How will Maurice Edu's national team call-up affect the Philadelphia Union season?

How will Maurice Edu's national team call-up affect the Philadelphia Union season?
March 28, 2014, 11:55 am
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Maurice Edu will get a chance to impress Wednesday against Mexico.
The newest Union fan.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know it's been a busy week for me.

Congrats @Smoore1117 on welcoming another Union fan to the fam.

— The700Level (@The700Level) March 26, 2014

And since I can't possibly show you all my wallet photos (do people still carry wallet photos?), I'm going to do the next best thing and post a totally, completely and utterly shameless photo of my 2-day-old daughter Sarah right here. Make fun. See if I care (I don't).

Anyway, I will admit to not being totally up on the Union latest this week, and won't be able to make Saturday's game against the Montreal Impact (4 p.m. -- 6ABC).

The one piece of news I did see, however, was that Union midfielder Maurice Edu was included on the U.S. roster for next Wednesday's friendly against Mexico (11 p.m. -- ESPN). He will join the team AFTER Saturday's game against Montreal. And since this just a lone friendly, he (theoretically) should be back for next weekend's game in Chicago. Although, if he plays 90 minutes Saturday, then plays at least a half for the stars and stripes, I'd have to think he might rest against the Fire.

What to remember about this news:

  • This game is not on an approved "FIFA Date," which means club teams are not "required" to allow players to leave. Now, of course the Union will let Edu go. But it means leagues worldwide are not taking the weekend off. So the team is made up entirely of MLS and Mexican league players.
  • That's the long way of saying that if Jurgen Klinsmann was picking his World Cup roster tomorrow, Edu would probably not be on it.
  • That doesn't mean he can't be, however. This is Edu's big chance to show Klinsmann that he would be an asset in Brazil this summer. I imagine he'll start, or at least play a half, against Mexico. It could be argued that he's the most interesting man on the roster for an otherwise meaningless game created just to sell a lot of tickets.

Edu's call-up this week doesn't really impact the Union. But a strong performance by Edu could make a major difference for the Union this season.

MLS is taking a break for the group stage of the World Cup, but the U.S. is slated to play three warm-up games on May 27, June 1 and June 7. Add about a week before that May 27 game for training, and Edu COULD leave the team after the May 17 game against New England. That would mean no Edu for three games: at the LA Galaxy, at Chivas USA and home to Vancouver. Should the Americans get out of the group stage, Edu could miss up to three more games (at New England, at FC Dallas and home vs. Colorado).

Now, this is all a big hypothetical, and I'd have to put Edu's chances on a World Cup spot at MAYBE 50/50 at best. But, it's definitely something to keep an eye on, and a reason to watch Wednesday's game against Mexico.

As for Saturday's game against Montreal: As I said, I've been a bit preoccupied this week, and can't pretend to know a ton about the Impact. So, I offered up my tickets on Twitter to whoever could offer the best prediction. My two favorites:

U win, Danny Cruz gets hurt..again, Casey actually gets into the game. Casey nets winner, shows we need 2 forwards @Smoore1117 @The700Level

— Anthony Lamberto (@avlambo21) March 27, 2014

@Smoore1117 @The700Level in honor of Mo getting called up to play Mexico. Union win, Dos a Cero.

— Mark McClure (@mmccl267) March 27, 2014

Our winner, Mr. McClure, even promised to run onto the pitch from my seats, guaranteeing that I'll lose my season tickets forever, and we'll have a great "idiot on the field" video post for the 700 Level on Saturday night (just kidding, Union security!).

As for my prediction? Let's say:

Union 2, Impact 0 (McInerney, Maidana)


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