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Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 17:58 UK

USA's Maurice Edu sorry to miss duel with David Beckham

Stuart Holden (right) joins the celebrations for Maurice Edu's (centre) goal
Edu scored his first goal for the USA in the 4-2 defeat by Czech Republic

Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu has one regret while otherwise relishing the prospect of playing in the World Cup finals - the absence of David Beckham.

Edu hopes to be in Bob Bradley's USA team for their opening fixture against England on 12 June, but veteran Beckham is missing with an Achilles injury.

"I must admit, when we were drawn with England, I fancied trying to get the better of Beckham," he said.

"He's been one of the best in his position for the last 10 years or so."

Edu made Bradley's 23-man final squad along with former Rangers winger DaMarcus Beasley, who has been released by the Scottish champions this summer, and Scottish-born Bolton Wanderers midfielder Stuart Holden.

The trio played in an experimental line-up that lost 4-2 in Tuesday's friendly with Czech Republic in Connecticut, 22-year-old Holden continuing his comeback from a fractured fibula by setting up Edu for the USA's opening goal - the Ibrox man's first for his country.

It's going to be so difficult for him to watch from the sidelines - and I should know

Rangers and USA midfielder Maurice Edu

But all three were on the bench for Saturday's 2-1 friendly win over Turkey in Philadelphia as Bradley returned to a more familiar line-up before he and his players flew to South Africa.

Edu's defensive qualities could bring him back into the picture for the Group C opener against England but was just glad to be fit enough to board the plane to South Africa.

However, the 35-year-old Beckham, the former Manchester United star now with AC Milan, is missing out on playing in his fourth World Cup finals in a row, having featured in France, the Far East and Germany.

"It's going to be so difficult for him to watch from the sidelines - and I should know," the 23-year-old Rangers midfielder, who has shaken off his own injury problems, told Rangers' website.

"I was supposed to be in South Africa last summer for the Confederations Cup with the American team, but there was no chance because of my knee."

Edu, who turned out for Toronto in Major League Soccer and for whom Rangers paid £2.6m, missed the first half of the season through injury but made 20 appearances for the Glasgow club after making his comeback in late December.

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see also
US beaten by Czechs in friendly
26 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Beasley makes US World Cup squad
26 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
The 'nearly' Scots at the World Cup
19 May 10 |  Scottish Premier
Beckham offered England position
14 May 10 |  World Cup 2010

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