Maurice Edu pens long-term contract with Philadelphia

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Philadelphia Union midfielder Maurice Edu has completed his permanent transfer to Major League Soccer, the parties have confirmed, with the 28-year-old signing a “multi-year deal” according to his new parent club.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed per MLS policy.

Edu has transformed his game with a view towards returning to a long-term spell with the US national team, swapping time between defensive midfielder and central defender, much like Jermaine Jones has done since arriving at New England. It worked, and Edu was solid at both positions for Philadelphia this past season.

Officially on loan from Stoke City for the year, his move has now been made permanent.

In fact, Edu was so good last year that Union head coach Jim Curtain bestowed upon him the highest of honors, calling him “a soccer player.” Wow, high praise.

We kid, but in all seriousness, Edu was solid enough quickly enough that he made the preliminary roster for the World Cup, and although he was cut before the tournament began, he was a surprise cut for many who thought he would be a useful piece to Jurgen Klinsmann in Brazil.

“I couldn’t be happier to permanently return to Philadelphia and to play in front of our great fans,” said Edu upon signing. “I believe in this team’s future and am excited to be an integral part of that.”

It wasn’t always a guarantee he would return. Edu said his contract situation was “out of my hands” after the season, despite declaring he wanted to return. Curtin also said that while he “hopes he is in a Union jersey going forward,” it wasn’t yet a done deal. It is now.

Philadelphia will have likely had to pay a transfer fee for Edu’s permanent switch, but it’s unlikely to be of significant value. He played all of nine minutes for Stoke City during his time in England, despite his approximately $4 million price tag, which caused the Stoke Sentinel to label him as “midfield flop Maurice Edu.” Philadelphia may not be done either, as they’re rumored to be in the running for Sacha Kljestan.