Maurice Edu (born April 18, 1986) is an American former professional soccer player. A highly touted prospect, Edu was the first overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft and won the MLS Rookie of the Year Award with Toronto. His performances for Toronto earned him international call ups to the United States national team and the attention of clubs in Europe. He signed with Scottish powers Rangers, winning the Scottish Premier League three times. Following Rangers' financial problems, he joined Stoke City; however, failing to make an impact, he spent time on loan with Turkey's Bursaspor before returning to MLS with Philadelphia Union.
Maurice Edu playing for Rangers in 2011
|Full name||Maurice Edu|
|Date of birth||April 18, 1986|
|Place of birth||Fontana, California, United States|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Playing position||Midfielder, Defender|
|2013||→ Bursaspor (loan)||11||(0)|
|2014||→ Philadelphia Union (loan)||31||(3)|
|2016–2017||→ Bethlehem Steel (loan)||6||(0)|
|2007–2008||United States U23||6||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Edu was born and raised in Fontana, California. Edu played college soccer at the University of Maryland, College Park from 2004 until 2006 and played three years for the Maryland Terrapins, including a role on the 2005 squad which won the NCAA College Cup national championship. He forfeited his final year of NCAA eligibility to enter the 2007 MLS SuperDraft as a Generation Adidas player. He was named a first-team All-American in 2006.
Edu cut short his time at college to join Major League Soccer and was drafted by Toronto as the first overall pick of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft. He made his MLS debut on April 25, 2007, against Kansas City Wizards, and he scored his first professional goal in the seventy-fifth minute of a game against Chicago Fire on May 12. During that first season he made twenty-five appearances in MLS and scored four goals. He ended his debut season by winning the MLS Rookie of the Year award and earning his first senior national team cap.
On August 16, 2008, Edu flew to Glasgow to hold talks with Scottish Premier League team Rangers after a fee of £2.6 million, was agreed with MLS. Edu signed a five-year contract with Rangers on August 17, 2008, but had to wait until five days later to officially join after successfully gaining a work permit.
Edu made his debut for Rangers in a league match against Kilmarnock on September 13, 2008. The team won 2–1 thanks to a Kris Boyd double. Edu scored his first goal for Rangers on April 8, 2009, in a league match against St Mirren and then followed his goal up with another against Hibernian in a 3–2 win at Easter Road eleven days later. He went on a run of games towards the end of the season including his Old Firm debut against Celtic on May 9 at Ibrox in a 1–0 Rangers win. He ended his first season in Scottish soccer by winning a league championship medal – having played in twelve of Rangers' thirty-eight games in the 2008–09 SPL season. However, a torn cruciate knee ligament saw him miss out on the Scottish Cup final.
After recovering from his injury, Edu returned for Rangers as a 74th-minute substitute in a 4–1 win against Hibernian on December 27, 2009, but only played four games before being sidelined for another month with an ankle problem. He had complained of racist abuse from two Rangers supporters after the club's 4–1 home defeat to FC Unirea Urziceni in October 2009. Rangers came to the defense for Edu, condemning the Rangers supporters as 'moronic' and 'disgusting'.
A turnaround in his fortunes began when he came off the bench to score a 93rd minute stoppage-time winner against Old Firm rivals Celtic on February 28, 2010, as Rangers won 1–0. On March 21, 2010, Edu came on as a half-time substitute when Rangers beat St Mirren to win the League Cup Final. His domestic season ended with him being awarded a second league medal having appeared in fifteen of the thirty-eight games. During the 2010–11 season, Edu made his Champions League debut against English giants Manchester United at Old Trafford and drew plaudits for his performance.
On October 20, 2010, he scored his first Champions League goal against Spanish side Valencia, converting from a Vladimír Weiss corner, but scored an own goal to equalize for Valencia minutes after the restart in a game that finished 1–1. After the match, Edu told Sky Sports that he has a mixed emotion and said
The first goal I didn't have time to celebrate because I took a knock on the head and was laid on the ground for a while. The own goal, I saw it late and the next thing I know it hit me and it was in. I was trying to mark the guy in front of me and it looked like he was going to get it and at the last minute it hit me. That was obviously disappointing but we kept going and created more chances.
Edu made his 100th appearance in all competitions for the Gers on November 5, 2011 in their 3–1 win over Dundee United. During the season, Rangers where placed into administration over financial problems and a dispute with HMRC, leading a 10-point deduction. As months passed, manager Ally McCoist announced Edu and Alejandro Bedoya would possibly both leave the club Edu was linked with a move to Ipswich Town but both claims was denied from the club and himself, claiming he was unaware with a move to Ipswich.
Edu agreed to join Premier League side Stoke City on August 25, 2012 signing a three-year contract. Speaking following the move Edu revealed it is a 'dream come true' to sign for a Premier League side. He had to wait until October 7 before he made his debut for Stoke coming on as an 80th-minute substitute in a 0–0 draw at Liverpool. That 10-minute cameo proved to be Edu's only appearance for Stoke in 2012–13 under Tony Pulis, but he had hopes for a fresh start under new manager Mark Hughes. However, Edu did not make any appearances for Stoke under the new manager, and did not even appear on the bench for the English side.
After failing to break into the first team at the Britannia Stadium, Edu joined Turkish Süper Lig side Bursaspor on loan until the end of the 2012–13 season. He played 12 times for Bursaspor as they finished in 4th position.
On January 27, 2014, Edu joined Philadelphia Union on loan for the 2014 Major League Soccer season with an option to buy. On April 5, Edu scored his first goal for the Union in a 2–2 draw against Chicago Fire. During the 2014 U.S. Open Cup Final, Edu scored a critical goal that put the Union in the lead 1–0, but they ultimately lost in extra time.
Edu made his move to Philadelphia permanent in January 2015. Despite his position as a holding midfielder, Edu was often deployed as a centerback during most of the 2014 and 2015 seasons; benefiting from his long range passing and technical ability on the ball. In late September 2015, Edu suffered a groin muscle injury that kept him out for the remainder of the 2015 season.
Upon recovery from the groin injury, Edu further suffered a stress fracture in his left leg, leaving him sidelined for the entirety of the 2016 season. While he did not make any first-team appearances in 2016 due to injury recovery, he made three appearances for the Union's USL affiliate, Bethlehem Steel FC. Similarly for the 2017 season, Edu would only make spot appearances for Steel FC and see no first team minutes during his injury recovery.
Edu was released from the Union at the conclusion of his contract after the 2017 season. He trained on trial in the off-season with Los Angeles FC, but no contract was agreed to.
Edu made his international debut for the United States against Switzerland on October 17, 2007, and won his second cap a month later against South Africa, where he registered an assist on Steve Cherundolo's winning goal. Edu was included in the U.S. team for the 2008 Summer Olympics. He played in all three of the group matches and deputized as a center back. Edu drew a penalty in the final game of the group stage against Nigeria which Sacha Kljestan took and finished. However, the U.S. were knocked out of the group stage after that loss. Edu scored his first international goal for the U.S. during a friendly against Czech Republic on May 25, 2010.
Edu made only one brief appearance for the national team in 2009, as a stoppage-time substitute in a World Cup qualifier against El Salvador. That was his solitary game in the final stage of qualifying for South Africa. Despite this he was selected as a member of the 23-man roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. On June 18, against Slovenia, he volleyed in a free kick from Landon Donovan in the 85th minute with the game tied at 2–2, but referee Koman Coulibaly disallowed the goal. Coulibaly's decision was heavily criticized by commentators and columnists alike who believe that the United States committed no fouls on the play and were in fact the ones who were being fouled for the most part.
Edu continued to make appearances under Jürgen Klinsmann during 2011 and 2012. His appearances with the National Team then diminished.
|Toronto||2007||Major League Soccer||25||4||–||–||–||25||4|
|Rangers||2008–09||Scottish Premier League||12||2||3||0||1||0||0||0||16||2|
|Stoke City||2012–13||Premier League||1||0||0||0||0||0||–||1||0|
|Bursaspor (loan)||2012–13||Süper Lig||11||0||2||0||0||0||–||13||0|
|Philadelphia Union (loan)||2014||Major League Soccer||31||3||5||2||–||–||36||5|
|Bethlehem Steel||2016||United Soccer League||3||0||–||–||–||3||0|
Edu is the son of Nigerian immigrant parents. His father, Maurice Sr., was a mathematics teacher, and his mother is a chemistry teacher. Edu has a younger brother Reggie Edu, who is a Teacher, Coach and Director of Coaching for the southern Californian youth soccer club Newcastle United FC out of Upland, CA, and three older sisters. He featured alongside Guillermo Ochoa and Ronaldinho as one of the FIFA 09 cover stars in North America.
- "Maurice Edu" (in Turkish). Turkish Football Federation. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
- "Edu poised for switch to Rangers". BBC Sport. August 16, 2008.
- "On Their Way". Rangers F.C. August 17, 2008.
- "Rangers' Edu is given work permit". BBC Sport. August 22, 2008.
- "Rangers condemn 'moronic' fans after Maurice Edu racially abused". London: Guardian. October 21, 2009.
- "Rangers condemn racist abuse". Sky SportsZ. October 21, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Ogden, Mark (September 14, 2010). "Manchester United v Rangers: player ratings". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Murray, Ewan (October 20, 2010). "Rangers' Maurice Edu hero and villain in draw against Valencia". Guardian. London.
- "Edu admits mixed emotions". Sky Sports. October 21, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- McGowan, Stephen (November 9, 2011). "SPL title is as good as ours, claims bullish Rangers striker Jelavic". Daily Mail. London.
- "McCoist - Exits still possible". Sky Sports. July 29, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- "Ipswich bid for Edu". Sky Sports. August 20, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- "Edu unaware of negotiations with Rangers and Ipswich Town on possible transfer". Goal.com. August 14, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- "Maurice Edu agrees Stoke move from Rangers". BBC Sport. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- "A Lifelong Dream". Stoke City F.C. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- "Liverpool 0-0 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "American Exports: Maurice Edu hoping to establish himself with new Stoke City boss Mark Hughes". MLS. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
- "Stoke's Maurice Edu seals Bursaspor loan". Goal.com. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- "Union acquire U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Maurice Edu on season long loan". philadelphiaunion.com. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- Dave Zeitlin (September 16, 2014). "Philadelphia Union 1, Seattle Sounders 3 (AET) | US Open Cup Final Recap". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- "Union secure transfer of Maurice Edu, agree multi-year contract". Philly. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- "Union acquire U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Maurice Edu on season long loan". Brotherly Game. November 19, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- Jonathan Tannenwald (August 19, 2017). "Union's Maurice Edu headed to Bethlehem, could play for Steel on Sunday". Philly.com. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- "Maurice Edu's road back to MLS games remains long despite seeing USL action". MLSsoccer.com. August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
- "Philadelphia Union Exercise 2018 Options On 11 Players". Philadelphia Union. November 1, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Brooks Peck. "Referee costs U.S. win, can't stifle massive comeback for draw" Archived June 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Yahoo! News. June 18, 2010.
- Controversial Finish Leaves US With Draw, ESPN Archived June 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Bradley's late goal follows Donovan score as U.S. salvages draw, ESPN, June 18, 2010.
- Robbed at the World Cup! Late goal disallowed as US forced to settle for 2–2 draw with Slovenia
- "Maurice Edu". Soccerbase. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- Morgan Campbell: The pro athlete who almost wasn't at The Star, October 14, 2007
- "Player Bio: Maurice Edu". University of Maryland Official Athletic Site. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012.
- "Maurice Edu Named the New Face of FIFA 09". Team Xbox. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
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