VANCOUVER, CANADA - JUNE 16: Joe Cannon #1 of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC slides to make a save against Edu #37 of the Colorado Rapids during their MLS game June 16, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Yesterday's game was probably the point where most Colorado Rapids fans that still had some semblance of patience for Edu lost it. The one excuse that Edu had left for why he was playing so awfully since joining the Colorado Rapids was that he hadn't been getting the big minutes that he wanted.
"Edu was brought in with big money and some hype," the argument went. "He's been so miserable with the team because he's not getting the starting minutes that he was expecting from Oscar Pareja."
Fortunately for all of us, he ended that argument swiftly against Real Salt Lake on Saturday by playing yet another stinker of a match in his third start of the year, just for a lot longer than usual this time around. When a batch of very badly executed flops -- none of which got called, of course -- are the only thing that anyone remembers about a match you were in, you probably didn't do a good job. Really though, it's just par for the course at this point.Perhaps I'm being hard on the guy, he's only played 330 minutes of soccer with the Rapids so far in his career over here, right? We used the 'takes time to get used to the new league' excuse with both Jaime Castrillon and Martin Rivero early, right? Well, there are a few differences there -- both of them were coming from leagues that were different from MLS, yes, but they both made instant impacts even as they tried to learn the more physical style of play that MLS has to offer. Heck, we're still saying that they're getting used to things and yet Castrillon has five goals and Rivero six assists.
Edu? Not only did the guy play in La Liga at one point -- a league that is pretty darn good, I hear -- but he has shown absolutely nothing since joining the Rapids. Nada. Zilch. His biggest contribution was a goal from a penalty kick taken against an NASL team. All that for a cool $150,000 a season.
We probably should have seen it coming, honestly. Edu was supposedly brought in because of his Brazilian 'flair', a word that to me sounds suspiciously similar to 'hustle', a word that we don't much like around here. Unfortunately, he's not coming to a La Liga style league where the players are short in stature, but not on talent. This is a league where the skilled forwards are rarities -- unless you're the LA Galaxy and can afford Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, of course -- and most of the big names in the league are either big and tough (Conor Casey) or fast and elusive (Dominic Oduro) or something in between.
Edu is neither of those, both slow and short. He's seen plenty of headers that Casey would have put in, but has connected on none -- a particular stinger was a late gasp against Vancouver that would have tied the game, but was inches away from his diving head. He's seen plenty of service that Omar Cummings or Andre Akpan would have caught up to, but was too fast for his blood.
Out of 330 minutes of soccer, he's only let loose seven shots total. That's the lowest number of any forward not named Quincy Amarikwa or Andre Akpan, both of whom have the same number of goals he had, in all competitions, despite almost 300 fewer minutes less each. That's probably the most frustrating thing about his play, he's had chances but has instead chosen to either make a backpass or dive clumsily.
His name may remain on the books, but it's getting close to the time where even Oscar Pareja might need to agree that this whole Edu thing just ain't working out. He's out of excuses on that front.