UPDATE: The deal was finally made official on January 14.

When the Union brought Maurice Edu to PPL Park last offseason, they did so via a year-long loan from England's Stoke City, which owned his rights. That loan expired after the 2014 campaign, which meant that if Edu was to stay here, a transfer would have to be negotiated.

I was told Thursday afternoon by a source with direct knowledge that said deal is in fact in place, and Edu will remain at PPL Park with a new multi-year contract. Expect an announcement Friday making the deal official.

The negotiations required a transfer fee from the Union to Stoke, the exact value of which I was not able to confirm. But it's noteworthy enough that there was a transfer fee paid, instead of it being a free deal.

If I can get the number I'll let you know. MLS and its clubs don't disclose financial terms of contracts or transfer fees, but they tend to get out into the public domain sooner or later.

This much we do know: Edu made $650,000 last year as a Designated Player, according to salary data published by the Major League Soccer Players Union. It's not a stretch to expect that he'll get a raise, in part because of his stature and in part because of the influx of cash from MLS' new TV deal.

We likely won't find out how much Edu will make under his new deal until the union's first salary data release of 2015. And we won't know what the DP threshhold is - or the number of DPs allowed on each team's roster - until the new MLS collective bargaining agreement is in place.

Hopefully that will be settled by the time Edu and the Union take the field at PPL Park on March 7 for the season opener against the Colorado Rapids. There's a lot to do between now and then, though.


There was another bit of Philadelphia-related soccer news on Thursday: CONCACAF confirmed that the city is among the bidders to host games in the much-anticipated 2016 Copa América Centenario.

A total of 24 markets have expressed interest so far. CONCACAF, which is organizing the tournament in conjunction with CONMEBOL, will continue to accept bids until March 16. The final decision will be made in May. In the end, between eight and 13 markets will be named as hosts, with a stated requirement of a stadium that seats at least 50,000 fans.

This means that the soccer-specific stadiums around MLS won't host games. But really, the tournament will have no trouble filling NFL venues. And it would come as no surprise if MLS venues are used as practice facilities.

Here's the list of markets that have bid so far, and their likely venues:

Arizona: Phoenix/Glendale (University of Phoenix Stadium)

California: Los Angeles/Pasadena (the Coliseum or the Rose Bowl), San Diego (Qualcomm Stadium), San Francisco/Santa Clara (Levi's Stadium)

Colorado: Denver (Sports Authority Field at Mile High)

District of Columbia: Washington/Landover, Md. (FedEx Field)

Florida: Jacksonville (EverBank Field), Orlando (Citrus Bowl), Tampa (FedEx Field)

Georgia: Atlanta (Georgia Dome)

Illinois: Chicago (Soldier Field)

Indiana: Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium)

Maryland: Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium)

Massachusetts: Boston/Foxborough (Gillette Stadium)

Michigan: Detroit (Ford Field)

Missouri: Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), St. Louis (Edward Jones Dome)

New York/New Jersey (1): East Rutherford, N.J. (MetLife Stadium)

Ohio: Cleveland (FirstEnergy Stadium)

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field)

Tennessee: Nashville (LP Field)

Texas: Dallas/Arlington (AT&T Stadium), Houston (NRG Stadium)

Washington: Seattle (CenturyLink Field)