Commerce City, Colo. - As the Rapids trained inside the stadium Tuesday on a sunny and warm morning, Brazilian forward Edu watched from walkway just outside the lockerroom. He had arrived from Brazil earlier in the day and wanted to get a look at the team that he hopes to make an impression on.
"Thanks to God I've been fortunate to play in Europe for almost 10 years," Edu told ColoradoRapids.com. "I returned to Brazil but I don't have the intention to play there. This is an opportunity that if it works out, I would love to take on and play in MLS."
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The 33-year-old began a trial period with the Rapids by joining the team for Wednesday's training session.
"The first day is maybe little bit more difficult because of the travel and not knowing the players," he said after training. "But I loved the practice because it was with a ball and we played small-sided games, which are also common in Spain."
His full name is Luis Eduardo Schmidt, but he was nicknamed 'Edu' after his middle name as a child. He began his professional career with Brazil's famed Sao Paolo club in 1998, moved to Spain's Celta de Vigo in 2001, and then to Real Betis in 2005. After four seasons and some memorable goals, he returned to Brazil in 2009 where he has played for Internacional and Vitoria the past two years.
"The culture here is completely different than what I've known until now, and I love to learn new things," he says of his interest in MLS. "I am a player with experience but I don't have experience in MLS. For me it's something new to be playing in the United States and to learn to play in MLS. So I'm here because I want to keep learning. Regardless of the experience one has in soccer, you learn something every day. Hopefully things will go well."
On the international front, he was on Brazil's U-17 and U-20 World Cup teams, and scored twice at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He has also been capped once with the senior team.