When 9:30 pm rolls around tonight, you should be firmly planted on your couch/recliner with your TV set to ESPN2.
While the Union don’t play until Saturday one of our very own will be taking the field tonight alongside 22 of the most talented Major League Soccer players at the MLS All-Star game in Portland. In the United States it’s commonplace for the All-Star game of a given sport to pit the players from East Coast teams against the players from West Coast teams, but not in the MLS.
Tonight the MLS All-Stars will be taking on German and international powerhouse Bayern Munich. For those that are avid soccer fans you know what kind of talent this team puts out on the field. For those that may be a little newer to the sport here are a few glimpses:
Lewandowski just scored this beautiful chip https://t.co/JoE2ZLcCll— Football Vines (@FootballVines) July 26, 2014
That save from Manuel Neuer. https://t.co/qH3UTK0mip— Football Vines (@Vine_Football) July 24, 2014
With talent like that it’s a daunting task the MLS All-Stars face. Names like Robben, Ribery, Neuer, Götze, Lewandowski, Schweinsteiger and team USA’s own Julian Green would strike fear in any opponent and seems like a matchup out of a Disney movie (hint: Michael Jordan). But for players on both sides of the ball and most importantly our own Boy in Blue, tonight is all about having fun.
Maurice Edu told KYW Newsradio this about his new teammates and tonight's experience, "We enjoy each other’s company. It’s a good chance for us to all catch up and take part in the different events, interact with the fans and represent the league well. And then obviously the game. That’s what we love to do. Playing soccer is what we all love to do, it’s our passion, and now we get a chance to play against one of the best teams in the world. These opportunities don’t come around too often so it’s definitely exciting for all of us and we’re all looking forward to it.”
It's this sort of attitude that has made Edu a fan favorite here in Philadelphia. He has played in 19 games this season for the Union starting all of them. A natural central midfielder, Edu has split time between the midfield and the center of defense. He has been a major reason for why the Union have only lost twice in their past 12 games (all competitions).
Edu has a calming presence on the field, and while it may at times look like he isn’t exerting full effort that’s only because of his pure athleticism. He has been a rock in the back and a provider in the midfielder, he makes those around him better, which is all you can ask for from someone who plays in the positions he is featured in.
When you are watching tonight’s All-Star game sit back and enjoy the talent you see on both sides of the ball. MLS teams actually hold a 7-3-1 record since the format to start playing international competition was adopted, so you shouldn’t expect to see a serious blowout.
MLS All-Stars 2 Bayern Munich 4. The game will be competitive throughout but the overall talent that Bayern puts out on the field will be too much in the end. They are loaded at every position and have the chemistry that the MLS All-Stars desperately lack.
This night is not about winners or losers though it’s about celebrating the performances of players who have been top-class throughout the first part of the MLS season. We are lucky enough to have a local player representing the Union in Portland and Maurice Edu deserves to hear the same chants from a Saturday evening at PPL, tonight, through all our televisions.
What do you think tonight's score will be, and when will Mo enter the game?
Contact Union writer Doug Ammon at email@example.com