The Philadelphia Union's lengthy courtship of Maurice Edu has finally reached a successful conclusion, with the World Cup veteran midfielder leaving Stoke City to return to MLS.
The Union and Stoke City finalized the move for Edu on Friday, giving Philadelphia another major piece to a rebuilding puzzle that is coming together nicely for the MLS club, which recently signed Argentine midfielder Christian Maidana as a designated player.
Edu's move to the Union hit a snag a week earlier after MLS officials balked at Edu's contract demands, believed to be in the $1.5 million a year range. MLS and Edu continued to negotiate, and while it is unclear just what the sides agreed on, what is clear is that Edu has now signed and will return to MLS since leaving Toronto FC to join Glasgow Rangers back in 2008.
Edu has spent the past two years at Stoke City, where he has largely been unable to earn playing time. His last considerable amount of playing time came during a successful loan stint with Turkish side Bursaspor.
Edu chose MLS over a handful of other options, including teams in Turkey and the English Championship. The 27-year-old midfielder will be banking on steady playing time with the Union helping his chances of securing a place on the U.S. World Cup squad this summer.
Edu is the latest American to return to MLS from Europe this winter, a list that includes Michael Bradley and Michael Parkhurst.
Goal USA has also learned the Union are close to completing the acquistion of