Maurice Edu took another step forward in his rehab process when he made his first game appearance at any level in 2017, playing for Bethlehem Steel FC against Louisville City FC Sunday.
Edu started the match at defensive middle and he looked comfortable for the whole match.
Playing 32 minutes in the match, Edu completed all 17 passes and made 23 touches in the game. He had pace with the ball and had no troubles controlling passes or sending them. Defensively, Edu even went to the ground a couple of times.
"I kind of played free," Edu said. "I wasn't too worried about my injury at this point. I was just out there just trying to win the game. I felt pretty good. Felt good to be back to be back on the pitch. From a personal stand point I felt good with the minutes I got and like I said I'm just eager to get more."
Head Coach Brendan Burke said the experience Edu brought to the group was beneficial, but what was important was to see him play well in the rehab assignment.
"It's awesome," Burke said. "It's good experience for our guys to be around [Edu] and I was really happy for him. That was a good 30 minutes he played. Really good. Controlled the tempo of the game in midfield and you hope he gets more next time out."
It was an encouraging performance from the midfielder, and walking off the pitch, Edu made it past a big hurdle in his recovery. However, there's still a lot of road to go before he's fully first-team fit.
"The process is what it is," Edu said. "It's out of my control. All I can do is deal with what is in front of me and that is keep working [hard] with the medical staff to get fit. This was the next step in the progression. All good and now I'm eager get some more minutes under my belt and get closer and closer to getting back with the first team as soon as possible."