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2015 Union Player Review: Maurice Edu

Maurice Edu struggled to replicate his first season with the Union and was partially responsible for the Union having one of the worst defenses in the league.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

2015 Summary

Maurice Edu did an admirable job keeping this Philadelphia Union team together in the midst of a tumultuous season filled with drama, heartbreak and awful results. However, Edu was also the main member of a defensive unit that seemed to hemorrhage goals on a weekly basis. His 2015 season was nowhere near as successful as his debut with the team last year which has led many to question the long term viability of Edu with the Union.

What did he do right?

When he wasn't injured, Edu was the defender that fans expected to be on the field week in and week out. This was because he was arguably the best defender for the Union all year. Richie Marquez certainly made a case for defender of the year due to some excellent performances later in the year, but Edu was the player that Curtin could rely on for a solid performance. His athleticism made him a constant threat in the air both defensively and offensively and he was often able to make the last ditch tackle to save goals.

What did he do wrong?

When a team performs as poorly as the Union, it's easy to pick out what players did wrong and Edu is no different. Whether playing defensive midfield or center back, Edu had the tendency to drift too far out of position or join the attack at inopportune times. Both of his positions require him to be the last line of defense in front of the back four or the goalie and Edu seemed to forget his responsibilities far too often. Edu's salary is also a big reason why expectations remain high for him. He is expected, and rightly so, to be the Union's best player throughout the season and far too often Edu was the reason that goals were allowed.

Most memorable moment

For the second consecutive year, Edu's most memorable moment came in the Open Cup final. Last year it was the opening goal against Seattle and this year it was the gut wrenching penalty miss against Sporting Kansas City. Hobbled with injury prior to the final, Edu struggled to get fit prior to the match and it certainly showed. He seemed slightly off the pace throughout the game and when extra time ended at 120 minutes, Edu seemed visibly hurt. His injury, along with a baffling decision to stutter-step prior to his shot led to a missed penalty that was partially responsible for the Union's tough loss.