The Philadelphia Union announced on Thursday that center back and captain Maurice Edu had successful sports hernia surgery. Edu will now miss the last two games of the season for Philadelphia, but will be ready for the 2016 preseason.
Edu had injured his groin in early August and played through the injury in the Union’s 1-0 win in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Semifinals. After the Semifinals, the Philadelphia captain did not play again until September 20th against the Houston Dynamo.
“Mo played through a lot of pain in our run to the US Open Cup Final over the last few months and we certainly commend him for that,” Union technical director Chris Albright said in a press release. “Having the surgery now ensures he’ll be ready to go come the end of January.”
Edu played a total of 27 games this season for Philadelphia, including five games in Philadelphia’s run to the US Open Cup Finals.
With Edu out, there will an open spot on the field for a few players to prove themselves for next season. Players such as Ethan White and Steven Vitoria will certainly see added minutes in the next two games.
The main beneficiary of Edu’s absence will be center back Steven Vitoria. Vitoria will certainly use the last two games of the Major League Soccer season as an audition with the Union for the 2016 season. The Portuguese youth international was out almost three months in the middle of the season, which put a hamper of the fan’s and coaching staff’s ability to judge the center back.
With the Union officially eliminated from the playoffs, their season will come to a close after the final two games. This Sunday, October 18th, the Union travel to Red Bull Arena, the site of their improbable US Open Cup quarterfinal win, to take on rival New York Red Bulls. To finish the season, Philadelphia returns home to face Orlando City on Sunday October 25th at PPL Park.