Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Maurice Edu

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Last week, the Philadelphia Union followed an all too familiar script in which they struggled to establish their attacking identity and conceded a great deal of possession to their opposition. It’s often said that there is only one important statistic in soccer, the final score. While this is true to an extent, the Union have shown that allowing your opponent the majority of the ball cannot be a long term source of sustainable success. In doing so, Jim Curtin’s men find themselves chasing play and running on heavy legs long before the 90th minute. This fatigue becomes evident not just the team’s tendency to allow second half goals, but in the plethora of injuries suffered by key players such as Christian Maidana, Vincent Nogueira, Fernando Aristeguieta, and Maurice Edu.

Currently, the Union are averaging 1.63 goals allowed a game, with only the struggling Toronto side allowing more. Damning as it may be, this number isn’t at all reflective of how the Union’s backline has performed. The center back due of Steven Vitoria and Maurice Edu has come under relentless pressure during the last few games, and their partnership is almost single handedly responsible for limiting opposition attacks that have included the likes of Lee Nguyen, Juan Agudelo, Mix Diskerud, and David Villa.

It is difficult to overstate how much Maurice Edu elevates the play of all of his defensive teammates, particularly Steven Vitoria, who seems to grow more comfortable in each passing game. It’s a shame that the pair’s play has been largely overlooked, most recently thanks to second half goals by Charlie Davies and Teal Bunbury, goals in which neither shared a great deal of responsibility.

It’s also notable that Edu assisted C.J. Sapong’s game-tying goal against NYCFC, set up Christian Maidana’s beautiful free kick last Sunday, and nearly scored a late equalizer against New England on two separate occasions. For his combined offensive and defensive outputs, Edu is PSP’s player of the week.

Honorable mention: Cristian Maidana

Through his limited appearances in the 2015 season, Christian Maidana has shown just how important he is to the Union attack. Thus far, Maidana has managed a goal — Sunday’s beauty of a free kick — and two assists, while being involved in creating three more goals against RSL. Plain and simple: with Maidana on the field, the Union are a better, stronger, more threatening team. May full match fitness return soon.


  1. Completely agree with this week’s pick. I really believe Mo is an under appreciated player here.

    • The Black Hand says:

      He’s appreciated. He’s just not inflated. Mo’s efforts were impossible to overlook. He was everywhere. That said, he was not without mistakes. He needs to make sure that the rest of his back line are covered, when he decides to be a box-2-box CB. His primary duties are that of a CB. This said, he was the man of the match…only, the black-handed, Aristigueta’s efforts were in the same universe.

  2. Hear hear for this pick. Edu has been really acting like a leader on this team, especially since M’bolhi has been gone. It’s the combination of his play and his leadership that make him worth the $$$ we’re paying him.

  3. Excellent choice. Edu is one of the top 3-4 CB in MLS. If he had the support that say Jermaine Jones has to pass to he’d probably be the best and be called up to the USMNT. Edu is the player this team should be built around with complimenting talent support and depth. Unfortunately we are stuck with Sugarman and Sakiewicz for the time being.

    Sell this team to a competent and financially competitive owner!!


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