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Union acquire Maurice Edu

Maurice Edu is following Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey back to Major League Soccer.

The Philadelphia Union said Monday they had acquired the 27-year-old American midfielder from Stoke of England's Premier League and have an option to purchase his rights.

A source has told ESPNFC.com's Jeff Carlisle that Edu would make in the "mid six figures," a considerable reduction from the $1.5 million that Edu's representatives were initially seeking. That hefty demand had at one point threatened to scuttle the deal, but the two sides were eventually able to agree to terms.

Maurice Edu is headed back to MLS to join the Union.

A member of the 2010 U.S. World Cup team who has 45 international appearances, Edu will be a designated player whose salary counts only partially against the cap.

“As a U.S. international with experience playing against some of the best competition in the world, Maurice adds a wealth of knowledge, skill and leadership to our club while still being in his prime,” Union manager John Hackworth said in a statement.

“We think he will be an excellent addition to our squad and we are very excited to have him return to MLS and represent the Philadelphia Union.”

The MLS Rookie of the Year in 2007 with Toronto, Edu transferred to Scotland's Glasgow Rangers in August 2008.

He moved to Stoke in August 2012 but made just one appearance, as an 80th-minute substitute against Liverpool that Oct. 7. He had about a dozen appearances for Turkey's Bursaspor during a loan in 2012-13.

Brek Shea, another American midfielder with little playing time at Stoke, was loaned to Barnsley of the second-tier League Championship on Jan. 1.

Dempsey left Tottenham and returned to MLS with Seattle last summer, and Toronto acquired Bradley from Roma this month.

Dempsey is currently on loan to Fulham of the Premier League.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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