The defensive midfielder is officially the latest American to make a MLS return, as the Union confirm they have finalized a deal.The Philadelphia Union completed the capture of American midfielder Maurice Edu on a year-long loan from Stoke City with the option to buy, the club announced Monday.
He will fill one of the team's Designated Player slots, but specific terms of the deal were not discolsed, per MLS policy.
“As a U.S. international with experience playing against some of the best competition in the world, Maurice adds a wealth of knowledge, skill and leadership to our club while still being in his prime,” Union manager John Hackworth said in a news release. “We think he will be an excellent addition to our squad and we are very excited to have him return to MLS and represent the Philadelphia Union.”
Goal USA reported Friday that the move had been completed after MLS initally balked at Edu's price tag, which was believed to be around $1.5 million a year.
Edu has seen very little playing time at Stoke and most recently saw regular playing time in the spring of 2013 when he was on loan to Turkish club Bursaspor.
The 27-year-old hopes to make enough of an impact on the Union to draw U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann's attention prior to this summer's World Cup. Edu was a regular when Klinsmann took over in 2011 but has seen his minutes drop as he's struggled for time with his club.
The Maryland college product returns to MLS after spending two seasons with Toronto FC at the start of his career. U.S. team regulars Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) and Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) also returned to the North American league after spending several years in Europe.