By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jun 26, 2023) US Soccer Players – Maurice Edu is one of several former players with USMNT experience now working in soccer broadcasting. Edu, the former MLS Rookie of the Year and three-time title winner with Scottish club Rangers with 46 caps for the USMNT, is now part of the broadcast talent viewers get to watch each week on Apple+’s MLS Season Pass as well as covering national team soccer for CBS Sports and FOX Sports. We recently caught up with Edu, a veteran of the World Cup as a player and a broadcaster, where he discussed what it’s like covering MLS for Apple+, how he preps for games, and his experience working the 2022 World Cup for FOX.
How much fun has it been working for Apple+ and how has Season Pass changed perceptions of MLS?
I think the pre-launch excitement matches what we’re seeing now. I think the quality in terms of the on-air talent and all that is great. It’s only the first year, but we are all relatively impressed with where we are and the potential for where this is going to go. I think everyone involved in this is driven and motivated by this, be innovative and make it a better product.
What does your typical week look like in terms of preparation for games each the weekend?
Monday we get an email with our assignments. Everyone has their own prep process. I’m gone most weekends, so I use Monday as my family day. Tuesday is when I start getting back into it, watching games for the teams I am prepping for that week. I have a call with the coaches and players of the game I’m working on a Thursday for Saturday. Everyone, of course, has their own travel schedule. If there is a midweek game, then there is a different schedule, but generally this is the approach I would take for a Saturday game.
Many former US players now work in TV. Did you ever think you would get into broadcasting?
When I was a kid, I either wanted to play (soccer) or be a movie star. Maybe part of it is I didn’t grow up watching soccer games hearing voices like mine and seeing faces like mine. Maybe there is a part of me that never thought of it because I never saw it. I saw it in basketball and football, but not soccer. It was never on my radar until injuries allowed me to step into the booth a little bit. I don’t take this position lightly at all. I take it seriously. Many African Americans in this space right now are opening doors.
Your on-air rapport with former NFL star Chad Ochocinco during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was fun to watch? Were you friends before and have you remained in touch?
Yes, it was incredibly fun. Me, Chad, and Kate (Abdo) have become really close over the years. Going into it we (Kate and I) had had a rapport going into it. Then I had an introduction to Chad. He’s super-personable. He’s authentic to himself and doesn’t shy away to who he is. That’s what makes him so endearing on camera. We had met a couple of times before. This had been the first time we had spent a lot of time together. He’s an incredible person and that’s made it so easy for the three of us. We spent a lot of time out there together for five weeks.
Which MLS teams have impressed you most so far this season?
There’s a few. St Louis, obviously, as an expansion club. I played for an expansion team in Toronto so I know how difficult it is to adapt and the ups and downs. The obvious would be Cincinnati as well. They’re just flying. Some would say they won a lot of games 1-0. I think that’s a good thing. That means defensively they are competent enough not to concede goals and are confident enough and have the mindset to hold on to that lead. I think that’s a unique skill set that could help you get over the hump and take you over the next step and win a Supporters’ Shield or MLS Cup. I think if I had to just pick two, it would be those two.
Clemente Lisi is a regular contributor to US Soccer Players. He is also the author of the new book “The FIFA World Cup: A History of the Planet’s Biggest Sporting Event.”
More from Clemente Lisi:
- Performance, depth, and the midfield highlight the USMNT in the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League finals
- Preview: USMNT vs Mexico, 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League semifinals
- Another MLS season is already showing the strength of goalkeeping in the league
- The highlights of the summer 2023 soccer schedule in the United States
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