European Soccer

Adu heading to Belenenses on loan

Freddy Adu will be staying in Portugal for the upcoming European season, but it looks like he won't be spending it with Benfica.

According to Portuguese website Abola, Adu is heading on loan to Belenenses. Adu didn't figure into Benfica's plans after returning from an unsuccessful loan spell with French club Monaco and a loan move always looked like a certainty for the 20-year old, especially with the arrivals of highly-regarded Brazilian youngsters Ramires and Keirrison.

(UPDATE-Belenenses has confirmed the deal, a one-year loan move for Adu.)

Is the loan a good move for Adu? If he still harbors goals of eventually staying with Benfica then the loan makes sense because he will now have his chance to compete in the Portuguese Liga and show whether he can compete and excel on that level. Having to move to some other country on loan might not have been the best situation for a young player, and the reality is there just weren't clubs in smaller leagues willing to pay Adu's hefty salary.

Belenenses currently sits seventh in the Portuguese First Division after three matches. Adu won't have to wait long to see his old club as Belenenses faces Benfica in the first match after the international fixture break, on Sept. 13.

What do you think about Adu staying in Portugal? Like the move? Think he should have left Portugal?

Share your thoughts below.

  • GO USA

    Yossarian-Look up Reyna’s complete record sometime. With all due respect to Benny, an in-form, healthy Reyna was twice the player Benny is. Benny seems to finally be on track but he has a way to go before he can match up to Reyna and JOB. And those two would make great use of Davies and Jozy. None of the current US midfield players quite matches Reyna’s all around excellence.

    Posted by: jimmygreaves | August 31, 2009 at 05:32 PM

    Agreed- It still shows when you look at the time of possession when we play teams who are good at it. We always are behind. Reyna could dictate the pace of the game and actually hold the ball for us, we still haven’t found that guy yet.


  • paul lorinczi

    Freddy is not a bust. He still has something to prove.

    His time in Europe has been a little bad luck. As someone has pointed out, they fired the Manager that brought him in. He was doing well, when he got there. Then, “I coach and then I quit Camacho” came in and did not last long either. Then, they got a new Manager after him.

    There was a good article on Yanks Abroad that pointed out that he went to the wrong club because of the system they used. Adu did not fit into the Monaco defensive setup they had. Even the Manager said he was doing well in training, he just did not fit into their system.

    He has a new opportunity. I agree with what someone said. STFU on Twitter, get his butt onto the field and let the Football do the talking. He is 20 years old and a professional. Start acting like one on the field and get the job done.


  • advocat

    The investment in time and money into Adu has been tragic for the US soccer federation. And why did they choose him when there were so many other talented kids? And he is not even a real American as he was born in Ghana. This will lead to a huge deficit in the coming years as the US soccer feds waisted so much money, coaching, and playing time with this failure. But the question remains: what lead these idiots to invest in the Ghanian instead other talented suburban kids? I hope they have learned from this travesty of judgment.


  • Isaac

    Freddy is by no stretch of even the most distorted imagination a bust. We’ve seen what he can do against top competition when he’s really on form. He was a huge threat against Spain, England and Argentina, was in build ups to a lot of dangerous plays. He’s a young player; he can get back to that kind of form. It’s all about him earning playing time. I don’t know why but I get the feeling Freddy is going to really pick it up this year and have a breakout. Despite me and harry’s quarrels I really would love to see the guy get back in form. This is the first step.


  • Jorge

    Bottom line, folks, is the fact that Freddy needs to fire his current agent or handlers and hire better ones. :-)


  • Northzax

    Advocat: not a real American? Um, WTF? Go crawl back under the rock you came from, willya? Anyone carrying a US passport is a ‘real American’ the rest of your comment isn’t worth addressing after your xenophobic bs.


  • Hush

    advocat: You said he is not a REAL American?!LOL The kid has been here since he was 6yrs old and knows nothing but American culture! Who the hell are you to say who is American and who is not!! Suburban kids??LOL Are you freaking serious?! I know 10yr old city kids that can play better soccer than most H.S suburban kids!lol Get out of here with your wack ass suburban soccer theory! NJ is the only state producing great talent in the last 10yrs!… not American! Hilarious!


  • jamin barnes

    The best I’ve seen him play was at the under 20 world cup. If he can get back to that form he should see some playing time, but he’s going to have to work hard for it. I hope he pulls through. It would be nice to have him on the national team.


  • peter


    people who are writing him off are morons.

    he’s still got time to kill it.

    Glad for Freddy and hope he works his ass off and scores on Benefica.


  • Brett

    I really hope he gets to play.

    I wonder if he has ever thought about going to Mexico. He’s a good fit for that league, moreso than MLS.


  • SD

    i’m hoping that he will get some PT but from the roster i saw (not sure how official it was), there were at least 8-10 MF. maybe the roster included the reserves. i hope so, i want to see freddy do well. his game improved after playing some what during his first year at benfica, so it would be great to see him get back on track….


  • Keith G.

    I have come to the point where I will not say it is a good move until he gets to start every game and can score plenty of goals and become the Adu that everyone has been wishing for. So lets watch, wait and pray.


  • Brooklyn Dave

    John, a 20 year old starter in a top European league is more the exception than the rule, and there are hundreds of examples of players who were sub quality as a 20 year old, but starting quality when they were 23. Adu may turn out to be a bust, but we won’t know that for a few more more years. He’s shown enough with the U20’s and as a pro to think he could turn a corner at some point.


  • Chg

    Advocate, Adu is as American as anyone. Some would contend his act of choosing the US is a greater commitment to the nation than your accident of birth.

    He’s certainly more American than the native born American communists writing on another DP site before the last WC qualifier.

    MVK, I get your explanation but still think your comment was a bit too partisan for SBI.


  • Andy in Atlanta

    Advocate and John…you are both clueless mugs… Freddy is 20, an American citizen and moving to a club where he can get 30 matches in a year… 20 years old is very very young… not even MLS draft age for some… chill out and learn something…twits


  • r.benjamin

    The mis step was monaco.. And almost explainable with the coach and team president at that time.
    At Benfica as an 18 he was progressing nicely.

    I don’t know enough bout Portugal but given their flair and his current aclimation I can’t argue it..

    Remember Reyna played a fair amount of RB in the WCs.
    The exciting thing bout Jones while not the same type of MF is his quality immediately surpasses anything we’ve had.


  • Joamiq

    Anyone know anything about this team’s midfield situation? Or will I have to resort to ::shudder:: BigSoccer?


  • really?

    Adu is a bust? As many of our young players have been, he has been grossly mismanaged. On a bad day, he is a solid attacking player. On a good day he is an out and out game changer. All players must have the proper support to excel. I think back to a french player that was super hyped coming out of the 98 wc, went Juve & never found form. He then went to Arsenal and tore it up for years, I believe Henry plays for Barcelona now. Will he be TH14; no, but let him be freddy. I hope the coach believes in him and gives him the chance and support he needs. As for usmnt, HC Bradley is missing the plot. We are an aggressive country that loves moments of brillance, but he wants to be conservative with a young group that wants to flash. We should work, but with the hunger to smash everyone. just sayin


  • Leonardo

    Go Adu! i can’t wait to see him play. for some reason i always imagined him playing in Brazil or Argentina. could be that he posed with Pele and stuff. i dunno i just figure he has fast feet, quick moves that isn’t all brute stren-fth that many here seem to idolize.
    i like Adu cuz he has *flair*
    (gasp) dare i say that word? I do!

    we, USA, need flair. makes soccer more exciting.

    regardless of how ya feel about Adu, what he brings is badly needed. sure, we want utilitarian play – score goals, win games. but to take it to the next level i.e. Barca, we need to have *style* and *flair*

    yes, it needs to be drilled into the mindset of our kids, our college guys especially that seem to only idolize fitness: we need *flair*

    cuz when we start playing for a *higher power* so-to-speak, to play for a higher style, a better game, like it’s an art, when we get there, that mentality will not only let us win games, but it will make others gawk at us.

    Adu’s got it.


  • Barry U

    This will be good if he plays. Even if he is super sub at first and sometime starter/always sub by the end of the season it is good. Bottomline he must play regularly even if as a sub. Let’s hope this is the place for that.

    One thing I will say is that Freddy is a victim of the hype. If you take a look at other US players and how they have matured it is very different. Charlie D went to Hammarby at 20 or 21 and was not good until the end of his first season and blossomed in his second season. Spector at 20 was at Charlton and not getting many minutes. Eric Lichaj is 20 right now and played really well in preseason for Villa but is still on the reserve side. Sal Zizzo has performed well in the reserves for 96 but still only gets bench time and some sub time. He is also 20 or 21. Jozy is 19 and is just geting his feet wet at Hull but again substitute and cups are his action so far. Mike Grella is 22 and kinda the same at Leeds subs and cups. Even the Pittman fellow we have started to here about is 22 and working his way up the leagues in England. He was trained in England.

    Guys we are not soccer power that spits out 19 to 20 year old first team players. Not yet anyway. Freddy is still young and still has time and i hope this move starts to get the needle moving a bit.


  • jimmygreaves

    “Remember Reyna played a fair amount of RB in the WCs. The exciting thing bout Jones while not the same type of MF is his quality immediately surpasses anything we’ve had.- r.benjamin ”

    r.benjamin- Reyna started out as a creative attacking MF in Germany. At Rangers he had a long run at both right back and then defensive midfield scoring 10 goals in 64 games mostly as a defender. Reyna was a great all around player. I’m not as familiar with Jones so I don’t know if he has the same creative attacking flair that Claudio had. If he does then maybe a replacement has finally been found.


  • jimmygreaves

    “As for usmnt, HC Bradley is missing the plot. We are an aggressive country that loves moments of brillance, but he wants to be conservative with a young group that wants to flash. We should work, but with the hunger to smash everyone. just sayin- really?”

    really?- If Bradley is missing the plot on Adu why did he waste a roster spot through our two summer tournaments on a very rusty player who he probably knew would not be able to contribute much? And before you tell me he hates Freddy and is punishing him by benching him, consider that Bradley has more to gain than anyone, even harry, if Adu becomes a super star.

    Could it be that he wanted to keep him in some sort of form for a possible transfer? Did you notice how Bradley kept Benny in touch with the USMNT even through his troubles at Derby and other places?

    Adu would be a lot better off if everyone would just get off his case and let him develop naturally. The Adu lovers here think he is the second coming of Pele and as soon as his feet touch the field, he will terrorize the league. The Adu haters think he should be in the USL trying to get playing time. Adu is a 20 year old with a lot of potential but with serious holes in his game that need to be addressed. It also appears he has questionable management. I saw him a lot at DC and thought that he had all that potential but also that he was well….. a 14 year old and acted like it. I’ve seen him lately and he hasn’t developed as much as I would have thought he would have. It remains to be seen whether or not he has gotten much more mature. And it remains an open question as to whether or not he can fit into a team for the World Cup. It’s not just about sheer talent. Let’s see if his coach at Belenenses can make him a productive regular player, something he has never been through his 5- 6 year pro career, before you start comparing him to TH14.


  • Chris

    Obviously the book isn’t closed on Adu, but the writing is on the wall: he has not improved in the last 2+ years, and in fact has gone backwards in his play.

    Can he still become a much much better player? Yes. Is there really any reason to think that he will break out of this plateau? No. His “upside” is all but gone. He’s grown as much as he’s going to, and he’s an adult now, and the adult Adu isn’t that good.

    People saying “Well look at this other guy who wasn’t fantastic when they were 20 and now they are good”… most of those guys weren’t as good at 17 as they were at 20. And they were better at 23 than they were at 21. This isn’t the pattern for Adu.

    He and Justin Mapp should join the same team and they can talk about how good they should have been.


  • goalscorer24

    As long as he gets to play it is good, and he does not have to good through the long process of getting re-stituated in a new country etc..


  • madmax

    The names of the teams that Freddy has sat with are legend,

    Monaco, Benfica, RSL, DCU, DelcoSelect, George and Dragon Pub.


  • advocat

    Adu came here to my country when he was 10 from Ghana. He spent two years in public school. Then went to Bradenton for soccer school. He really never attended an American school. And for 3 years he has lived in europe. This is an American? The Us soccer federation should invest in amrican born Americans. Want free training? Go back o your original country and get it; you will have plenty of opportunities. Adu has been a huge bust indeed for US soccer as it invested precious resources (money, playing time, coaching,marketing,etc). In return? ZERO!!! Lets have the courage to invest in American born American citizens. if some kid comes here from Mali when he is 15, gets free college, playing time this robs and American of this opportunity. I am against this. I hope the USSf has learned from this.


  • AlfonsoMIller

    Seems to me that no matter how well Adu does he won’t be a factor in this WC because we don’t currently employ a system that benefits from his skills. JFT can’t find the field either, because Bradley’s system is something akin to ‘dump and chase’ in hockey. Game after game I watch us launch the ball towards Ching and let him try to hold it up while Donovan/Dempsey/Davies makes a diagonal run.

    When we have a coach – or enough players with the skill to possess the ball, control tempo and unlock opponents – then we won’t see players like Adu or Torres playing for USA.


  • chelski002

    Adu is playing in some peanut team in Portugal. Make no mistake: virtually any team in the USL would be better than this team. Adu couldnt make to any MLS team right now. I guarantee no MLS team buys him in the transfer window- none.


  • Susan

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.




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