By DAN KARELL
While Philadelphia Union fans await the formal announcement of the acquisition of Maurice Edu, new details have emerged on the deal to bring the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder back to MLS.
Having first reported the completion of Edu’s move to the Union on Friday, Goal.com followed up on Monday with a report offering more details on the move, which will be a 12-month loan deal with a purchase option.
The Union have yet to formally announce the signing, but an announcement is expected to take place this week.
With plenty of uncertainty around his playing time at Stoke, Edu reportedly turned down offers in England, France, and Spain to return to MLS. Edu starred for Toronto FC in 2007 and half of the 2008 season after being selected first overall in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft.
The 27-year-old midfielder has played just once for Stoke since moving to the English Premier League club in August 2012 from Scottish club Rangers. This season under manager Mark Hughes, the USMNT midfielder hasn’t even made the game-day squad for a single match. If Edu does join the Union, he’ll join Argentine winger Cristian Maidana, with French winger Vincent Nogueira reportedly nearing a deal with the Union as well.
Here are some more stories from around MLS:
D.C. STADIUM PROPOSAL FACING PUBLIC OPPOSITION
D.C. United’s hopes for a soccer-specific stadium of their own took a hit.
With an agreement between the District of Columbia city council and land owners still waiting to be reached, a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post shows that nearly 60 percent of D.C. residents oppose public funding on a soccer stadium.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray pledged last July to provide $150 million in land swaps and other infrastructure to help D.C. United owners Erick Thohir and Jason Levien build a new stadium in Buzzard Point. However, with Gray’s mayoral post up for re-election this November, plenty of his opponents are pointing to the soccer stadium project as a key talking point.
The poll, which interviewed 1,003 D.C. residents across multiple demographics found that 59 percent opposed the stadium project and that just 35 percent supported it. The results aren’t much different from the last time D.C. United tried to build a stadium of their own in 2008, when 60 percent of residents opposed it.
Since the Washington Post published the poll, the Mayor Gray’s office has responded by claiming that the question posed in the poll was too general, and reminding fans that the the current plan is for D.C. United’s ownership to solely pay for the stadium.
BEITASHOUR ON VERGE OF WHITECAPS MOVE
Steven Beitashour is unlikely to return to the San Jose Earthquakes this season but his next destination may not be Europe after all.
According to a report in ESPN FC, the 26-year-old right back is on the verge of signing for the Vancouver Whitecaps pending a physical. In return for Beitashour, the Earthquakes would receive an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
The Whitecaps and Earthquakes have not yet commented on the report.
Beitashour would help fill the loss of former South Korea international Young-Pyo Lee after he announced his retirement towards the end of last season.
Beitashour’s move could also help him make the Iran World Cup squad. Born in the U.S. to Iranian parents, Beitashour originally accepted a call up to the U.S. Men’s National Team in August 2012, but after not playing or being included in the next few squads, decided to pledge his future to Iran’s National Team last October. He’s since made three appearances.
GONCALVES NOT APOLOGIZING FOR COMMENTS
Fresh off winning MLS Defender of the Year, Jose Goncalves hasn’t been shy about his request for an improved contract.
The 28-year-old centerback helped turn the New England Revolution into a playoff contender last season but instead of re-negotiating his contract the Revolution exercised their team option in his current deal to keep Goncalves around for the 2014 season. In an interview with a blog “A Minute in Sports!” last week, Goncalves stated that ownership had broken certain promises and Goncalves didn’t back down from those statements last Saturday after the team’s first preseason training and media session of the season.
“I don’t really need to say (what) kinds of promises have been made,” Goncalves told reporters. “I think it’s something that stays between me and the club. Of course, they know exactly what I am talking about. It’s a situation we tried, in the past, to find a solution (to).”
“It’s very important that I feel that I am welcome here. I am worth it, what I am doing on the field, and also outside the field. That’s something I take very personally, and it’s very important as a player, and as the captain of the club, to feel that.”
Goncalves added that regardless of the situation, he would remain professional and continue to work hard ahead of the upcoming season. Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said he’s had a few conversations with Goncalves about the incident and he’s hoping the situation can be resolved.
JOSEPH NOT IN SCHMID’S SOUNDERS PLANS
Twelve months ago Shalrie Joseph was a Designated Player. Now, he’s unlikely to see the field in a Seattle Sounders jersey again.
Following their first day of preseason training in Seattle, Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid took some time to speak with the local media. Among other subjects discussed, Schmid confirmed that while Joseph was still on the roster, he isn’t in Schmid’s plans for the upcoming season.
“Shalrie is still a member of our team, but right now he’s not really in our plans,” Schmid told reporters. “As we move forward, we’ll see how that resolves itself. I’m not sure what the ultimate resolution will be, but right now he’s not in our plans for this season.”
GALAXY DENY FERDINAND LINK
Rio Ferdinand may continue playing beyond this season but it looks as though it won’t be with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Galaxy president Chris Klein denied recent reports linking the former England international to the Galaxy, telling ESPN FC that there is “no truth” to the reports. Ferdinand is expected to leave Manchester United this summer on a free transfer after losing his starting place in the squad.
“Rio is a great player but we do not have an interest and there have been no discussions between LA Galaxy and Rio Ferdinand,” Klein told ESPN FC.
What do you think of these reports? Think that Edu can turn the Union into a playoff team? Do you see D.C. United’s stadium plan falling apart? How do you see Beitashour fitting in with the Whitecaps?
Share your thoughts below.