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NASL commish open to idea of Adu move to Silverbacks

Freddy Adu Bahia (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

As far as players who resonate in American soccer go, few can match up to Freddy Adu and that is why NASL commissioner Bill Peterson is not against the idea of seeing the youngster playing in North America’s second division.

Peterson touched on the topic of Adu potentially joining NASL on Thursday in the wake of comments made by Atlanta Silverbacks head coach Eric Wynalda to SI.com earlier in the week. Peterson said the addition of Adu to NASL would be positive for the league, but stopped short of saying much else about what the 24-year-old playmaker.

“He’s a well-known player and I think it would mean a lot to the Altanta club to have a player like that,” said Peterson. “Our teams, our owners are responsible for their own success on the field, so if they feel like that’s something that’s going to help them win games first and if it helps them promote their club then that’s great as well.

“I’d love to see guys like that, too. I’d love to see a lot of different people in this league. We’ll see what they decide to do.”

Adu, is currently a free agent after having seen his deal with Bahia expire in December and Wynalda said earlier this week that he wants to bring Adu over to Atlanta, where the former striker will serve as head coach this season.

Sources tell SBI that Adu’s next move will almost certainly see him stay in Europe. He is currently training with English League Championship side Blackpool, and sources tell SBI that Norway and Turkey are possible destinations for Adu.

What is going in the Silverbacks’ favor is that they do not operate under a salary cap like clubs in MLS and could afford to pay Adu his high salary demands. That, and their desire to add him to the roster.

“I think he can still play at a high level,” Wynalda told SI.com. “He proved to me he was capable of that against Mexico in the Gold Cup final (in 2011). His ego can’t get in the way because the level will be questioned, but he needs to find a team that wants him, and I want him.”

44 comments
  • Ian Woodville

    Oops someone else discovered that mentioning Adu gets you all sorts of free publicity. Can we expect presidential candidates to hint that Adu might be their choice for VP or brewers mentioning that they expect Adu to sample their brand? the opportunities are endless.

    Like

  • Nimrod

    Why would Adu need to play in the NASL? Nothing to be gained and he can get better visibility playing anywhere in Europe. If he plays NASL, you can bet there are hacks that are targeting him so they can make a name for themselves.

    Btw, they play on turf so that should be a deterrent rather than an incentive.

    Like

    • danny

      Nothing to be gained? How about actually playing league soccer… that’s something that he hasn’t done for awhile. And play somewhere where they actually build the system around him. And let’s face it he is going to have to swallow his pride to find a team/league that will actually do that.

      Like

      • Rory Miller

        Yeah, I mean, what is there to gain from playing in NASL under Wynalda?

        Let’s just go ask Chris Klute who went from Atlanta to Colorado and picked up the tag of “the future left back of the USMNT” in about six months time.

        Like

      • NC Jeff

        +1 … Wynalda strikes me (pun intended) as a solid player development coach, which is what US Soccer needs out of the NASL. If he does go there, he can get some good coaching in while outside of the media spotlight. Then, after probably a year, he can go elsewhere and be a viable player for someone, and STILL be just 25 (seems like he HAS to be older than 24). And, if after a year, he is not a viable player, well …

        Like

      • Nimrod

        If he goes and plays well, e.g., xx assists, xx goals, people will say it’s the 2nd division, etc. No one will take those accomplishments seriously, or enough to compete for a USMNT.

        Like

    • Cosmosfan

      Because the kid needs to find a team that wants him and will play him so he can get back into the groove. The guy has played like no competitive soccer in 6 years…if he values his career he would look to a situation where he can reestablish himself in a supportive atmosphere..then try his luck abroad again. just my opinion.

      Like

      • TomG

        I get your point but you’re exaggerating. He played 24 games for Philly in 2012 and scored 5 goals.

        Like

    • TheSoccerDude

      Adu is not that good. No European team wants him. When teams don’t want you, it is hard to play for them.

      No MLS team wants him because he just isn’t good enough.

      End the Adu love.

      Like

      • TomG

        Scored 5 goals with Philly in 2012 and would have had 10 assists if anyone could finish on that team. He can play in MLS. You’re being silly.

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      • Nimrod

        I wonder if the majority of people here commenting saw him play for Philly. If they did, they would know the issue isn’t him but the way the coach used him. When Adu played for them, they were exciting to watch, without him, there was no creativity and attack was pretty dull and predictable.

        Even a guy like Torres was not playing; what does that tell you about the coach/system.

        Like

      • matt

        No European team wants him [for the salary he expects]. No MLS team wants him [for the salary he expects].

        FYP

        Dude has some talent left but not $300,000 worth.

        Like

    • dude

      you are an idiot. just look at half of the players on teams in the SEC and they make me(25) look like a 17 yr old.

      Like

      • JayAre

        +1 He looks 22/23 ish to me. I don’t get the age argument with Freddy. Greg Oden came out of high school looking like he was 35

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      • patrick

        its because Freddy has really only, truly excelled during age restricted competitions.

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      • Joamiq

        I’m not an Adu birther, but he does look super old to me in that picture. I agree with you on Oden though – he looked like a retired vet his freshman year.

        Like

  • TomG

    Not sure why MLS is being ruled out? He was still,a very useful player for Philly even though they didn’t feel he was worth the salary (no one does). I’d think there might be a few MLS sides that might like him on a reasonable contract. He needs to play games and MLS seems like a good level for him. It’s the only place he’s ever gotten a decent run of games in his whole career aside from a brief run in Turkey. Aside from hooking up with a manager who knows him and believes in him a la Bob Bradley, this is his best bet for getting playing time at a decent level.

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    • Phil B

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think wage demands pretty much rule out MLS. He was at $400k in Philly, which I believe is the most you can make without being a DP. No one will commit to that much money for Adu.

      Like

      • Phil B

        And I meant to say that I don’t think he is willing to accept a lower contract… but that is just my opinion of why he’s still in Europe.

        Like

    • Nate Dollars

      “even though they didn’t feel he was worth the salary (no one does)”

      you said it right there. until he thinks no one is going to pay him what he’s asking, i don’t think he’ll lower his salary demands.

      Like

      • TomG

        If he’s not willing to take a decent check in a good spot in a good league for him with a situation he knows he can get playing time over a paycheck for yet another unsettled situation, then he just doesn’t really want to play and there’s no hope for him. If he’s too dumb to realize that the biggest money will come down the road once he’s proved himself, he’s a lost cause.

        Like

  • MLSatlanta

    I personally would love to see Freddy here in Atlanta. I’m a big Silverbacks fan but one thing Atlanta (and NASL) is missing is recognizable names. I support the Backs because I want to support soccer in Atlanta, but I’ll be honest, when I first started going to games I didn’t know a single player on the field. I have since then gotten to know the players, but having a big name would definitely peak the interest of the casual fans or people that are on the fence.

    Like

  • Pep Guardiola

    Right now it doesn’t matter where he plays as long as he’s playing consistently ANYWHERE he goes…

    Like

  • NASL to el paso tx

    Cosmos,mexico ligamx, japan, australia, bob bradley. ABCs bachelor, real world explosion, fs1, BET. NFL kicker, college 🙂

    Like

  • Marco

    “Peterson said the addition of Adu to NASL would be positive for the league, but stopped short of saying much else about what the 24-year-old playmaker.”

    Does nobody proofread these articles anymore? This is becoming all-too common lately. I have always looked at SBI as a great news source but lately it’s really trending towards being just a blog with all the trappings of bloggerdom (including errors that simply would be caught if a second set of eyes had seen the work before being published).

    Like

    • TomG

      Um, you might want to sit down for this, but…. It IS a blog. Go read the NY Times if you want fact checkers and proofreaders. I’d hope all the writers have a good grasp of English language grammar and writing conventions as well as basic journalistic tenets, but the idea is to publish lots of content cheaply and quickly. There are going to be some mistakes.

      Like

      • Marco

        Sorry if I’d like it to be a little better than a Facebook post. I don’t think asking someone to read over their writing a second time is asking that much. But that’s cool, if it becomes a lot less professional and a lot more blog then I’m sure a lot of us will just find another place to read the same stuff every source has.

        Like

      • TomG

        Comparing it to a Facebook post is just goofy. You’re the one being dopey in this case. You also just used a noun (blog) as an adjective, so get off your high horse.

        Like

  • Jake

    I thought it would be the Cosmos, but this sounds about right. They want an MLS team in Atlanta. An Adu move would get them publicity (deserved or not). It’d be a good level for him right now. If he shows he can compete and dominate the league, an MLS team will pick him up. For the right price for Atlanta, its a good move for both parties.

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      he’s already good enough for mls. did no one watch him in philly?

      the reason mls teams aren’t picking him up is his high salary, plain and simple.

      Like

  • Free beer

    He Adu’d it … A term associated with millennials who bought to the hype after reading the press releases sent out by their management team

    Like

  • Landon Klinsmann

    Freddy is 27 and Messi grew to become who he was with the help of HGH. These are just the two uncomfortable truths of soccer right now. I have given up explaining to folks that HGH does more than just make short guys grow taller, in that it also creates permanent increase in muscle mass which Messy takes full advantage of in his explosive runs behind defenders. But I hope that people still will entertain the notion that Freddy has always been older than he and his family have held him out to be.

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      “I hope that people still will entertain the notion that Freddy has always been older than he and his family have held him out to be.”

      well, people still think obama’s from kenya, so i don’t think you have to worry about that.

      Like

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