Jan 27, 2014, 10:04 PM EDT
Now that U.S. international Maurice Edu is in place at Philadelphia’s PPL Park, let’s find his place among MLS defensive midfielders.
He’s got to be top five, at very least, right? Even if you don’t think the once-and-again MLS man is quite there, I would wager that he will be top two or three in the league in most minds by the end of the year, assuming he can shake some of the Stoke City rust. (Edu played once over the last 18 or so months for Stoke, although he did get few good games while on loan in Turkey last year.)
A couple of things to note here:
First, Michael Bradley will not appear on this list. He’s not a defensive midfielder, not strictly speaking, anyway. He may line up as one at BMO Field out of organizational necessity, but Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen is no dummy. He knows that Bradley’s top utility comes as a linking man, a two-way presence who knows just when to insert himself into the opposition penalty area.
Similarly, Edu may not be a holding midfielder at PPL Park, where Brian Carroll has owned the spot. It’s possible that Edu plays slightly ahead of Carroll in a more advanced central role.
All that said, here is where I’d put Edu in the ranking of MLS holding midfielders going into the 2014 preseason.
1. Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake
2. Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders
3. Maurice Edu, Philadelphia Union
4. Dax McCarty, New York Red Bulls
5. Patrice Bernier, Montreal Impact
- Moyes statement on dismissal; Reports say he was recruiting to the end 0
- Head coach Marc Wilmots says Adnan Januzaj will play for Belgium 1
- Who’s in across Europe? Glancing at the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League 1
- Barcelona’s transfer ban suspended by FIFA, should allow club to make summer moves 0
- Champions League preview: Defending champion Bayern Munich looks to end Real Madrid quest for 10th title 0
- Alex Ferguson backed David Moyes’ firing, will help select a successor 0