After months of recovery and rehab, Maurice Edu will return to the playing field this Sunday when he suits up for Bethlehem Steel FC against New York Red Bulls II at 3 p.m., the Philadelphia Union announced today.
“I think it’s a tremendous boost and great for the organization as a whole to get a player of Maurice’s caliber and experience in the mix and back out on the field,” Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said.
Edu, 30, is returning from a stress fracture in his left leg that has kept him off the field during the 2016 MLS season. During Edu’s time with the Union, he has appeared in 53 league games and scored four goals. He has also notched a pair of goals in U.S. Open Cup play, including a goal against the Seattle Sounders in the 2014 Final.
Edu brings an incredible amount of international experience, having played in Scotland, England and Turkey along with the United States National Team. Edu began his professional soccer as the top pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft and scored four goals in his rookie season. In 2008, Edu decided to pursue opportunities overseas and spent time with Rangers F.C. in Scotland along with Stoke City and Bursapor in Turkey before returning stateside. Overall, Edu has started 90 games in MLS, scoring nine goals and adding five assists in over 8,000 minutes of play. Edu has also appeared in 46 games for the U.S. National Team. He was a member of the 2008 Summer Olympic Team and the 2010 World Cup team that advanced to the knockout round. There, he famously had a goal disallowed during a match in group play against Slovenia.
An appearance by Edu on Sunday would be historic as he would become the first MLS Designated Player to see playing time in a USL match while holding that designation.
Sunday’s match also will see a special ticket promotion, with select tickets sold benefitting the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley. Tickets are available for $15 with proceeds from each sale going to the foundation. Fans interested in purchasing tickets through the promotion are encouraged to call Gio Fricchione (484) 403-0502 or Pauline Grady (610) 297-7292.
Bethlehem Steel FC is in the midst of their inaugural season in the USL, being launched on Oct. 27, 2015. Steel FC sit just outside the playoff picture with four matches remaining and are coming off a 2-2 draw at Harrisburg City Islanders FC yesterday. Sunday’s kickoff at Goodman Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.