CHESTER, Pa. – Maurice Edu wants the Philadelphia Union to play with more offensive flair.
And he’s going to try to help in that department as much as possible.
Heading into Saturday’s game against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field (10 pm ET; MLS Free Stream of the Week), Edu said he’ll do whatever he can to help jumpstart a slumping attack that hasn’t scored from the run of play in the last three games.
“I need to try to get forward more,” Edu said. “I have to try to support the attack a little more and not leave that role to just Vincent [Nogueira] solely. Before I was playing box to box but starting a little deeper and timing my runs from there. Maybe I should start a little bit higher, so that way going forward we might have a little more numbers in the attack. And hopefully that can lead to some more opportunities.”
Since coming to Philly as a Designated Player in the offseason, Edu has been deployed as a central midfielder in a 4-3-3 formation, along with captain Brian Carroll (behind him) and Nogueira (in front of him).
But even if he hasn’t gotten in on the attack as much as he might like, he’s still tied for the team lead in goals (two) and took the shot on net that led to a penalty-kick goal from Sebastien Le Toux two weeks ago.
So for the Union to avoid getting shut out for the third straight game this weekend, the US international knows everyone on the team needs to be less predictable.
“I just think it’s being a little more creative in the final third,” Edu said. “We just need to sometimes change it up. Be a little more creative. Whoever it is in the final third, take the initiative to create a shot for yourself. Change things up a little bit. Add that little flair to the game – something that’s going to lead to a better end product that what we have at the moment.”
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While it may seem like a lack of creativity and execution around net are big problems, Edu believes the Union have created a “solid foundation” despite their 1-3-5 record. And like manager John Hackworth, he believes the balls are bound to find the back of the net soon enough.
“As players and as a group, we still have a lot of confidence in ourselves,” Edu said. “We have a lot of confidence in the coaching staff we have here. Now it’s about the players doing a little more, going that extra step and really executing to win games. We’re playing well and have dominated most of the games we’ve played in, but now the onus is on us to start getting the points we deserve.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.