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Armchair Analyst: Valencia interest the reason for Edu in defense?

14 August 2:59 pm

Armchair Analyst: Valencia interest the reason for Edu in defense?

By Matthew Doyle

You've probably heard by now that Maurice Edu is most likely going to get a start in central defense for the US against Mexico on Wednesday night.

Jurgen Klinsmann has his reasons. First and foremost is that none of the newcomers in the US central defensive player pool — including Geoff Cameron — have shown that they're ready to lock down a starting spot. So Klinsmann has to turn every card he can looking for an ace.

Secondly, though — and this is pure speculation on my part — this might be a chance for Valencia to see what Edu looks like on the backline against top competition.

Valencia have been the third-best team in Spain for about the past 15 years, meaning that their interest in Edu is a gigantic step up from Rangers, or whatever mid-table French side is pursuing him. And we know how Klinsmann feels about stepping up to the next level.

But there's virtually no chance that Edu can play in the midfield for a team of Valencia's caliber. He doesn't read the game well enough in 360 degrees, and is always more comfortable when things are playing out in front of him. We've also seen plenty of shanked 22-yard shots from him, enough to know that he's not going to add Michael Bradley-esque offense when pushing forward.

What Edu has the raw materials for, however, is the center of defense. I think Valencia see that much, and I also think that if he'd gone anywhere but Rangers he'd have been pushed into that spot after his great performance there in the 2008 Olympics.

So if you're a fan of both the US and La Liga, keep your fingers crossed that Edu has a blinder on Wednesday night. If he does, it could mean a move to the Mediterranean will soon follow.