Maurice Edu's reaction to The Call
JOHANNESBURG -- For a man who was just robbed of a crucial World Cup game-winning goal by a referee who wouldn't even acknowledge his theft, Maurice Edu looked remarkably composed.
As the U.S. midfielder ambled into the press area in the bowels of Johannesburg's Ellis Park Stadium less than an hour after the game, you would have been forgiven for thinking he was just another player with no particular hand in the match's outcome.
In a way, he was.
For when his last-gasp goal that would have put the U.S. up 3-2 over Slovenia was disallowed for no discernable reason, he lost the page in U.S. soccer's history books that had already been written for him. It was ripped out and shredded.
"So, Mo," I asked, not knowing if he'd break down in tears or if I'd get my head bitten off. "What happened?"
He looked to the side, his big silver headphones wrapped around his neck, his fingers clutching an empty cup that had been filled with a hot beverage, his U.S. Soccer jacket zipped up to his chest.
Then he grimaced, his Bambi-like brown eyes raising toward the hungry pack of reporters.
"I don't know," he said. "I just made a run into the box and I was able to get on the end of it and I was called back. So to tell you the truth, I don't know what the call is."
At the time of this post, nobody does. FIFA had no comment.
"From everything that I saw there was nothing to be called," Edu said. "The referee called it as he saw it."
There's no way you could have been offsides.
"No. Definitely not offsides. I made my run late, started at the top of the box and just made my run uncontested. So there's no way I could have been offsides."
Word is that the call was for a foul. But Edu was by himself, so it certainly couldn't have been on him, right?
"I don't think he called it on me because there's nothing he could have really called on me."
Did he see any of his teammates commit a foul?
"I wasn't really paying attention to what was going on around me. I was just watching the ball and just trying to time my run according to that."
It was a nice finish, too.
"Yeah I was in a good spot at the right time."
"Disappointment, you know? I thought that was the moment we won the game and then in a matter of seconds it all changed."
Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.