being pulled out of American football, there will be a gradual decline in the number of players, and thus the quality will suffer, and maybe the NFL will disappear. Sounds crazy, but the concussions aren’t getting any better. MLS can pick up the slack.

        • Gary Page says:

          Good point. I was discussing this the other day with a “soccer dad.” We both see football as being on the way out. All it will take is a successful lawsuit at the high school level and nobody will want to assume the liability in the public schools.

        • GW says:

          Unfortunately there appears to be evidence that heading the ball is not helpful in terms of concussions.

          So the concussion focus will also involve soccer.

    • Anthony says:

      K,

      I have to agree with GW to a certain (one exception – MB90 is not past his prime, he actually entering it at 26 and so is Edu at 27). Safeguards are there for a reason. In case you haven’t noticed, while MLS is doing better, it is still not a huge money making enterprise. About 1/3 of the clubs still loose money. Granted, not to the degree the did before. Places like Seatle and Portland make serious money and could spend 10x’s what other teams spend, but what would do for the league. Not all teams can spend money they do not have. Some spend money because the have rich owners, but the actual team looses money. You do know that is what happened with the Cosmos and NASL. Then what will happen to the fans. It is not like the monetary payoff is that high. The NCAAF BCS championship game has orders of magnitude greater payoff.

      The one thing the NFL has taught us is a salary can work at a multi-billion dollar level. It works so well that European leagues are looking at it. You talk about free market, but you forgot that one thing endemic is free market is that is boom and bust. I lived in Europe, clubs go bankrupt every year trying to keep up. I do not want that because we cannot afford to loose teams. I do not want to go back to the days of contract and owners who own multiple teams to keep things going. Centralized ownership helps to a certain degree.

      Listen, I could go on for an hour, but I would only get more annoyed. More than entitled…you just sound naive.

      link to forbes.com

      • GW says:

        Anthony,

        When Mikey was playing regularly for Chievo and then Roma, that was his prime. It was the best I’d seen him play since 2007, basically ever..

        This season he has had 5 starts and 6 sub appearances. which means he was on track for a season total of about 22 total appearances. Which means he is not as sharp this year as last year.

        At 26 and playing at TFC, he is unlikely to improve from his Roma peak .

        He is still a fine player and should be at that level for some time. He should fired up for Brazil and will hopefully take his game to another level down there.

        But,going forward, he is not likely to better his peak at Roma, so yeah, he is past his prime.

        Not that it means a whole lot.

  23. Good Jeremy says:

    Good for him.
    It gives him plenty of minutes and an outside chance at making the WC squad.
    Philly isn’t too far from his old stomping grounds in Maryland either.

  24. usaalltheway says:

    Now if Gooch would just do the same.

    This move makes sense and works well for both parities. Edu is solid but not great.

  25. Shina says:

    MLS execs. being sketchy as usual, and more rules being made up on the fly. I’m interested to see how they explain this, but the lack of transparency and the ridiculous rules are probably the worst aspects of the league.

  26. Big Red says:

    Maurice Edu just solidified his place on the national team. All he needs to do is play. Too bad he had that hernia injury last year. Now we get to see head to head Edu v Bradley. Edu has always been better. He is a legend in Scotland. Bradley? He is a legend on the comments section of sports blogs and with Alexis Lalas.

    • GW says:

      Mr. Red,

      Back in 2007-9 when BB was assembling his USMNT for the 2010 World Cup, the main competitors for the central midfield slots were Mikey, Mo, Rico, Benny, Sacha, JFT and later on Stu and Jermaine.

      Mikey’s current sacred cow status with the USMNT fan base obscures the fact that perhaps the single greatest asset he had was his consistency. He consistently showed up, was consistently healthy and for the most part consistently performed at a good level.

      His most talented opposition was JJ (broken shin, missed World Cup), Stu ( broken leg, missed most of World cup run up) , Mo (blown ACL, missed 2009, then sprained ankle), Rico ( transferred to Eintracht Frankfurt before the World Cup and stopped playing), Benny ( disappeared frequently in games ),Sacha ( inconsistent, despised by fans, lacked moustache) and JFT ( supposed savior, proved to be soft) .

      BB may have picked his son for reasons related to nepotism but I believe he did so because he did not have a choice. Mikey emerged as the USMNT’s main man in central midfield because he was the one who always showed up and performed.

      The various untimely injuries and losses of form by Mikey’s competitors were not BB’s fault. The ideal midfield pairing would have been JJ and Stu.

      Mo, JJ, Stu and Benny were all more talented than Mikey but that doesn’t help if you don’t show up for whatever reason. To this day what remains Mikey’s primary asset is what is under that shiny dome of his.

  27. soccerhorn says:

    shocking to learn that Edu is still only 27 years old. Seems like he’s been a Nat since the Lalas days.

  28. RBNY says:

    They will still be sh*t.