September 09, 2009

Maurice Edu knew he was entering a heated rivalry when he left Major League Soccer's Toronto FC for Scotland's Rangers. But he probably didn't predict having a cellphone thrown at him, abuse hurled his way on the street or death threats.

"I've definitely taken some abuse," the 23-year-old said, according to The Sun. "I've had death threats and things like that and just been heckled walking around town or driving around."

The abuse was instant. After the U.S. international transferred, his first game for Rangers was against Celtic in the Old Firm derby.

"My first game with the team was at Celtic Park," Edu said. "I remember just warming up on the sidelines and you could hear the fans heckling you and throwing things. One of them even threw a cell phone at us."

It took Edu some time to warm to his new surroundings, but by the end of last season he had locked down a role in the middle of the park for Rangers. The abuse only forces him to play better.

Initially, he says, "I thought, 'This is just kind of crazy'. But it's where I want to be and I want to experience things like this on a more regular and consistent basis. As much as I didn't want to be heckled and take that abuse from the fans, you have more appreciation for that type of atmosphere. I enjoyed it."

Edu is still recovering from knee surgery he underwent at the end of last season and is expected to be fit later this month.

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