Even before arriving on the professional soccer scene in 2007, Union midfielder Maurice Edu turned heads for the spectacular plays he’s been able to make in a variety of roles. It’s a trait that has Edu, 28, one step closer to representing the United States for the second time in the world’s biggest sporting event, this summer's FIFA World Cup.
On Monday afternoon, U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced that Edu will join 30 others on the preliminary World Cup roster in Palo Alto, California. On the heels of that announcement, it got the wheels spinning here at philadelphiaunion.com to wonder what are some of the best MOments of his seven year pro career – one that has spanned two continents and four different teams.
Here’s what we came up with. Check them out, see what he thought and then vote for your favorite MOment below.
1. Rangers vs. Celtic FC (Feb. 28, 2010)
This goal at the death ultimately gave Rangers claim of the Scottish League title that season after Rangers went 10 points clear of their most bitter rival. It was a right place, right time sort of goal, as Edu explained: “I came in that game off the bench. It was big for me to score that goal because the [standings] were set and with a win we would’ve secured a shot at winning the title. For me to do it is something I’ll never forget.”
2. United States vs. Czech Republic (May 25, 2010)
This one was Edu’s first ever goal for the United States. In a send-off match for the U.S. against the Czech Republic, Edu finishes off a great ball into the danger area on a free kick from Stuart Holden and side foots the ball past one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Chelsea’s Petr Cech.
“Anytime you score a goal for your country it is memorable and scoring that goal and ultimately winning that game was fantastic,” Edu said. “It’s great to feel like you were a part of something special.”
3. United States vs. Slovenia (June 18, 2010)
It wasn’t a goal...but it should have been. In a memorable match in which the United States came back from two goals down to draw in its second match of the group stage in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it looked as if Edu was going to be the hero after darting into the box and shooting past the Slovenian goalkeeper, but Malian referee Koman Coulibaly, officiating his first ever World Cup match, waved the goal off – and gave no real explanation.
“I just remember yelling ‘what’s the call, what’s the call’ but he never really had an answer for us. It’s every kid’s dream who plays soccer [to score in a World Cup]. To have it taken away, yeah it hurt.”
4. Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire (May 12, 2007)
Forever referred to as the “Seat Cushion Game,” a goal from Edu in this match (his first ever in MLS) was instrumental in securing a win for Toronto at newly opened BMO Field. Edu took a cross into the box and blasted it on a volley into Chicago’s net. That was also the day TFC had a promotion where they gave out seat cushions. Following the goal and the win, fans flung the cushions like frisbees and littered the field with them in celebration.
“It was mayhem,” Edu remembered. “The crowd went crazy and that was the day they gave out those seat cushions and [after the goal and we won] the field was just flooded with them…overall it was just a great day for the club, myself and everyone involved.”
5. Union vs. Chicago (April 5, 2014)
It took Maurice Edu just five games into the season to score his first goal for the Union, this one on a quick turn and laser shot past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Coincidentally, Edu’s first ever goals for teams in MLS have come against Chicago, with his first coming in a MLS Rookie of the Year season while in Toronto in 2007 and this one a little over a month ago it what resulted in a 2-2 draw for the Union.
“I would have preferred to have that goal come in a win for our club, but getting a goal in Philadelphia was a great feeling,” said Edu. “It’s what I promised the fans when I got here and it was good to deliver. We are having a tough stretch now, but I know tough stretches are temporary, so I am looking forward to scoring a whole lot more.”
Which moment is your favorite? Also which MOment do you think was Edu’s favorite?
Vote below and later this week, we’ll reveal which MOment, he liked best.
Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at email@example.com