Maurice Edu has witnessed plenty of positive moments through his first six regular season matches with the Philadelphia Union.
He’s expecting a whole lot more.
Edu headed home Cristian Maidana’s header in the 90th minute to help preserve a huge point in a 2-2 draw against Real Salt Lake Saturday at PPL Park.
For large parts of the match, the Union executed very well. At other times, they were a bit off.
But Edu likes what he sees so far.
“It’s been interesting to say the least,” Edu said. “I think we’ve shown that we are capable of being a good team in this league. We’ve shown we can play. We can beat the best teams. We’ve also shown that we have to be able to play 90 minutes. We had a lapse today where we dropped off a little bit and they got a goal. We showed a lot of heart and character to get back in the game and now we’ve got to go that extra step. We’ve put ourselves in good positions to win games and now we’ve got to go out and actually do it.”
When captain Brian Carroll came off for Maidana in the 76th minute, the armband was passed to Edu.
“It’s an honor for me and I’d like to say that Brian Carroll is a great captain,” Edu said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. For me, its not that important because I play the same way. I like Brian Carroll and I respect him as a captain. It’s important for guys to all assume a leadership role. It’s important to not just have one leader on the pitch but 11. Everybody has got to have that mentality to win and lead us to the win. That’s how we’re going to be successful this season.”
Edu joined the Union and immediately was impressed with his new teammates. That has only been enhanced through these first six matches.
It’s simply a little thing here or there that needs to be tweaked.
"We have so much talent on this club,” said Edu, whose goal helped the Union move to 1-1-4 (seven points). “There’s so much talent at every position. We have a group here with extremely high character and passion for the game. I’m excited to be here and part of this club and to see where we can go. I don’t think anyone is panicking or anything like that. We just have to stay the course, keep training hard and working hard and everything will take care of itself.”
Edu has scored two goals thus far for the Union in addition to a recent call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team, which wound up being a 2-2 draw against Mexico at University of Phoenix Stadium. In that match, Edu even came on as a substitute in the 72nd minute.
Edu came back sharp and it has been beneficial for the Union.
“I think it’s great to get a call-up like that and play and it helped when I came back here to the Union,” Edu said. “Any experience at the National Team level is always helpful. I’m back here and my goal is to help us win games. I’m honored to be here with the Union and I know we have a lot to prove. With the guys here in this locker room, we have so much talent and there’s so much season left to go out and prove what we can do.”
Catch Edu and the Union this Wednesday against rivals the New York Red Bulls. Watch on WACP TV-4 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Check out the channel guide below so you can tune in!
Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at email@example.com