Injury Update

Edu out for at least 3 months

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin said on Wednesday that Maurice Edu will be out for at least three months with a stress fracture in his lower left leg.

Curtin said the team received X-ray confirmation of the injury “a couple of days ago.”

Curtin said, “It’s good that we have clarity now. It’s a tough blow but, at the same time, I have a good group of players that I believe in that will step up in his absence, and we’ll be OK.”

Curtin acknowledged that after Edu’s fracture heals it will still be some time before he is fit enough to be available for selection. “He has to get back with our group on the field before we can even talk about Mo again contributing to the group.”

Edu has not played a competitive match since the US Open Cup final on September 30 and spent much of the offseason recovering from sports hernia surgery.

Among those players Curtin mentioned as playing the No. 6 were Brian Carroll, Warren Creavalle, and Vincent Nogueira.

In his press conference last week, Curtin related that Edu was suffering from what had been diagnosed at the time as a stress reaction injury.

Here are Curtin’s opening comments on Edu from today’s press conference:

Bad news on the Union end from the team perspective. We’ll be losing Maurice Ed for a significant amount of time. There’s a fracture that was found in his leg. A frustrating process, I think, for everybody involved in terms of finding a diagnosis; a lot of things don’t always show up on MRIs or bone scans. Finally got to the bottom of it though and the X-ray revealed there’s a fracture there. He’ll be out at a minimum three months time.

So, a big blow to a lot of the foundation of what we planned to do this year in terms of having him in the No. 6 role. But, having said that, Mo hasn’t been with us in the preseason. He’s a big part of what we want to do, a big leader. But, at the same time, it’ll be a next guy has to step up. We’ve been without him for a long time in the preseason and guys have performed well. So, we’ll expect more of the same. We need to have a good mentality, stick together through a tough time — injuries happen, they’re part of the game.

Asked for details on how Edu could work to maintain fitness while he heals, Curtin said,

You can maintain fitness through swimming and all these things, but any pro knows that it doesn’t come close to replicating the game. The reality is that he’s going to be on crutches, he’s going to be in a boot for a while, and the fitness is not the same that you get in a swimming pool as it is chasing around Castillo and Mauro Diaz, it’s just not.

He has to get back with our group on the field before we can even talk about Mo again contributing to the group.

Curtin also provided an update on Tranquillo Barnetta, who was described in last week’s press conference as dealing with tendonitis of the knee from an old injury, a condition now described in the latest injury report on the league website as osteoarthritis. Curtin said,

He’s running. Again, he’ll be kind of a week-to-week situation but, at the same time, we have to be smart with his knee. He knows his body well. Our doctors do a great job, our rehab people do a great job, and we’ll assess it. I’ll talk with Tranquillo every day and continue to see what’s best for that situation.



  2. Man, this team is screwed. If they can’t find a better Plan B than Brian Carroll, it’s going to be a very long spring.

    • I think this is Curtin’s final test. If he can’t come up with a solution better than starting Carroll every game for 3 months Earnie will know what’s up.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Well said… and with that said… he’s gone by the Copa in June.

      • I’m not ready to condemn him yet. He can go the creavalle route and see what he gets. Or move Alberg or barnetta back (provided barnetta is healthy). But you’re right, this will be telling. Curtin needs to actively solve it better than what Carroll gave us last game.

  3. “It’s good that we have clarity now.” – Gen. George Custer

  4. Could the #6 play #6? Alberg? I thought someone said he had experience at holding mid. Carroll is not the answer.

    • Agree on Alberg. Solid alternative based on what’s known of him.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I can play the #6… hell, I’ll bet you could play the #6… and I’ve never met you! HA! My point is that Brian Carroll is a fine depth, sub, spot-starter guy. He better not be playing significant minutes. Period.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I have just looked up Alberg on the Transfermarkt [sic] website. It does NOT list defensive center midfield as a secondary position for him, does not.
      He played there sometimes among the first thirty minutes he wore a Union shirt in his first preseason game against Jacksonville. He, Nogueira and Barnetta were the three central midfielders and they were interchanging quite well, hence occasionally looking like he occupied the #6 slot. But Nogueira was the primary #6 for that half an hour.

      • Then wasn’t the better move starting Alberg & Nogs in the middle? If not match fit, Alberg gives way to BC after 70.

  5. DomesticCat610 says:


  6. Darth Harvey says:

    dump him for a DP Striker??? I don’t know what sort of swirling mysticism makes up MLS contracts, but if they aren’t guaranteed and you can get out of it now…shoot the horse and find one the one that can score goals

    this ins’t coming from a total place of hate, although I was never a big fan of him. This should be done to clear up our already clogged midfield, end that BS controversy, and designate it toward a proven goalscorer that can elevate this team. I think we can agree that Maurice Edu is not going to be the essential building block toward Union success.Your highest paid player should be your Lebron James, your hands down best player on the field for at least 50% of your games. I don’t recall a single game where you can say, “Man, if it wasn’t for Edu, we don’t win that game” ….or more appropriately within the Union context “Man, if it wasn’t for Edu, that game would’ve gotten a whole lot uglier.”

    not worth the money

    • Per MLS roster rules you can’t buy out a contract during the season. They also can’t loan him to Bethlehem or get cap relief by putting him on the IR. They’d have to move him to another team to free up his cap hit. If you know a team looking for an aging injured CDM I’m sure the Union FO will take a listen.

  7. Mickey Goldmill says:

    It has to be Crevalle.
    Can I ask a question… was he not receiving serial scans? An X-ray…. confirmed this after all this time?
    Am I missing something?
    Am I nit picking?
    Did anybody ask where the fx is?
    According to the manager it is ‘there’ well where? The guys been in a walking boot for a month.
    Im annoyed.
    Im of the opinion this season resided with Barnettas availability but I’m pissed off that after a whole off season and now a game we are just figuring out Maurice Edu has a bone fx. WTF.
    One game in and I’m struggling..
    Okay I feel better.. .. Moving on.

    • These things can be hard to find. As a runner, stress fractures can be a difficult thing.

      • Mickey Goldmill says:

        I understand for you and me…. he’s a professional athlete walking around in a boot for almost 4 weeks though… and yesterday’s X-ray confirmed it. I’m being over the top but we just found out Maurice Edu is goi g to miss over 1/3 of a season 3 days after the first game.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I agree with A.
        I slipped on an icy hill last year. The leg both would and would not support me. The ER docs listened carefully and found nothing on the XRay, but told me to go see an orthopedic doc. I got a wise old experienced head and told him my symptoms. He confirmed the film from the ER showed nothing, ordered another one at his office, but with some torsion on the bone and with the leg set on the plate not just flat and not just vertically, but at an angle calculated to expose where he thought the fracture was based on his fingers probing and my reactions to them. It was a non-displaced crack and confirmed the sometime inability to take weight.
        The Union angle is that the first expedition by myself driving later in the winter was to see,the Union Open Practice for 2015 at YSC.

  8. Saw this coming.

  9. 3 months plus a couple more weeks to get up to speed puts him coming back after the Copa break. Just in time for the new coach! Haha, just kidding….sort of.

  10. I hear Amobi is looking for a team right now. Any chance he and Curtin hash out their differences?

  11. pragmatist says:

    Well, people weren’t convinced he could hold down the #6 and maintain discipline. Maybe we’ll find someone (Creavalle, Alberg) who can.
    Any chance someone like Anderson or Tribbett could man that spot, with the other guys staying at CB? (Yes, I’m completely reaching…but trying to process how this team keeps breaking mirrors).

  12. Has anyone considered if yaro could learn this position long term? Would seem to fit more of his skill set then CB long term…..again I’m reaching as much as anyone else here is.

  13. HopkinsMD says:

    Rosenberry – Marquez/Tribbett/Anderson – Fab
    Nogs – Alberg
    Fernandez – Ilshino – Pontius
    But Curtin may want to keep Alberg for off-the-bench. If so, Crevalle instead.

    • pragmatist says:

      I’d consider LeToux back on the right wing. Play Ilsinho/Fernandes in a platoon situation out of the middle for now. Neither are at their best on the right wing.
      Not saying it’s ideal, but an option.

      • HopkinsMD says:

        No argument from me. Good thought.
        I am really curious to see Alberg, Nogs and Ilsinho together.
        Of course, we NEED a healthy Barnetta ASAP.

      • pragmatist says:

        Considering our luck, I’m just assuming that Barnetta is as healthy as Joel Embiid at this point.
        Count on the players you have on the field. Don’t bank on the injured to be saviors.
        And pray that Earnie is dipping into that Euro Rolodex for some pre-summer phone calls.

      • Atomic Spartan says:

        A healthy Barnetta? Given the peals of laughter coming from the soccer gods right now: not likely. Good thing we’ve been collecting middies like we used to collect GK’s, but the auguries are unfavorable. JC may as well consult his magic 8-ball for an answer… Wait, he already did that for opening day.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      Crevalle,a conversion or an acquisition. Alberg too valuable as an attacker

  14. pragmatist says:

    You who would be good to have around right now? Lahoud.

  15. sam philly says:

    Why didn’t the FO get rid of him during the offseason? He hasn’t shown that he’s worth his salary even when he’s healthy, now he’s going to miss half the season for an injury that is a complication of a surgery that the team has known about since the end of last season. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be in the ‘aw shucks, it can’t be helped’ crowd if this was a random injury he picked up, but this setback was entirely foreseeable. There’s no excuse for this kind of roster mismanagement under ES.
    Hell, half the commenters on this site saw this sort of thing coming, yet the professionals who’re being paid can’t see it? I’m hoping that there’s something in Edu’s contract that prevents dumping him, because that’s about the only excuse this team has for this screw-up.

    • The injury has nothing to do with his surgery. It’s an overuse injury that just happens. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. That said, we cannot compound the error and just keep trotting Carroll out there.

      • It happened during his rehab from the surgery.

      • Yeah, but has nothing to do with the surgery. It had to do with him getting ready for the season. stress fractures in your legs have nothing to do with hernia surgery rehab.

      • sam philly says:

        I know you’re right, but it still seems like too much of a coincidence to me that he picks up two unprovoked injuries back to back.
        In any case, my point was that even if things had gone as planned and Edu stayed healthy, he’s still being paid too much compared to what he brings to the team. And while I agree that things can’t always go as hoped, whether things fall outside of the plan is dependent on how good of a planner you have. In this case, given that the Union loaned out Lahoud and never replaced him on the depth chart, it seems that we have a fairly lousy planner. And this sort of thing wasn’t unforeseeable, just ask sieve. I guess I just expected more from someone as lauded as ES. We’re still missing a starting left back, CDM depth, striker depth, and I’m not sure we even have a single starting quality CB between the four we have on the team (we’ve yet to see what Marquez can do without Edu at his side).

      • Fair points and this is beginning to really be a trend with Edu. I can’t say I’ve always loved him or anything either as he never seems to really play up to his potential. That said, we knew the roster was not going to be a finished project this year. I think the team thinks Creavalle is better than Lahoud and from the little I have seen I would have to agree. Now that being said, if we keep trotting Carroll out there I’m going the angry mob. As for LB, well, I got nothing. Probably is a spot to spend good money as the league as a whole seems to stink there.

      • It’s still something that should have been closely monitored by team doctors.

  16. All of this pointless debating. We all know Brian Carroll will be playing the #6 again on Saturday. If Curtin deploys him as a starter in that role for a significant amount of time this season, we can expect a lot of games where our midfield gets overrun. He just doesn’t have the speed or range necessary to play against most of the teams in the league these days.

  17. Does there have to be a true #6? Play a midfield trio of Barnetta, Nogs, and Ilshino/Alberg with Barnetta and Nogs switching on and off between the defensive/offensive roles based on game situation and positioning.

  18. Edu did not break his leg on purpose, lay off.
    Curtin can only go with what his med staff tells him, HE doesn’t to order med tests…Lay off.
    NOW we get to the issue, and it’s one I’ve questioned quite a bit in my three years as a STH. Why does it always seem that out guys catch an injury, we get a return estimate, and it’s ALWAYS the case that player is out far longer than the original estimate?
    I really think the fitness staff needs to be examined very closely and it’s practices and personnel possibly overhauled.
    In the “Plan, Do, Study, Act” paradigm or effective organizations, I’m guessing this will be something that Earnie has to live with and study for awhile, but he WILL act.
    In Earnie I trust

  19. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Premier Orthopaedics

  20. Blame it on Sak or J.H., they have to get rid of everybody in that organization and start from scratch, same old shit different year

  21. Edu’s situation would have been a major disaster, if they had been letting him train and behaving like there was no injury. as far as i can tell, he has been in a boot, off the pitch and completely away from the game. I think that the sad truth is that had they found the fracture two months ago, nothing would have changed regarding Mo. The only change would have been in JC’s and Ernie’s minds. They’d have been looking for a solution sooner.

  22. This is just terrible news, as we really don’t have a great long-term replacement for him. But the people who said they can’t believe they didn’t get an X-ray until now should chill. If he isn’t getting surgery, then it didn’t matter — he’ll be out until it heals, and diagnosing earlier would likely have made very little difference.

  23. Old Soccer Coach says:

    My best thought is to push Nogueira to #6, put Alberg at #8, and Ilsinho/Barnetta at 10, improvising only because it is more than three months before Edu returns. When Alberg tires, move Nogueira to #8 and Creavalle in to #6. Hernandez becomes the sub for both #8 and #10. No one at BSFC can be ready yet.

  24. That's so... says:

    I hope this doesn’t mean 3 months of Rangers greatest goals on his twitter. In all seriousness, I hope he recovers and look forward to his return. Its a long season and by the time he comes back whatever DP striker we’ve purchased will be hurt and we’ll be lamenting that instead.

  25. Nah, the answer isn’t who is to replace Mo (who is incredibly under-appreciated by some). If the U is looking to compete this season, the answer is to switch formations completely and go with 2 up top. Any way you look at it, the U is getting gashed without Mo at either the 6 or at the 5. So, I’d actually switch it up and play 4-1-2-1-2. If you do this though, Keegan and Fabihno are your outside backs because they’re the guys that have to be making cannonball runs up the wing. So, the diamond in the middle probably needs to be anchored by Nogs, Barnetta on the left side of the diamond, Alberg on the right side, Ilsihno up top. CJ and Herbers are the target players above the diamond. And go acquire another F immediately.
    You gotta try to score 2-3 goals / game and hope that the center core of Richie, Anderson, and Blake holds up. That’s the only way I don’t see this turning into a total disaster.

  26. The Chopper says:

    One more thing that Stewart needs to examine is the Union training and medical staff. Watching all the injuries, re-injuries, misdiagnoses and ineffective rehabs over the seasons, leaves me with little confidence that we have a quality operation in that regard. I am no medical professional, but this club seems to have more than fair share of difficulties keeping players on the field.

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