EDU GROWING INTO CENTER BACK ROLE
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Maurice Edu feels that he is slowly but surely growing into what appears to be his new role at center back with the US national team.

Edu started and played the full 90 minutes at that position in Saturday night's 2-2 draw with Poland. He also played several late second half minutes in defense during one of the US' tune-up matches before the World Cup.

Although the Fontana, California native is a staple at central midfielder for Scottish Premier League club Glasgow Rangers, Edu is confident his comfort level on the back line will rise with every match.

"It's a learning process," Edu recently told YA. "It's a new position for me but I think the experienced guys around me like Gooch made it somewhat more comfortable. When you play with those guys in training you just try to keep your ears open and learn as much as possible and try to soak up everything like a sponge."

As for when he expects to feel completely self-assured when playing the position, Edu states that it's too difficult to forecast when that might happen.

"I don't know. It's hard to say," he noted. "It's difficult to put a timeline on something like that. It's just a matter of getting familiar with the position so who knows how long that could take."

The former Toronto FC man went on to add that he believes there are a couple specific areas in his play on defense where some improvement could be made.

"I think I could have been better in my positions [on the field] and technically more aware in certain situations and plays," he elaborated. "It just continues to be a learning process."

US head coach Bob Bradley's squad will take to the field on Tuesday night against Colombia for the first time since their disastrous performance at the 2007 Copa America when they went winless in the group stage including a desultory 1-0 loss to Tuesday night's opponent.

For Edu, a player who missed out on last year's Confederations Cup and a slew of World Cup qualifiers, any opportunity to take to the field wearing the Red, White and Blue is a special one and he says the match at PPL Park in Philadelphia will be no different.

"Yeah, I'm looking forward to it," he said of the Colombia match. "I look forward to every game. It's a chance to get out there and represent your country. When you get called into camp you always take that with a sense of pride and when the games come up, you're excited for those games and go out there and perform and enjoy."