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
- WATCH: Saturday’s top 5 goals in Major League Soccer 0
- MLS roundup: Houston, Vancouver sit on top of their conferences after day one 0
- Rare bad night from Robbie Keane costs LA Galaxy against Real Salt Lake 1
- Atlantic crushed: D.C. United, New York open the season with three-goal losses 2
- Stoppage time goal gives Seattle 1-0 opening day win over Sporting Kansas City (video) 10
- Premier League Roundup: Chelsea clear at the top, Manchester United click, Cardiff bag huge win 0
- Will Johnson: We Weren't all Quite at the Races
- Owners Legal Issues Have Caught Up to Queretaro
- Juventus Prove They Know how to Win Despite Weak Performance Against Fiore
- Liverpool is Ready to Spend $100 Million in Summer Transfers
- Dallas Manage 3-2 Win in Season Opener Against Impact
- Dynamo Shut Out the Revs as Bruin Scores a Pair
- Argentine Melodies Illuminate Rainy Night in Portland
- LA Galaxy Gift Real Salt Lake Three Points in Season Opener
- Berhalter Gets First Win as Columbus Downs D.C. United 3-0
- Colorado Rapids - 3 Hopes and One Fear