Maurice Edu

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

WATCH: Maurice Edu gives retirement video the cartoon treatment

Leave a comment

USMNT midfielder Maurice Edu formally announced his retirement on Monday with a clever animated video paying homage to his family and career.

The video uses Kanye West’s “All the Lights” before ending with a clever nod to Notorious B.I.G. and an inspirational message.

Edu last played in 2017, appearing in three matches for the Philadelphia Union’s USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel.

[ MORE: PL Player of Year candidates ]

The 46-times capped Edu turns 33 next month and played with Toronto FC before moving overseas to Rangers in Scotland, where he scored a famous stoppage time goal in the Old Firm.

And infamously, Edu had a goal controversially ruled offside at the 2010 World Cup.

Injuries followed him the rest of his career, as Edu had trouble staying on the field in stints with Stoke City, Bursaspor, and Philadelphia. He won three league titles and three cups while in Glasgow.

Edu is now a broadcaster on UEFA Champions League coverage in the United States.

Gerrard taking long look at U.S. players Polster, Gutman

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A pair of American full backs are on trial with Steven Gerrard‘s Glasgow Rangers, and could be joining the club soon if they impress the boss.

The players in question are versatile Chicago Fire veteran Matt Polster, 25, and Indiana University senior Andrew Gutman, a potential Homegrown player for the Fire.

[ MORE: Weds. League Cup preview]

Gerrard spoke of both on Tuesday, mentioning the good impression Polster made on him while both were in Major League Soccer. From The Daily Mail:

“I know one of them because I played against him in MLS – Matt Polster, who played for Chicago Fire and who I know is a good player.

“Andrew Gutman is from the college system and very highly thought of so we’re going to have a look at the two of them for seven or eight days. We’ll see how they do and if we like them we’ll try and do it as soon as possible.”

Polster has one cap with the USMNT and has 91 appearances as a fullback and midfielder with the Fire, though he missed most of the 2018 season with a knee injury. He’s out of contract with the Fire on New Year’s Eve.

Gutman scored 20 goals with 17 assists in 90 appearances over four years for the Hoosiers, but is viewed as a left back by Rangers.

Both are vying to become the latest American on Rangers and the first since Emerson Hyndman‘s loan to the Glaswegian outfit from Bournemouth last season. Rangers have seen USMNT stars Carlos Bocanegra, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, and Claudio Reyna on their books.

PST Survey results: What’s the career ceiling for Pulisic?

Guido Kirchner/dpa via AP
Leave a comment

The results of PST’s Big American Soccer Survey are in, and our staff will be walking through the results of thousands of votes in a series of posts this week.

We didn’t realize you could acronymize it to BASS, or else we would’ve done it sooner. So we begin BASS in the same place many American soccer conversations start: with Christian Pulisic.

[ MORE: All Big American Soccer Survey posts ]

The 19-year-old “Don’t call him Wonderboy” admitted to fighting depression after the USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup, but Christian Pulisic is the primary cause for optimism in many circles of U.S. Soccer.

USMNT supporters see him as the key to the future, club coaches see him as an example of how an elite career can be nurtured here, and European export proponents see his exponential growth at Borussia Dortmund as a beacon to call young U.S. talent overseas.

But what is his ceiling?

[ MORE: Rochester Rhinos in jeopardy ]

We supplied three choices for our readership:

  1. European soccer Best XI candidate
  2. Short of world elite, but best American player in history
  3. About where he is now: Key player on a good team

It won’t surprise anyone that Option No. 3 was the least popular, as it’s difficult to believe a healthy Pulisic won’t continue to improve. He’s already one of the most important players on a UEFA Champions League team — and the most important player on the USMNT — at age 19, so the nine percent of people who voted “About where he is now” are mostly cynics or detesters of the game here, in all likelihood.

Thirty-seven percent of fans think he can be a Best XI candidate, which would put him in uncharted American waters. Getting to this point would mean Pulisic would get to a point where voters consider him capable of fitting in a team like the 2016 UEFA Team of the Season. The attack-minded players there only need one of their names: Messi, Griezmann, Ronaldo, Modric, Iniesta.

Now, this also would mean that Pulisic would need to either lead Borussia Dortmund to a Bundesliga crown and/or deep into the UEFA Champions League, and that leaves this poll option a massive bet by voters. He could also be an otherworldly playmaker on a second-tier team, but would need to just dominate. In the last three seasons, guess who many teams have placed a player on the Best XI?

Seven. That’s 33 spots taken by seven teams. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester United. PSG has one (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) while United had a half (Angel Di Maria played for the Red Devils and Real that season).

Which brings us to the majority vote: 54 percent of voters think Pulisic will not quite reach world elite, but will be the best player in United States history. This would mean passing the accolades of Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, and Landon Donovan. From a team standpoint, this won’t be terribly hard.

[ MORE: Dempsey wins award ]

Pulisic has won the German Cup. Howard has a League Cup, FA Cup, and Community Shield. Dempsey played in a Europa League final with Fulham, while Donovan won all of his club accolades in Major League Soccer.

What would it take for Pulisic to take a step into that category while staying in Europe (Forgive us for assuming a healthy Pulisic could return to MLS at any time in the next dozen years and contribute like Dempsey at the very least)? Would he need to join the rarefied air of aforementioned clubs like Real or Bayern Munich? Lothar Matthaus thinks he can do a job at the latter.

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

At a certain point, naysayers like to say Pulisic is being overhyped. We get that. As a culture we’ve gone through varying degrees of that, from Maurice Edu all the way up (or down) to Freddy Adu. But no player in U.S. history, at his age, has been nominated for the Goldenboy Award. Donovan didn’t make a senior appearance at Bayer Leverkusen until 22, and Pulisic has 71 first team apps for BVB with 10 goals and 14 assists.

Transfermarkt has two comparable players for him right now: Leroy Sane and Anthony Martial. WhoScored rates him as the 21st best player in the Bundesliga this season. Squawka says only one player in Germany is attempting more take-ons per game, and has him as a Top 50 per game attacker, though his possession stats are not so hot. He’s 19. This isn’t overhype, considering it’s a foray into the American unknown: It’s legit hype.

This is the great unknown, paved by the work of Dempsey and Howard, Bocanegra and Reyna, Keller and even McBride. While we should sit back and enjoy it all, there’s no doubt the focus will only continue to grow on Pulisic. It seems, wonderfully, that pressure doesn’t bother the kid.

Imagine his prime. We know you are.

Shipp, Beasley among names eligible for Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Protected lists have been released for Major League Soccer’s Expansion Draft, scheduled for Tuesday to help aid in roster construction for Atlanta United and Minnesota United.

Like the SuperDraft, a team can reap plenty from the Expansion Draft. Unfortunately, it can also be more of an avenue to acquire assets than select on-field components.

Only 10 players will be selected in this season’s draft, and no team can lose more than a single player. At most, Atlanta and Minnesota will add five names to their lists.

[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]

While there are names “available” that have retired or stated their intentions to move on — Steven Gerrard, Didier Drogba, and Brad Davis among them — there’s plenty to like from the list.

Sebastian Le Toux, Harry Shipp, Jose Goncalves, Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Frank Lampard, Maurice Edu, Charlies Davies, Clarence Goodson, Alvaro Fernandez, Chance Myers, Steven Beitashour, Clint Irwin, and Giles Barnes among the productive names available.

Some, like DaMarcus Beasley and Will Johnson, are eligible for free agency at 4 p.m. EDT. The expansion draft is at 1 p.m.

Notable names left unprotected

Chicago: Arkshakyan, Cocis, Gehrig, Harrington, LaBrocca, McLain, Morrell, Stephens, Ramos, Thiam

Colorado: Burch, Burling, Berner, Castillo, C. Doyle, J. Jones, Le Toux, Pappa, Ramirez, St. Ledger, Watts, M. Williams

Columbus: Ashe, Clark, Duka, Francis, Hollingsworth, Mabwati, C. Martinez, Pacifici, Saied, Saravia, Sauro, Stuver, Wahl

DC: Boswell, Dykstra, Franklin, Horton, Jeffrey, A. Kamara, Korb, Mishu, Opare, Rolfe, Saborio, Worra

Dallas: Dos Santos, Bonner, David, Harris, Herman, M. Hernandez, Lizarazo, Loyd, Ortiz, Paparatto, Pitter, Rosales, Ruiz, Seitz

Houston: Arboleda Quinones, Beasley, C. Brown, K. Brown, Garcia Iniquez, Garcia, Horst, Lovejoy, Maidana, Mansally, Rodriguez, Steinberger, Warner, S. Williams

LA: Aguilar, Da Silva, Donovan, Garcia, Gerrard, Gordon, Husidic, Keane, Kennedy, Larentowicz, Lassiter, Magee, Romney

Montreal: Bekker, Bernier, Dia, Drogba, Fisher, Kronberg, Mallace, Oduro, Ontivero, Salazard, Shipp, Toia

New England: D. Barnes, Goncalves, Hollinger-Janzen, Knighton, Kobayaski, McCrary, Neumann, Shuttleworth, Smith, Turner, Watson, Woodberry

NYC: Brandt, Bravo, Gomez, J. Hernandez, Johansen, Lampard, D. Martinez, Mena, Mendoza, Rawls, Saunders, Taylor, White

RBNY: Abang, Baah, Bilyeu, Damari, Duvall, Long, Ouimette, Perrinelle, Reynish, S. Wright-Phillips, Zizzo, Zubar

Orlando City: Alston, Ambrose, Baptista, Barry, Boden, Carrasco, Edwards, Garcia, Hines, Mateos, Ribeiro, Rocha, Rochez

Philadelphia: Barnetta, Carroll, Conceicao, Davies, Edu, Fernandes, Gaddis, Jones, McCarthy, Missimo, Restrepo, Tribbett, Washington

Portland: Asprilla, Barmby, N. Besler, Borchers, Brett, Hamilton, Igboananike, Klute, Konopka, McInerney, Okugo, Peay, Polk, J. Taylor, S. Taylor, Thoma, Valentin, Zemanski

RSL: Attinella, Baez, Garcia, Morales, Okwounu, Olave, Sandoval, Stertzer, Welshman, Wingert

San Jose: Amarikwa, Barrera, Barrett, Colvey, Emeghara, Francis, Goitom, Goodson, Lenhart, Meredith, Pelosi, Quintero, Sherrod, Silva, Stewart, Wynne

Seattle: Farfan, Anderson, A. Fernandez, Fisher, Friberg, Gomez, Ivanschitz, Lowe, Lyon, Mears, Ockford, Remick, Sturgis, Valdez

Sporting KC: E. Alvarado, Appiah, Coelho, Davis, Hallisey, Joya, Kann, Mapp, Myers, Nagamura, Olum, Peterson, Porter, Sinovic

Toronto: Babouli, Beitashour, Bloom, Cheyrou, Irwin, Johnson, Lovitz, Ricketts, Roberts, Simonin, Williams

Vancouver: Aird, G. Barnes, De Jong, Edgar, Flores, Kudo, Levis, Morales, Perez, Seiler, Smith, Techera, Tornaghi

In 2014, Orlando City and NYCFC had plenty of hits and misses. NYC’s picks of Tommy McNamara was a home run, while Ned Grabavoy was certainly serviceable. Orlando’s draft was largely forgettable.

Montreal’s 2011 selections bore some fruit in Justin Mapp, Jeb Brovsky, Collen Warner, and Sanna Nyassi all appearing for the Impact. Seth Sinovic was selected from KC and traded back for Davy Arnaud, while Brian Ching was traded back to Houston for a first-round pick.

Follow @NicholasMendola

College Soccer Update: Maryland goes No. 1; Cuse, Notre Dame play Friday

umterps.com
2 Comments

Sasho Cirovski’s Maryland program has no problem landing blue chip recruits, so adding the nation’s leading scorer on a transfer just seems unfair.

You might remember Gordon Wild’s name from this space last year, as the German burst onto the scene with USC Upstate and netted 16 times as a freshman.

[ MORE: Pulisic starts again as BVB rolls ]

While USC Upstate certainly won’t love the development, Cirovski was waiting with open arms when Wild decided to seek a challenge bigger than the one provided by the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Wild didn’t need to sit a year after transferring to Maryland — a program which has produced Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Robbie Rogers, Clarence Goodson, and Maurice Edu amongst others — and his eight goals in seven games show his form is carrying over well.

— Still, all those things said, I’ll never understand polls.

Notre Dame was No. 1 last week, and fell to 6-1 over the next 7 days after a loss to Louisville.

Syracuse entered the latest Top 25 coaches polling period 7-0, having won at NC State and defeated No. 15 Boston College at home. Five of those wins were shutouts.

[ MORE: Wenger praises 2-goal Perez ]

So who’s No. 1 now? Not Cuse, but 5-0-2 Maryland. The Terps and Orange both have 11 first-place votes, while Notre Dame still managed a pair.

The Orange handled the issue well, belting Cornell 3-1 on Tuesday night to move to 8-0. Up next is a Friday date at Notre Dame. Must-watch.

— Keep an eye on Denver, which is following up a very good 2015 season with a 7-0-1 start. They’ve allowed four goals all season — three have come via penalty kicks — and the Pioneers basically brought everyone back from their 15-1-3 season in 2015.

— I had the pleasure of meeting some players this summer who come from a very unusual college system at LIU Brooklyn. The Blackbirds made an NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach T.J. Kostecky last season, and the man has an unusual directive for his players on offense: They don’t talk.

Kostecky is a preacher of “vision training”, in which the coach implores his players simply to “look around” and anticipate the game. His players say the quiet tactics take some time to get used to, but then become second nature.

[ MORE: Zidane, Simeone defend Neymar’s “antics” ]

Claudio Reyna is one of the disciples of this training, and vision training was a topic on Glenn Crooks’ radio show last week.

That reminded me to check in on LIU, which has two of the more gifted young players in the Northeast. Danish attacker Rasmus Hansen and Norwegian midfielder Simen Hestnes were All-Northeast Conference as freshmen, and they’ve picked up where they left off.

Hansen had two goals and three assists this weekend and Hestnes had a goal and two helpers as LIU Brooklyn knocked off No. 22 Rider 2-1 and Manhattan 4-1.

Three Stars

  1. Simon Hestnes, sophomore, LIU Brooklyn — See above.
  2. Christian Thierjung, senior, Cal — Scored five goals against Harvard.
  3. Mohamed Thiaw, junior, Louisville — Scored fourth goal of year in 1-0 upset of No. 1 Notre Dame.

Other notes

— The nation’s leading scorer remains Russell Cicerone of the University at Buffalo, and the 10-goal man is also second in assists with six. The playmaking wizard is a surefire top-end pick in the next MLS SuperDraft.

[ MORE: EFL Cup roundup ]

— The national lead for assists belongs, however, to talented Canadian forward Brian Wright. He has nine, and should be closely watched by MLS teams ahead of the draft as well.

— Other No. 1-ranked teams:

Men’s D2- Charleston
Men’s D3- Trinity (Texas)
Women’s D1- Stanford
Women’s D2- Grand Valley State
Women’s D3- Williams