European Soccer

Afternoon Ticker: Sion passes on Adu, James signs with Bristol City and more



Freddy Adu's professional playing future is once again up in the air, and his next club destination is unknown.

What is clear is that he won't be joining Swiss club Sion. After a short trial this week, the team decided that it would pass on the chance to add the 21-year-old. It leaves the midfielder who is on contract to Benfica and currently on loan at Aris Thessaloniki in limbo once more. Staying at Aris remains unlikely as he is no longer in the club's plans.

With the club season just a few weeks away in several parts of Europe, Adu's search for a playing destination will continue into August.

Here are a few other stories for this afternoon.

James lands in the Championship

England goalkeeper David James decided not to continue his career in the English Premier League, opting instead to sign with Bristol City in the Championship. The 39-year-old elected to bypass offers to join Sunderland or Celtic in the Scottish Premier League. James had been looking for a one-year deal with an option for a second, something other clubs hesitated to offer.

Fabregas to stay

One of the longest drawn out transfer sagas appears to have temporarily reached an end. The Cesc Fabregas-to-Barcelona rumor is one that never seems to go away.

But according to Arsene Wenger, there's no chance that will happen this year. Wenger again emphasized that he won't sell the team's captain to Fabregas' hometown club of Barcelona before the transfer window closes in August.

MLS roster moves

FC Dallas sent defender Anthony Wallace to the Colorado Rapids for future draft picks. Dallas also announced the signing of Ruben Luna, Victor Ulloa and Moises Hernandez, all members of the club's Academy team.

The Philadelphia Union waived fourth round draft pick and UCLA product Brian Perk. The 21-year-old had yet to feature in league play. The move allowed the club to sign midfielder J.T. Noone, who had been training with Union affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders.


What do you think of the latest Adu news? When will the Fabregas to Barcelona noise die down? Will James succeed for Bristol City? Glad to see more MLS Academy players sign with the first team?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Tom

    So let’s say he was 21 at 14. Nobody doesn’t improve from age 21-28 either. Or 18-25. Etc.


  • Warren

    right. It’s sad but really Freddy is just another child star/misguided by his elders story, we’ve seen this movie many times before.


  • Warren

    Don’t blame MLS? Freddy the novelty act was an MLS invention to promote the league.

    So of course blame MLS, if they were really looking out for the kid they should have told him to take his youth development academy deal with Inter or whomever wanted him back then….instead they wanted a novelkty act to attact attention to the league when the quality of play was not much of a selling point.


  • patrick

    what ruined freddy adu was not the MLS, nor was it Nike or Campbells or Pepsi, it was himself. We’ve heard more than once, that Freddy doesn’t have the motor, or soccer IQ to play at a high level. Perhaps, if there was an And-1 mixtape type league, he’d be a star but until he puts in defensive effort, plays smarter and hustles, no one is going to take him. Add to that that he’s too slow to play out wide or up front, and not big enough to play in the middle, so where do you stick him?
    We saw the professionalism problems start in DC, then salt lake, then move on to what, 4, 5 clubs in europe and no one has had ANY interest in him? In a way, I can’t blame him for not offering to take a pay cut or asking to be released from his contract, this will be his first and last big pay day.


  • USA_A_OK

    Perhaps He should try South America or Mexico. Europe just doesn’t seem to be the place for him. At leas in SA or Mexico he could be creative and not worry so much about defensive responsibilities. That is assuming anyone in those leagues would take him at this point. Otherwise there is no shame in coming back to the MLS. Just get some minutes at this point or a reality TV show like T.O. because at this point he is generating more of an interest in his drama rather than his actual experience.


  • Kaiser

    Wrong, he would have struggled at a top European club. Those clubs have tons of young players, and guess what, they actually want to practice and work hard. He would have been lost in a sea of youth players at those clubs. Adu is talented, but until he develops some work ethic, he will continue to fail.


  • Mat

    I doubt Adu will let go of his lucrative Benefica contract before it expires – I think there is one more year to go.
    At this point, putting yourself in his shoes, well you realize that you’re not going to be as good as people thought you would, that you got an overinflated contract with Benefica thanks to the MLS marketing machine and all the crazy hype, and that you will probably never again get such a contract.
    So there is no reason for him to let go of that contract. Cash in as much as the contract allows, and next year start from scratch.
    Anyone who suggests Adu should renounce the Benefica contract to become a more affordable player and broaden the number of teams willing to take him needs a reality check: would you take a major pay cut from your job knowing there is no way you’ll get a financial opportunity like this ever in your life?
    Can’t blame Adu for not letting go of the deal just yet.
    After that, he should come back to MLS to try and revive his career.


  • Ossington Mental Youth

    Adu shoulda gone to Italy where tehy could ahve helped develop his talent. The US was too young in its development game at the time he chose to go there.


  • JoeW

    I think that’s too simplistic. I don’t “hate” Adu, was excited when he first came to DCU. But I believe I’ve always been pretty level-headed in evaluating him. I was never in the camp of: he’s great right now and should be on the 2008 WC team but Nowak and Arena are jealous and incompetent.

    I think some of his skills are amazing plus he’s unselfish. And he’s actually pretty mature for his age. But his game has had and still has MAJOR holes even when he was playing regularly–getting consistent minutes isn’t sufficient in his case. Plus, while he’s mature for his age, I also think that Bradenton didn’t serve him well. He got such special treatment (meetings with other star athletes in other sports) that I think he was encouraged to believe that he was ready before he was–thus the trials with ManU when he was still 16 and 17 and the talk of hoping to sign with Real Madrid.

    I think some people get perceived as “Adu-haters” b/c they’re having to react to the people who’ve vehemently posted stuff like:
    –it’s the stupid USSF coaches who are holding him back, forcing him to play defense and run off the ball and tackle, a special player shouldn’t be required to do those things
    –Nowak is just jealous of him, that’s why he doesn’t start him all the time, why he pulls him at half-time some games, why he disciplines him or sits him down, pure jealously by Nowak
    –when Adu leaves MLS and is surrounded by REAL soccer players who understand the game and have true skills, then we’ll see him flourish, with players who can appreciate his gifts
    –MLS is too easy for him, he’s moved beyond the league
    –sitting on the bench with a Euro club is better than starting with an MLS team
    –even though he’s not playing regularly in Europe, he still needs to be called in the USNT camp and/or WC team b/c he’s more gifted than anyone else we’ve got and would be the goal scorer/creator/playmaker the team needs
    –he’s playing in the wrong scheme, with a smart Euro coach and/or attacking league he’ll show everyone how great he is.

    I also disagree that he’s mercurial. He’s actually very even-keeled for a teenager/young adult (ie: teen in MLS and now 21). And his strengths now are pretty much his strengths 5 years ago except he’s incredibly rusty/not game-sharp and he’s gotten modestly better in a few areas (showing for the ball, staying involved in the game, concentration and focus) based on when I’ve seen him play. And his weaknesses then are pretty much his weaknesses now (except you add a lot of rust but reduce the weakness levels a bit in some areas).

    It’s just that a lot of folks anointed Adu as the “Great American Player” who was going to help us win a WC and be the first American to lead the La Liga/Prem in goals scorered. And when anyone else tried to say stuff like:
    –most U-17 stars don’t become good pros
    –he has major holes in his game and he’s very incomplete as a player
    Those people got labeled as Adu haters.


  • Adam M.

    Adu is like someone who gained some small amount of fame from a stint on a reality tv show years ago and has since bounced around from one worse cable reality show to another because he apparently can’t do anything else and he isn’t good enough for the big network shows. He is news because we know who he was from a while back, but if we didn’t know who he was back then, we wouldn’t care much who he is right now.


  • boludo

    what Mr. Clark failed to mention was that Adu was injured mid-trial and failed to recover quickly enough.


  • JoeW

    But Adu is always going to struggle at the international level as a winger unless he’s a pure attacker in a 433. He isn’t really that fast for an attacker, he doesn’t cover a lot of ground, isn’t that good running off the ball and has a poor workrate. Now some of that may change with time but the only times he’s been good as a winger was when he was with DCU where he played a Ronaldinho role of sorts and with some of the USSF U-teams where the level of play was far more forgiving–a winger who didn’t track back and defend wasn’t an albatros for your team.

    The Netherlands would be good for him. But he’d have to be willing to make a lot less money. I do not know if this is true. But it’s a possibility: he may be comfortable making a lot of money in Europe rather than making a lot less money but playing. Jovan Kirovski for years was taking Euro pay and sitting for clubs when he could have gone to a lesser league or MLS and played regularly and perhaps restarted his career.

    Maybe–I don’t know if it’s true–Adu is comfortable. He’s “prefer” to be starting but wants the money the most. He wouldn’t be the first athlete to go that direction.


  • Ben

    Yeah, it seems like his coaches in Europe become annoyed with his lack of awareness, but I don’t think, as others have done, that one can blame the MLS. Donovan, Dempsey, Holden, and more all came up through MLS and are doing fine in Europe. Also, I think toughness could be an issue.


  • JoeW

    Hush, he’s strong technical at SOME things. At others, he’s weak. And his play off the ball is mostly pretty bad (though it’s gotten better). And now he’s not game sharp. And at the top levels, he’s basically competing for 2 positions: A-mid and withdrawn forward and most clubs want impact players at those positions. He’s in a tough situation.

    The other point to make is this: a foreign attacker in a Euro club, “solid” doesn’t cut it. When a club spends big bucks and then plays someone not from their country, especially someone not from Europe, that player (if he’s in an attacking role) needs to score goals or set them up consistently. Being solid gets you on the bench.


  • Ben

    Yeah, but it wasn’t just the MLS. Nowak tried to put on the brakes, but I think the family and friends whispers suggestion of his greatness to him, leading to a rather large self-belief based on little evidence.


  • JoeW

    Except that FIFA’s research shows that most players (even stars) on U-17 teams don’t become solid pros in good leagues. Most end up out of football or playing with low-level teams.

    People assume that improving as a soccer player is like growing–you just automatically get better. Not true. And frankly, given your argument, it’s a reason why Freddy Adu should be significantly better. If he was really…say 24 or 25 instead of 21, he should be more mature on the field. Instead, he’s weak moving off the ball, he doesn’t show for the ball well, he disappears for long stretches in matches, his decision-making his hit or miss at times, he doesn’t track back well, he doesn’t read the tempo of the match well. That sounds like a young player to me.


  • Ben

    I agree with this post, even the part about not taking a pay cut; however, I don’t think the MLS is totally innocent.


  • Clayton

    Congrats to FCD youth. Good luck Freddy – I’d love to see you back in MLS.


  • Paul Thomas

    Am I missing something here? Why can’t Aris send him to a team that is willing to take him, perhaps a Championship club, 2.Bundesliga, something like that, and pay most of his salary?

    It’s still better for them than paying ALL of his salary and having him do squadoosh for their first team.

    This happens all the time in baseball. Mike Hampton was drawing a paycheck from three different teams by the time HIS albatross contract ran out. Is there a rule in soccer that says it can’t work the same way?


  • Srao

    so, all those guys that really impressed everyone on the U20 team at the Milk Cup? We will be agonizing why these guys haven’t been successful in 2-5 years? Uggh!!


  • patrick

    no, it happens all the time in soccer but freddy’s contract is believed to be rather large considering his demonstrated talent. I would imagine that had Freddy gone to Sion, he would have been one of the highest paid players, and they didnt want him. The other thing to factor in is that Fredyy has to OK it, and from what we’ve seen, i dont think freddy would consider championship, bundesliga 2, la liga 2 serie b etc etc. It seems like he’s hell bent on being in a top flight league. Also, he’d get destroyed in the bundesliga, it would actually be entertaining to see.


  • EB

    Joe(and others)do you guys think that it’s too late for Adu to overcome the holes in his game? It seems that others playing in some of the top leagues may have some deficiencies, yet are farther along at this stage of the game than Freddy.


  • Aaron in StL

    I wish him the best and think he really does have some type of potential still, but until he finds a team to stick with I have a hard time sympathizing. Not being on the inside, I would have to say that he’s a bad egg… time to take a pay cut young sir.


  • BooThisMan

    I’m not so sure anything ruined Adu. Maybe his potential was just grossly overestimated. Look at how many top draft picks in the NBA and NFL turn out to be busts, even when they’ve had a couple of years of college to build a body of work for scouts to look at. It is really surprising that a 14 year-old that was supposed to be the next big thing hasn’t panned out by age 21?


  • mexicanbluefish

    HINDsight, I know, but look at ADU and CD right now and look at how many people screamed about their non-callups… bob’s looking better all the time.


  • HeadMac

    Now that I’m older, I’m ready to take on the challenge of having Nike, Campbell and Pepsi stunt my mental growth and maturity.

    Becuase of my age it should take about $50 million to start me on the road to hell.

    For an extra $25 mill, I’ll even take full responsibility for my decline.


  • fischy

    Not much room for him there. Howard’s backed up now b Slovakia’s #1, who looked pretty good in the Cup.


  • fischy

    Supposedly FCD has signed 3 Academy players under the homegrown rule…which puzzles me. This year’s version of the Homegrown rule, as it was explained after DC added Hamid and Najar, allows teams two additional roster slots, not three.


  • Illmatic74

    You know what ruined Adu? I think it is genetics. If he wasn’t small, slow and weak I have a feeling he would have a little more success


  • guwinster

    Yeah, the big Swiss clubs don’t do any better in European competition than I’d expect from a good MLS team. They beat the teams that are from tiny countries. They split their games verse other middling teams and once in a blue moon they beat Milan. The Swiss League certainly isn’t any better than MLS.


  • DC Josh

    Not sure what to say about Adu. It’s safe to say the last two years have been a complete waste on the pitch. He hopefully learned something from his failures. I would like to see him come back to MLS.

    Glad David James didn’t go to Celtic. This leaves Dominic Cervi as the second string keeper.


  • Never First

    Young “phenoms” flop all the time. The only difference is there are 15 Freddy Adus in other countries, so when most of them don’t turn out to be great, fans just focus on the others. Adu was hyped by a league looking for any coverage it could find and a media that knows nothing about soccer. It was unfair to him and to everyone else, but that’s just the way it is. It takes a combination of mentality, technical skill, awareness and quick thinking to be a good soccer player. Some players just never develop in all those areas.


  • Pusedno

    Sounders FC would be perfect spot to reignite his career…Fans would love him and they need another attacker


  • papa bear

    boludo said in reply to Tim M….

    what Mr. Clark failed to mention was that Adu was injured mid-trial and failed to recover quickly enough.
    Reply July 30, 2010 at 04:57 PM”

    That pretty much explains everything you need to know about Adu these days. There is no reason for a 21 year old (please, no wise assed “he’s 30 for REALZZ” comments)to get injuries midway through a trial (unless it’s a real freak injury like a vicious tackle). How can he possibly be out of shape? He’s had all summer to get ready. Pathetic.


  • Nebraskacoog

    14 yo old Adu is exactly where he is at 21 yo Adu, which is a sub off the bench in the MLS. He comes back to the MLS, he gets an occasional start and probably mostly subs.

    I would say his best chance of starting is with the Dynamo, who need an attacking mid. That would allow the Dynamo to slot Cameron back in CD when he returns next month.


  • joe

    I personally think he should look to scandanavia or somewhere in mexico/ south america. is he comes back to the mls he would have to deal with a lot of backlash from the us soccer community.

    he should only make a change after his benfica contract expires. it has become painfully obvious that he will most likely not ascend to the level of world class player. so he should cash in w/ Benfica, then go somewhere under the radar and try to grind out a career. I mean if he went to denmark in a year, made modest improvements and was able to play for eight more years there, he could walk away from his soccer career w/ some decent coin… i just hope he’s been saving some of that cash he’s made


  • srfinger

    Wouldnt have mattered where he was when he was 15. He still would have been 5 foot 2, 120 lbs and not fast when he turned 20.

    Lots of good youth players around the world cannot make the jump to compete against professionals. If you look at the U17 WC top players, there are as many misses as hits.

    He is not a starter in the MLS. Cannot take it physically, and his skills arent good enough to make up the difference.


  • Micah King

    This is just a question/poll. Does anyone think if Adu would have reped Ghana on the national team level his career would be different, and he would be on a good team instead of getting loaned a lot ? I like Freddy I wish that Bob would give him another chance. I wish that Arena could have used him more, but can’t go back and change the past, just gotta move on.:)


  • Steve

    What if Landon Donovan leaves the LA Galaxy and MLS brings in Adu to replace him? That’d be a pretty great move.


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