Maurice Edu is leaving Stoke City FC to join the MLS on loan with Philadelphia Union. He’ll be the Union’s second Designated Player (DP), and he’ll be with it for a year. This is great news to Union fans and to all fans league-wide. The more top-notch American players in the league, the better it will become. Edu joins other U.S. National Team veterans such as Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and, most recently, Michael Bradley.
Edu is a one of the best American midfielders out there. The 27-year-old was first drafted by Toronto FC in 2007, but he eventually took his career over to Europe. Isn’t that the dream? Using MLS as a career starter in hopes of eventually being picked up by a great European club? Well, hopefully it won’t be for much longer.
With players like Donovan and Dempsey staying in the USA, hopefully young soccer players will now see their hometown players as soccer idols. The Leo Messi‘s of the world may always dominate; however, if things continue in this manner, hopefully kids in AYSO will say, “I hope to play for the Seattle Sounders just like Dempsey,” rather than, “I hope to play for Manchester United just like Wayne Rooney.”
American soccer fans who only follow the European or Latin American leagues truly don’t know the talent they’re missing. There is nothing as exhilarating as attending a live soccer match and watching the support groups cheer on the local club. Exhibition matches put on by international teams are fun, but definitely not the same.
I hope that with all these american players returning the MLS, it will get more fans in seats for local clubs. International DPs do bring in more support, but maybe our national DPs will start getting more recognition.