The MLS World is shifting and morphing at a mind-blowing pace right now. Not only are the additions of Jermaine Defoe and Michael Bradley shaking the foundations of the league, but there is so many trades, signings, and rumors swirling through the air that it’s near impossible to keep it all straight. And just when you’ve thought you heard it all, up rises a story of the Philadelphia Union making a play for the rights to Maurice Edu.
On Tuesday it was announced that the Union completed a trade with the D.C. United. Philly sent 31-year-old defender Jeff Parke to the United, and in exchange got 22-year-old defender Ethan White and switched places in the allocation order, putting Philadelphia in first place. This means that Philadelphia now has the first priority to acquire a U.S. National Team player who signs with MLS after playing abroad, like one such player as Maurice Edu.
Edu is a good player. He was the first overall selection for Toronto FC in 2007, where he earned honors as MLS Rookie of the Year. He’s spent time with the U.S. national team, Scottish club Glasgow Rangers, and the EPL’s Stoke City over the past five years, creating quite a resume, but also spending some time on the bench with injury. This last season, Edu found himself with Turkish club Bursapour, playing in only 12 games.
Simple right? A good U.S. national player comes back to MLS, the Union should’ve made this deal yesterday. Almost. According to Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC, the MLS big heads doesn’t like Philadelphia’s offer of $1.2 million for Edu:
— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) January 14, 2014
Let me put $1.2 million in context for you. Portland’s Will Johnson, RSL’s Kyle Beckerman and SKC’s Graham Zusi are three of the best midfielders in the league, and they only make $144,000, $300,000, and ~$174,000, respectively (which is kinda underpaid in my personal opinion). I’ll do a little extra math for you: the contracts of Johnson, Beckerman, and Zusi combined and doubled would cost $1,236,000. No one – other than Edu himself — thinks that Edu is worth $1.2 million.
If Edu gets to actually accept that money then things will get even crazier. I cannot even begin to tell you how many players would demand a pay raise. The economy of America’s top league would implode. It’s a mess that the league isn’t allowing to happen. I don’t know who it was that said $1.2 million was too much, but they need recognition. They may have saved several years of rebuilding.