Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
CHESTER, Pa.– The rumors began to swirl immediately after the Philadelphia Union’s game-day roster was announced. The absence of Freddy Adu’s name led to some scathing theories about why he was missing from the squad for a second straight match, with one report suggesting Adu’s days with the Union were already over.
Union head coach John Hackworth put to rest the notion that the team has already made a decision on Adu, but did make it clear that he and the team still had to weigh their options.
“Me and Freddy have a long history and, despite what people think, we’re pretty close,” Hackworth said after Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls. “I want what’s best for Freddy. I expect a lot out of him. He expects a lot out of himself. We’ll have a heart to heart talk and see what’s best for both of us.”
Adu has a guaranteed contract in 2013, meaning the Union are on the hook for his salary next season and can only move him if they either trade him, sell him or buy out his contract. If the Union decide he won’t be in their plans, the most likely scenario would be to find an MLS team to trade him to, though trading Adu would most likely involve having to absorb a large portion of his salary.
Multiple high-level sources with the Union shot down claims that the team had already made a final decision to part ways with Adu, as well as denying rumors that Adu was a disruptive force in the team’s young locker room.
Adu endured a disappointed 2012 season, as did the Union. He finished the year with five goals and one assist, playing in 24 of the team’s 34 games. Adu dealt with his share of injuries, and productivity, but like many of the players on the Union, he struggled playing in a system without reliable veteran goal scorers.
Hackworth did make it clear that the team still has to weigh options and consider whether or not to keep the high-priced playmaker, but he made it clear that no final decision has been made yet.
“We had a good talk and agreed we just need to have a little bit of separation from the year and all of the emotions and things like that,” Hackworth said. “Then we’ll make some decisions going forward that are good for both of us.”
What do you think of this situation? Think the Union should bring Adu back? Would you take Adu on your team in 2013?
Share your thoughts below.