Maurice Edu returns to action

Edu (Reuters)

It's been a long time coming, but Maurice Edu's comeback took another step towards completion Monday. The 23-year-old midfielder, in the midst of a long recovery from a knee injury, returned to the pitch in a closed-door reserve match, going 80 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Partick Thistle.

Edu made it through the game unscathed and will likely be pushing for a regular place as he returns to fitness. Rangers encounters a tricky and congested part of the schedule over the holiday season, as the team has three games in a week starting next Sunday with an away trip to Hibernian, followed by a mid-week match-up against Dundee United. January 3 finishes off the busy schedule with an Old Firm clash against Celtic.

These next few months are crucial for Edu if he hopes to be a part of the 23-man roster for the World Cup. His return to fitness — assuming he can get minutes with Rangers — is a boost, but must stay healthy these next few months if he hopes to make it to South Africa.

What do you think of Edu's return? Glad to see him back in the mix? Will he recover in time to make the World Cup squad? Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, World Cup 2010. Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to Maurice Edu returns to action

  1. froboy says:

    good to see Edu back on the pitch, hopefully he and jermaine jones can both get healthy and push each other for the starting spot

  2. Idaho Brian says:

    Excellent news. Can’t wait to see him back in the starting XI for Rangers…

  3. Fred says:

    With Jones’s ongoing issues, I am starting to think a healthy Edu could start for us in June, if he makes his way back into the Rangers XI.

    On the other hand, Edu is relatively inexperienced, having played only 50 club games in his young career, as opposed to Clark, who has played almost four times that. Although Edu is probably more talented than Clark, I could see BB picking Clark over a fit Edu.

  4. Chris says:


  5. My line up




    bradley torres

    Dempsey Donovan


  6. Lorenzo says:

    Glad to have him back. Definitely could have used in for the Brazil CC Final…

  7. WiscFan says:

    Hopefully we will see Edu and Beas playing in the Old Firm!

  8. JavaLavaJoe says:

    And the recovery race is on Edu vs Jones…and the winner is…Ricardo Clark?!!!

    Seriously, lets hope that one or both of these guys find their way to fitness…will be a different World Cup with them included.

  9. ian says:

    Great news! Rico just isn’t the answer. Isn’t it nice actually have enough choices to have a debate over who should start?!

  10. wilyboy says:

    Edu is superior to Ricardo Clark in every way except in the ground covering department. He would be a true central midfielder, and would allow Bradley to make those runs with a guy who knows how to manage himself in the middle. Clark helped us versus Spain, but just clogging up our own half won’t help us much against other teams, say, England. I hope Jones steals his ticket, quite frankly.

  11. Josh D says:

    It goes Jones>Edu>Clark in skill. However to Bradley it’s Clark>Edu>Jones I would imagine. Bradley is too scared to make changes and will rely on Clark to run around without a head on.

    Glad to see Edu back. Never been too much a fan but anything to push the Clark/Bradley tandem away…

  12. Colin says:

    I don’t know about this whole “Edu is superior to Clark” thing… when he was playing for the USMNT he was anything but spectacular.

  13. Gary says:

    Jones and Edu will great at the world cup… 2014.

  14. strider says:

    Give me a break. Who has tried more new players than any prior USMNT coach in a WC cycle? Bob! I don’t understand why people continue to rip the guy that has accomplished so much. I just hope we have Bob’s first choice players healthy in June.

  15. Gary says:

    And Gold Cup 2011

  16. DC Josh says:

    This news makes me feel :)

  17. Joamiq says:

    Sweet! I really hope he regains his pre-injury form just like Bease is doing. That would be fantastic. If Jones doesn’t come back in time, I think we’ll probably be best off if we have both Edu and Feilhaber to partner with Bradley, depending on the matchup.

  18. bob says:

    how can you say to Bradley its Clark>Edu>Jones???

    Bob only picked Rico because Edu and Jones were out injured, and Bob has never had Jones into camp b/c he has only been able to play for the US for a few months and has been hurt.

  19. El Michael says:

    Edu will be in his prime and Jones will be in his 30’s so Jones will probably be out of the picture.

    Plus 4 years from now is such a long time, there are just too many young players coming up through the ranks to know who will be there in 2014.

  20. Chris in Belfast says:

    Exactly my thoughts, plus if Rico goes somewhere– as expected, right?– over the transfer period, he could add a new layer of polish to his game. I like Rico in the midfield– more than most, I expect– but I also like being spoiled for choice like the US currently is in the middle. Now, if only we had such a problem on the wings…

  21. Chris in Belfast says:

    Just pointing out a twisted piece of logic here:

    Rico was great against Spain, but clearly would not be effective against what almost everyone in the world agrees is an inferior English team?

    Its not that I disagree that Edu or Jones are conceivably better than Rico, I just think this argument is flawed. If Bradley and Clark could do it against Spain, they could do it against England.

  22. ahm says:

    is bradley scared because he didnt play edu or jones while they were on crutches or something? do people hate on bradley just because he’s not klinsmen or hiddink? he’s accomplished quite a bit so far and i feel like if his name was something a little harder to pronounce people would be in love with him.

  23. jonathan says:

    If jones can get back, I say we put edu in central… cover for boca/gooch. There’s no gaurantee gooch will be back and fit, and a demerit/boca centerline wouldn’t strike fear any anyone’s heart… Little worried about boca too, not playing, he’s clearly lost a step. And if jones is healthy, i want Edu on the field, somewhere. Seriously, people don’t realize how good of a player he is… By far our best D mid on the ball, he’s really great at keeping possession.

  24. 4now says:

    great upside on Edu – he closes on ppl like no other USMNT player. a crucial time for him, however. we’ll see how he responds. fingers crossed.

  25. 4now says:

    Edu’s not a central defender. to be honest I’d rather see Parkhurst in that position. It’s a position you have to learn. Just watch Carrick and Fletcher playing in the back. both talented players. both stumbling.

    No, our central backs are: Onyewu, Boca, Demerit, Parkhurst, Goodson, Marshall, and Conrad, for better or worse.

    backline as of now:
    1st Choice: Spector Boca DeMerit Dolo
    2nd Choice: Castillo Marshall Goodson Simek


  26. JohnC says:

    I think the argument of Edu vs Clark are very pre-mature. Edu is coming off major knee surgery from 9 months ago- for all those who have never had major knee surgery (ACL) it usually takes about 18 to 24 months to really get back to what you used to be. Beasley is a prime case of this as is any running back in the NFL. Edu will probably benefit from the fact that his game is not completely dependent on his speed but I think we are really undervaluing Clark by saying a 9 month and at World Cup 15 month Edu is sufficiently better then him. Ricardo Clark is a talented football player and will probably do pretty well in Europe- which I’m guessing is what it will take to change most peoples’ mind of him- remember Clark was def. better then Edu was in the MLS- obviously there is an age difference but Clark was successful with Houston at 23.

  27. wilyboy says:

    You fail to account for the fact that there is no transitive property in sports. To beat a strong team, you must look to their strengths, not their ranking. We were lucky in that the ultra conservative style favored by Bob was an antidote for Xavi and therefore Spain (if Iniesta had been playing, I still doubt it would have been possible).

    England, on the other hand, is quite capable of playing the long ball game, and has the speed and skill on the wings to break down our defensive bunker, not to mention Lampard and Gerrard shooting from distance. For this squad, the same strategy won’t be as effective.

    Clark is nothing more than a defensive work horse. Going into the world cup, we need to not only diffuse offensive threats, but generate possession. Edu is much better in this regard.

  28. Jacob A. says:

    Well that’s embarrasing.

    The entire Rangers reserve side couldn’t beat one guy.

  29. Josh D says:

    Bradley has switched players yes, but when the tournament comes around it’s the same true and tried players. Playing about and then going back to the same ole’ is the same as not playing around at all.

    Davies is a prime example. Took Ching getting injured before the player, most knowledgeable fans were screaming for, saw the field. There are quite a number of other similar players playing in the Nordic countries and our own back yard we haven’t pulled up.

    Bringing Johnson back in the mix? Give me a break, trying new people. There are far better and more played players than Johnson. Shoot I’d take a benched Adu over Johnson any day.

    Also what’s Bradley’s average age for bringing in “new” players? Lots of younger players banging on the door.

    And what has he won exactly, no other US coach hasn’t? Our run in South Africa was nice, yes but let’s look at our record against European and South American teams beyond that? Greece won the Euros, don’t see them as a European giant. A tournament is one bad game away from a flight home. Looking at things over years is how you determine the worth of a coach.

  30. Brian says:

    Parkhurst??? Ughhhh…did you watch the Gold Cup?

  31. HoneyHell says:

    My feeling on this is it’s better to have options than rely on any one individual come the world cup. Having 3 to 4 players competing to be one of 2 selected is a thing the USNT has rarely seen. If healthy I see the following Defensive Mids fighting it out (No particular order)…

    1) Jones – Experiance, Distribution, Distroyer

    2) Edu – Distribution, Distroyer, Possible CB?

    3) Clark – Distroyer, closing down

    4) Torres – Distribution, Slows Pace of Game, LW ?

    To me they each bring something a little different to the table and some are more vercitile than others, so could potentially make it as swing players (roll players covering multiple positions). Anyway this is a good thing. May the best men advance to the final squad, and may we do well at the finals.

  32. HoneyHell says:

    Edu, Torres & Bradley will be fighting it out for the 2014 Central Mids. Jones will be on the decline. However the 2011 Gold Cup is a strong possibility.

  33. madmax says:

    Edu, cuidadoso entonces adios Rangers y SPL.

  34. Flawedlogic says:

    Josh D,

    Your basic argument is flawed. You are judging Bradley before the World Cup, which is a lot like those pre-season college football rankings.

    Bradley should be judged on one thing only, how well the US does in the World Cup. European teams have the Euros and the Africans have their Nations cup but for the US and much of the rest of the world the World Cup is the only tournament the US plays in that matters.

    He took over an aging team in transition from the last World Cup and has re-built it for 2010. The whole point of focusing on the 2007 Gold Cup was to get us into the Confederations Cup, which was perhaps the best possible prep tournament for the World


    As for those results against European and South American teams since Bradley took over? They don’t mean jack. Nobody cares except you. Exhibition games mean nada. Germany looked like crap leading up to the 2006 World Cup and did pretty well as I recall.

    When and if the US goes 3 and out, then you can rip him all you want, but until then (unless you can get him fired and have some genius take over) the jury is out. But I’m sure that won’t stop you.

  35. Flawedlogic says:

    “There are far better and more played players than Johnson. ”

    Like who?

    “Shoot I’d take a benched Adu over Johnson any day.”

    I’m no fan of EJ but that statement alone brings your credibility into question.

  36. Josh D says:

    So you keep a guy employed for 4 years, letting him know “Lookit, nothing matters until you hit the World Cup. Lose, win, try players, keep Frankie at RB, doesn’t matter. We only care about the 3-5 games you’ll play at the World Cup. Best job ever, right?”

    We Americans do care about other tournaments. We went to the South American one when Bradley started taking over. A very competitive tournament that was honorable for us to get an invite. We bring our B team and get destroyed. Haven’t gone back since. This summer we blew it big time against Mexico in the final and got utterly destroyed.

    A US national team coach can’t play for the moment of a once in four years, 3 game minimum tournament. He’s in charge of building and rebuilding teams which means bringing in players. Also includes bringing in youth and developing them through a vested interest in the u21, u17, etc teams.

    Please don’t bring football into this. It’s the same stupid argument as MLS has for the playoff and finals game. What’s the point in having a season if it means nothing? Might as well wait and just play the tournament and let everyone rest until next year.

    MLS should have the League Cup (most points at the end of the season), Open Cup (to include NASL, USL and bar teams), and MLS Cup (played throughout the season and not based on how the team is doing in the league).

    Look at the bigger picture or face a US team never capable of playing against the big teams.

  37. Spectra says:

    Rico is in serious trouble if Edu and Jones are healthy because Rico isn’t physical at all and makes poor tackles. He does have the experience over Edu and team familiarity over Jones. But if he moves somewhere where he doesn’t play he should be scared of not going to SA

  38. Spectra says:

    Love the line up can you call bob or should I. he he he

  39. HoneyHell says:

    Sorry…my spanish is a little rusty. What you say? Anyone?

  40. FulhamPete says:

    Speaking for futbol loving nerds everywhere…
    LOVIN’ the math property reference.

  41. Spectra says:

    Remember Bob’s thoughts were Rico>Klejstian>Feilhaber in the confed cup with Beasley sliding in as well. Things change quickly in a few months time. I remember some kid playing in sweeden that barely made it to the confed cup. His name was Charles something or other?

  42. Matt D. says:

    Well, I’m no Rangers fan, but it’d be great if Edu and Beasley can be the best players for Rangers over the rest of the year. If anything, the long layoff for both players should make them hungry to play and mentally refreshed for the run up to the World Cup.

  43. Josh D says:

    Findley is far better. Buddle at least plays and can score. Pontius as an up and coming player. Quaranta has played better. White can offer an option as a forward. Etc, etc.

    Why does it bring it down? What has Johnson done…ever? Have you seen Adu play when he’s been on? He offers a dynamic option, he has a soccer brain, can pass and score and demands the ball. He can dribble, and quite frankly just play the game Johnson can run fast.

    I’m not an Adu fanatic but I can appreciate a player with skill who has had poor luck with choosing a team however, when he has had his moments he has looked capable of a place on the bench.

    If you haven’t seen him play beyond his MLS and Yanks days than please don’t talk.

  44. baquito alyeska says:

    for what it’s worth, is saying “Edu, then adios careful Rangers and SPL.”

  45. patrick says:

    he said be careful with the rangers in the SPL

  46. Flawedlogic says:

    Re: Findley et al. I’m sure they will get their shot very soon but don’t think they or EJ would even be in the picture (save Findley and Cunningham)if Davies was healthy. The US is a national team and thus Bradley can’t buy strikers so he makes do with the available Americans. This may shock you but the US talent pool is fairly thin especially at striker.

    I’ll admit I haven’t seen Adu play that much after his MLS days (though what I’ve seen hasn’t impressed me) but that’s because he hasn’t played much, which alone should tell you something.

    Poor luck? These poor choices have been going on for about 4 years now. At some point when does Freddy take responsibility for the “poor choices” in picking teams? If Freddy’s career is in the toilet, it’s not Bradley’s fault. He took him to the Confed Cup and the Gold Cup ( after Freddy did squat at Monaco all year) and Adu still couldn’t get it up enough to get off the pine. Unless you were at all the team practices and can confirm some sort of personal vendetta, please don’t tell me Bradley hasn’t given Adu a chance.

    If he wants to go to South Africa with the team, it’s up to Freddy to do whatever it takes to force Bradley to take him. I’m not a DMB fan but at least he is making an effort to force Bradley to take him. Donovan has taken a loan to Everton to sharpen up for SA. Beckham has been moving all kinds of things around for a few years now just so Capello would consider him for the England team.

    What in the hell has Freddy done? So far, Freddy’s effort in this regard can only be described as lame. Skill and talent, Freddy has that. Heart? Guts? No evidence of that.

  47. Flawedlogic says:

    “So you keep a guy employed for 4 years, letting him know “Lookit, nothing matters until you hit the World Cup. Lose, win, try players, keep Frankie at RB, doesn’t matter. We only care about the 3-5 games you’ll play at the World Cup. Best job ever, right?””


    We Americans do care about other tournaments. We went to the South American one when Bradley started taking over. A very competitive tournament that was honorable for us to get an invite. We bring our B team and get destroyed. Haven’t gone back since. This summer we blew it big time against Mexico in the final and got utterly destroyed.


    “A US national team coach can’t play for the moment of a once in four years, 3 game minimum tournament. ”


    He’s in charge of building and rebuilding teams which means bringing in players. Also includes bringing in youth and developing them through a vested interest in the u21, u17, etc teams.”




  48. Ghost of Clint Dempsey says:

    Torres definately controlled that one game by slowing it down and bringing it to his pace. That kid is going to get better and better.

  49. Mike in Long Island says:

    we need depth at defensive mid for when one of them inevitably gets red carded. With our track record against international refs we should bring Clark, Edu, and Jones… three group games… three red cards.

  50. Chris in Belfast says:

    I’d argue that Rico’s role on the team is very similar to Claude Makelele. Rico surely isn’t anywhere near as good as Makelele, but his game as a defensive midfielder is much the same, and Rico’s a much bigger threat to score. Makelele’s offensive shortcomings certainly didn’t prevent him from being a highly effective international midfielder.

  51. Chris in Belfast says:

    Yeah, and who was he playing beside?

  52. Chris in Belfast says:

    The comments about it taking Ching being injured before Davies came into the team also fail to take into account the difference in play that the change inaugurated. Bob used Ching like Capello uses Heskey. Davies can’t be used like that, and Bob liked using Ching and playing the team like that. When Ching went down it meant he had to make a change, and bringing Davies in meant the team had to change the way it played.

    Sure, the change worked out great, but the reason Davies didn’t play much before Ching went down is because Davies can’t play like Ching. Of course, some people think that’s a good thing.

  53. wilyboy says:

    Except Makelele could tackle high class opposition and not draw cards. Makelele was of the highest order of defensive midfielder. Clark makes rash challenges on talented opposition and, on average, pairs poorly with Bradley when it comes to actually playing good football. I was impressed by his inspired play against Spain, but then in every other match he’s been frustrating.

  54. Josh D says:

    The fact you agree with the first post shows your inability to recognize Bradley’s overall job. At the very very least, don’t the friendlies and tournaments effect how we seed ourselves at the World Cup? Which directly affects our group positioning which affects how hard it is for us to get out of the group? And doesn’t hold true that a winning mentality brings a winning team? So don’t you want a coach who can win?

    And name me one South American who doesn’t care about every tournament they enter. They want to win, always and so should we!

    That’s not his job though! We enter many tournaments and play in many important games. His job is to develop a team 24/7 as well as pick a team to win a 90 minute game. A real coach prepares his team through friendlies, camps and constant contact throughout the season both with the player and his team.

    It’s not up to Bradley but as the head of state (so to speak) it’s his job to pay attention to them and ensure he meets them. They’re his future team (if he lasts long enough), why wouldn’t he try his best to make sure they’re the best for him? Does a Varsity coach not also pay attention to the JV, knowing full well in a year or two, it’ll be his squad?

    You must see the big picture. Not caring about anything else, save the World Cup is small minded compared to all the possibilities between. What’s the point of playing if it’s not to A. win or B. develop players to win?

    No coach with any nation would survive a period of time where all he did was lose – even if they were all friendlies (see the ex-South African coach).

    Aren’t qualifiers important? Lose them and you don’t even enter the World Cup! Big picture Flawedlogic. (fitting name by the way : ) )

  55. Trilk says:

    Over the moon to see Maurice back on the pitch. I really hope he gets some time because I think he can really contribute in South Africa. Game-shape though is a long ways away I believe.

  56. Dennis says:

    Excuse me! Adu has a soccer brain? Really? He is quick, can dribble and has a good shot, but he often choses poorly when to keep possession and when to dribble. Every player with an ounce of soccer sense knows that at least some of the time defending is important; Adu has not seemed to grasp that yet.
    E.J. has had a bad 4 years. All he ever did was score a lot of goals in qualifying for the 2006 W.C., since that time he spent a year injured and has never recovered the flashes he showed in 2005.

  57. Dennis says:

    Glad we have options in midfield. Too bad we have fewer in the back line and about nothing up top. Injuries will happen, those are unpredictable and without multiple options, there will be disaster. Recall in 2002 Armas, who was an important force at defensive mid, was injured at the just before the W.C. and Mastroeni stepped up big time.
    Bradley has brought in many players. He might not always make the selections some would prefer, but by using a variety of players, he opens up choices going forward. So far the US has likely lost Onweyu and Davies for the W.C. (optimists notwithstanding), who else will go down? Even if you discount the “B” team games Bradley has used lineups that fail to include Donavon, Dempsey, Bradley, Clark, Feilhaber, Cherundalo, DeMerrit, Bocanegra, Howard, etc. at one time or another, sometimes for reason, sometimes not. It is important to see how missing various players affects the rest of the squad and that has been done.
    As for what B.B. has done, he coached the teams to wins in the Gold Cup when it mattered, led the effort to qualify first from CONCACAF, won games on european soil, defeated the #1 ranked team in the world in a game that mattered and led Brazil for a half, all with no players playing for the big teams (Man. U. Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Liverpool, Chelsea, Porto, Bayern, etc.
    Of course, he has failed to please everyone with his selections, but many of those left out are also being left out at their club team, even Torres, whom I like, is only recently a consistent starter and 90 minute player for Pachuca.

  58. Flawedlogic says:

    Josh D,

    The name is in response to what I see as your flawed logic so, yes, it is fitting.

    You are mistaking Bradley for Gulati. Much of that “big picture” stuff is Gulati’s responsibility.

    Obviously, the qualifiers are part of the World Cup thing. I thought that went without saying. Bradley finished first in the group. Is that good enough?

    And as far my saying only World Cup matches matter granted that was a bit of an overstatement, but only a little. The formula, which was revamped in 2007, is a little Byzantine and I am not an expert but but basically when it comes to seeding for the World Cup there are 4 categories of games to consider for the US. In order of importance to the seedings they are:

    1. Friendlies 1

    2. World Cup qualifiers 2.5

    3. Confederations Cup 3.0

    4. World Cup matches 4.0

    They now only consider the last 4 years. The numbers after the categories reflect their relative importance in terms of how they are weighed in the equation.

    The US is not a dominant soccer power. None of their outfield players plays regularly for a top flight club. Compare that to the teams we have to face (Brazil, Spain, England, Italy, etc.) to win things and you will see the problem. By the way, national teams are restricted to players eligible for that country. What that means in English is the manager makes do with what is available. Left back is a problem? Bradley can’t buy Patrice Evra to play left back for the US. You may hate Bornstein but after a nearly 2 year search it should be obvious, even to you, that if there is a better US player for the job, it isn’t likely that he will be that much better. Unless, of course, Castillo, who just got eligible, is much better than the reports indicate.

    That does not mean the US can’t make a lot of noise in a given tournament but it should make people like you realize your expectations are a bit on the wildly unrealistic side.

    I’m sure Bradley and the USSF would love to put on a competitive showing in every tournament they enter but they are not good enough and deep enough. They have a comparatively thin player pool that is spread over two continents. Player availability is usually iffy and practie time is compressed. So, from what I can tell, they have decided to focus largely on the World Cup. Why? Follow the money. You may be a Copa America connoisseur (even if you can’t remember its name), but when you talk about advertising dollars, there is no comparison. But do well in the World Cup and the advertisers love you and may put money in the game. And the casual fan, who the USSF is trying to draw in, will pay more attention to the World Cup. I’ll bet you can’t name me the last 3 Copa America winners. On the other hand most fans can name the last three World Cup winners (Italy, Brazil, and France). If you are going to argue with me that other tournaments count as much, in terms of media profile and overall importance, as the World Cup, particularly with casual fans, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    Bradley clearly sacrificed Copa America for the Gold Cup because the Gold Cup meant access to the Confederations Cup, the perfect prep tournament for the World Cup.

    So yes, Bradley is responsible for how the USMNT will do in the World Cup and Gulati does the “big picture” stuff.

  59. Stephen says:

    You do know he filled in there during the Olympics right? It wouldn’t be a “new” position to him. Maybe not his best but he has played it before.

  60. Stephen says:

    Torres has one disadvantage compared to the other 3…SIZE!!! He is a little smaller than Edu, Jones and Clark, but has made up for it with his ability to keep possession and alow the game down.

  61. Stephen says:

    What about this line up…




    Holden Beasley


    Dempsey Altidore

    Rest of 23: Torres, Feilhaber, Jones, Bradley, Finley, Marshall, Spector, Castillo, Clark, Tracy, Guzan, Hannehman (sp?)