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World Cup 2014

Edu cites bond between USMNT teammates as key to World Cup success

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Maurice Edu has done this before. As a veteran of the 2010 U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup roster, Edu has experienced the rigors of earning his spot among his country’s best.

There are differences, of course, between this team and the team that took on South Africa four years ago. Despite a new coach at the helm and a slew of new faces, Edu insists that the team is as strong as ever.

“I think we have a good group again,” Edu said at Wednesday’s pre-World Cup camp. “I think last campaign, we had a good group in terms of how we came together on the pitch as well as off the pitch and I think its similar this time as well.”

That off-the-field bond is something Edu values, as the Philadelphia Union midfielder believes the team’s passion and love for one another will be a major factor when the team heads to Brazil

“Obviously, it’s important to be skillful, be talented, be tactically sound and all of those things,” Edu said. “At the end of the day, you can do all of that stuff, but how you perform on the pitch and whether you’re willing to do that extra running for the player next to you; those bonds and the relationships that have been built over the last four years are what’s going to help us along the way.

“Obviously it’s going to be physically demanding, mentally demanding, but that willingness to go the extra mile for your teammates, that’s going to be key for us.”

Despite the closeness of the 30 players currently in camp, only 23 will make the trip to Brazil. For Edu, this camp presents one final opportunity to earn what he has been working to achieve for the past four years.

“I think it’s important just to focus on doing what you’ve done to get you here,” Edu said. “Obviously, you’ve shown well for yourself and you have the ability and you have the skill to be at this level. But now, it’s about just continuing on that path and just making that final push. In doing that, not only are you going to show well for yourself, but you’re going to make this team a lot stronger as well.”

41 comments
  • Jay Boca

    Cameron / Edu center back pairing is our best option against tough group stage opponents.

    Starting two players who have only played in MLS is very scary (Besler / Gonzalez).

    Like

    • Jack

      Playing 2 guys who don’t even play at center back is somehow better? The US gave up 5 less goals this qualifying run then in 2009. What would make you think Edu and Cameron would be a good pair?

      Like

      • MikeV

        You see Jack, playing in Europe allows two non center backs to play better than two MLS CB’s. They magically receive the skills and instincts needed to play that position.

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      • Sean357

        Saw that. Think we need to go ahead and insitute pro/rel today so we don’t miss out on this guy.

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      • divers suck

        Alan Smith’s playing career was pretty much done at that level after his horrific broken leg back in 2006, his entire ankle looked nearly dismembered from the rest of his leg…Can’t blame the man for wanting to play in his homeland.

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      • Yevgeniy

        Really?! Since 1 random English player chose to stay home vs. coming to US, this proves anytihng?

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      • Sean357

        I was being sarcastic, I’ve been following football forever and I had to google this guy to remember him.

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      • slowleftarm

        I had no idea he was still playing. Good player back in the day though.

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      • analyst/therapist

        I wouldn’t have Edu anywhere near starting at CB, but I also wouldn’t call Cameron a “non center back”. He hasn’t been playing there this year, but has played a lot there in his career- and not too long ago. He thinks central defender is his best position, and our coach agrees with him. A few weeks in camp and a friendly or two reps there getting reps there (if he is being considered for that spot) should be sufficient to see if he knocked a little rust off.

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      • GW

        Jack,

        POSITIVE:

        Edu and Cameron combined are more experienced both internationally and in general than Gonzo and Besler. Gonzo/ Besler have not been totally convincing
        In 2008, Edu played center back for the US Olympic team.
        Cameron has played center back before
        Cameron and Edu formed a nice center back pair in the 1-0 win against Mexico at Azteca

        NEGATIVE:

        Cameron has a bad haircut.
        They have not done it in a while
        If you are going to do it at all it should be decided now so Edu and Cameron can get their reps in. This can have damaging effects on the confidence of Gonzo/ Besler who after all have yet to prove themselves one way or the other in the World Cup.

        The conservative play is to stick with the girls what brung you to the dance and hope that they were building up to a great World Cup.

        But it is a risky tack to take since the Ghana game is so vital.
        I’m okay either way. JK will have the camp to determine just how everyone is playing so he’ll know which way to go. That’s why he gets the big bucks.

        Either way JK will get torn apart by the SBI Sans-culottes if the US does not win the Ghana game.

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      • Jack

        Sure but it’s difficult to point Cameron and Edu’s performance in the Azteca, when Gonzo- Besler also held Mexico scoreless there in a match that actually had something on the line.

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      • GW

        Jack

        We can go back and forth but the factors I cited still remain in place i.e :

        1. Gonzo and Belser have not been convincing otherwise why is this even a question?

        2. Edu and Cameron are tough hard nosed veterans and with the camp and the send off series are perfectly capable of doing a fine job as the center back pair.

        Either way I’m confident JK will make the right choice and I’m confident most of SBI will whine and cry and hold their breathe until they turn blue about it if we lose or tie the Ghana game.

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      • Bumby Hemmingway

        I am trying to remember a time in which Cameron played well at center back for the USMT ….

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      • Four Cents

        Gonzo is the only one I have concerns about. He does really well playing for the Galaxy, but when he plays for the Nats- his marking/positioning can be suspect.. JMO… LETS GO YOU YANKS!!!

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      • GW

        That’s a good thing. You want to blend in with the Guillotine around the corner.

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      • SW

        I wish we’d quit always talking Besler/Gonzo like they are siamese twins. Both have similar experience, yet, but one of them has been caught repeatedly ball watching and one hasn’t.

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    • arsenal

      I’m all for European players, but Besler is the best CB in the pool right now and he is good.

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      • danny

        +1
        Besler is legit. Would have loved to see him paired with Jay Demerit in his prime.

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      • Sean357

        I think calling for Cameron to be paired with Besler is reasonable. I also think calling for Cameron to be paired with Edu because “he played in Europe” (Scotland lol) is insane.

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      • SW

        Cameron/Besler makes a lot of sense. I think that’s why JK is working on his RB options so he doesn’t have to rely on Gonzo

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      • last survivor of des plantas

        dude needs to move to EUROPE once the CUP is over.

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    • bryan

      incorrect and not gonna happen. but Cameron could absolutely end up playing CB based on what JK said yesterday.

      Like

  • last survivor of des plantas

    EDU you are not going to Brazil. You should have gone to France or Turkey full time. why would u join

    Like

  • last survivor of des plantas

    EDU you are not going to Brazil. You should have gone to France or Turkey full time. why would u join STOKE. that was a bad move. shame considering until Jones joined. you were the 2nd/3rd best midfielder we had. now you’re like 5th or 6th

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  • Jesse D

    chemistry is a real thing in team sports. Edu is right. I believe our chemistry is better than many groups.

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    • Sheriff Bart

      Chemistry and no contraversy. Case in point France in ’10. What a disaster.

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      • bryan

        which is exactly why LD will be in our 23. the controversy and distraction that would result from that decision would be awful for the team.

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      • Jesse

        Bryan, I hop you are right and he keeps Donovan. I don’t think JK is afraid of a little controversy though. He makes the decision he thinks are the best for the product on the field and in the clubhouse regardless of what the media might think.

        In that same unconventional wisdom he gave Clint Dempsey the Captain’s armband, not because he is the best captain. Instead because JK thought it did the most to keep Duece in check. To make sure he played a complete team game. It comes from the line of thinking – if you can keep Duece in check you can keep everyone in check.

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      • bryan

        say what you will, but it’s still reason enough not to do it. plus, leaving LD off wouldn’t be a small controversy, IMO.

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      • SW

        Not as worried about the controversy, but I think LD clearly belongs in the 23. I don’t expect him to be a consistent starter though.

        Like

  • Pingback: Notes from the presser and more Union bits, World Cup news from US camp and Brazil, more

  • bryan

    part of me really wonders if Edu will end up taking Beckerman’s spot or if JK will end up cutting someone else, in a different position, just to bring him.

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    • Jesse

      I would cut someone else, they do bring different things to the table. Beckerman fits and is comfortable with playing D-Mid in the diamond 4-4-2. He is also proving to have reasonably good vision to hit balls out of the back.
      Edu is also a poacher. He has the athleticism and endurance to take some risks late in the game, hoping to find a tap in. Beckerman is not that guy.

      If the game is tied and has a normal flow to it, I think I prefer Beck in the game. He has a good sense for the ebb and flow of a match.

      If we are behind and trying to find a goal I like Edu’s ability to foray up top. Also if we are ahead, I like Edu’s ability to fill the box and shut down the oppositions attack. He can play a 3rd CB on set pieces and can move with opposing playmakers.

      Like

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