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Report: Adu set to sign with Serbian club

Freddy Adu Bahia (Bahia)

By DAN KARELL

Freddy Adu’s next career destination could be in Eastern Europe.

Goal USA is reporting that Adu is preparing to sign with Serbian side FK Jagodina, ending a seven-month run without a club after he was released by EC Bahia in Brazil. Jagodina finished third in the Serbian league last season and is taking part in UEFA Europa League qualifiers for the third straight season.

Adu is expected to attend Jagodina’s Europa League second round qualifying match against CFR Cluj on Thursday and then sign his contract on Friday or Saturday, according to the report.

The 25-year-old midfielder reportedly decided on Jagodina after weighing other offers from Sweden, India, and AEL Limmasol in Cyprus, who are currently taking part in UEFA Champions League qualification.

If Adu does sign, it would be another chance for him to reboot his career since he left the Philadelphia Union following the 2012 MLS season. Adu joined Bahia in April 2013 but only made seven appearances in all competitions through December due to coaching changes.

Since the start of 2014, Adu has had trials at Blackpool in England, Norwegian club Stabaek, and even AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands, though all were unsuccessful.

Adu last played in Europe in 2011 when he spent six months on loan with Turkish club Caykur Rizespor, making 13 appearances.

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What do you think of this report? Glad to see Adu find a club? Do you see him succeeding in Serbia?

Share your thoughts below.

116 comments
  • William the Terror

    To steal from MC 900 Foot Jesus, Adu should title his autobiography “Adventures on Failure.” Serbia?

    Like

    • Paul

      +1
      Exact thought rang through my head when I read the report. Feel bad for Freddy and hope he lands with a club.

      Like

      • Horsewhistle

        I went to a Serbian club once. A couple smoking chicks and a bunch of dudes dancing to some euro electronic. Someone released a tear gas canister though and the whole place was evacuated. Never made it to a soccer match, but hear they’re about the same.

        Oh yeah, my Yugo friend got a DUI on the way home. He wasn’t driving a Yugo though. It was an Alfa. Breakfast the next day with his wife was a little awkward though.
        Good luck Freddy!

        Like

  • Andy McClatchey

    So this Serbain outfit can pay you more than MLS or Liga MX? Freddy…did you get yourself completely blackballed from MLS?

    Like

    • James

      To me, it seems like he just wants to avoid MLS. I can’t really blame him as he faces far more attention/scrutiny/criticism than your typical player (justified or not).

      I know he has a bad rap, but I’m actually really impressed by his commitment to the sport. After being rejected so often the past few years, I’m amazed he’s stuck with it, and is willing to play wherever. If it were me, I would have lost all motivation and just retired.

      Like

      • Cylo

        His not good enough to be in the MLS. If he ever came back he would be on the bench. His days are over. That what happen when you pass on the wrong side of 30

        Like

      • TheSoccerDude

        He definitely isn’t 24. Someone played fast and loose with the Ghana birth certificate, if there ever was one. Look at his recent pictures. He isn’t a young man.

        Like

      • Elite Hunting

        It happened as a youth player and the motive was to win youth championships when he was clearly an overage player.

        Like

      • Andrew

        He was 8 when he moved to the United States. If he was more than a year or two older than that, people would have noticed instantly. And it’s not as if there was a motive, seeing as he didn’t play any organized soccer until he was in the US.

        Like

      • Luke

        Look at the picture above. That does not look a person who is 24. He looks like he’s 34 and a well worn one at that.

        Like

      • James

        1) You contradict yourself by saying he’s not good enough for MLS, yet would make the bench.

        2) You may have been joking, but it’s 100% speculation that he isn’t 24, based on dubious, if not racist, insinuation.

        Like

      • Luke

        “racist, insinuation” Wow another overreaction on SBI. Get a grip dude!

        Like

      • Increase0

        Inaccurate birth certificates is a well known issue in many African Countries. It has nothing to do with race.

        Like

      • Clyde Frog

        Why would he have come to the US with a falsified birth certificate? To what ends? The Freddy Ada age people never comment on this, but you have to start with what his mother’s motive would have been.

        Like

      • Increase0

        Eh, well I will say this. It’s easier to get a 1 adult and a dependent refugee status/green card than it is to get a mother and an adult son.

        I really don’t know enough about his specific case. I’m just saying its a well known problem in certain West African nations and is totally viable. It wouldn’t have to be a fake birth certificate as there is a good chance he never got a real one when he was born to begin with.

        I seriously doubt the man is 36 like some people are saying though. It doesn’t really matter now anyway. At 25, he can either play for you or he can’t.

        It’s not like a 21 year old who is doing his best to get picked up by an Italian team and to make himself just a bit more appealing.

        At 25, one or two years in either direction make little difference.

        Like

      • Anthony

        Stop! He came here with his mother when he was kid. He came in around 97/98 which would have made him 8 yrs old. I seriously doubt that he was 18/19 years old. Is there a chance he could have been 10 yrs instead of 8, yeah, but that is not a big deal. It is hard for 18 yr to look like an 8 yr,but easier for 10 to look like a 8 yr.

        That being said, the kid had/has talent. My brother’s friends played in the US Youth Soccer Championships in 2000/2001 (they were in the U17 group) and they mentioned that there was a lot talk about this kid there (ended being Adu), who was on whole different level than anyone else. Keep in mind he was 11/12 yrs old playing with 14/15 and still won the Golden Ball. That same year, he played with the U17 and was the best player (the group’s best player was Eddie Gaven). He stood out when he played Italian youth teams in the same or next year

        Listen, in my life I have seen many Golden Ball players never pan out. Look at the list at youth team all stars and most don’t pan out. In a typical country like, Argentina, they have 10 or 20 Freddy Adus in a generation and maybe 1 pans out. His growth was stunted because he went to MLS at 14/15 in 2003/4 instead of taking the offers to go the academies that made him an offer and learning. He might have ended up (not Pele but a goo attacking player in a league like Portugal etc.

        Like

      • Bohawk

        A 2 year difference at the youth level can be the difference between dominating and being labeled the next Pele and not being noticed.

        Like

      • Pirithous

        True, but the conspiracy birthers are convinced that he is 6, 8, even 10 or 12 years older than he is. Their “theory” implies that his mother said he was 8 and put him in school as an 8 year old when he was actually 16, 18, or even 20 years old. Most of their “evidence” is that he doesn’t look 25 in pictures.

        Saying he is a couple (2-3) years older than stated on his birth certificate is at least possible (though not supported by anything but speculation). Claiming that he is in his mid-thirties is silly, but strangely persistent.

        Like

      • Techskillz416

        are you truly that stupid….. if Pajoy was able to play day in and day out for the Union, MAYBE thats why Adu is avoiding the MLS…..

        Like

      • GW

        ” If it were me, I would have lost all motivation and just retired.”

        James,

        Yeah ? Retire at 25 ? And then do what exactly? As far as I can tell Fredinho has no other marketable skills.

        He is still good enough and young enough to make a decent living getting paid to do things most of us would do for a lot less.

        Like

  • NC Jeff

    OK … who was the first to correctly predict he’d up in Serbia (w/ FK Jagodina, specifically)? In any case, good luck to him … I’m sure he’d like his career arc to have taken a more glorious route to this point, but hey, he’s playing and actually still relatively young. Or, in poker-speak, he’s got “a chip and a chair.”

    Like

    • Petedela

      Agreed. This has to be one of the worst career moves I have ever heard of.

      Let’s see what he has to look forward to:
      1. Racist home fans
      2. Racist away fans
      3. High expectations that he will probably never be able to fulfill
      4. Draconian coaching styles
      5. The ‘jet set’ lifestyle of backwater Eastern Europe

      Of course I don’t think all Serbians are racist. But their stadiums are famous for monkey chants and right wing behavior.

      Nevertheless, I wish him the best of luck.

      Prove me wrong, Freddy!

      Like

      • Jeff

        “monkey chants and right wing behavior”… right wing behavior. You’re a total dou.che bag, and that’s being kind.

        Like

      • Will Smith

        The political right in Serbia would indeed by the perps of the monkey chants, as they are in the rest of Eastern Europe. Within that context, it’s accurate to describe it as “right wing behavior.”

        Like

      • Anthony

        What is so off about what he said. He said he does not think all Serbians are racist, but he should get ready for some monkey chants and ultra-right wing behavior. He is not off. In eastern Europe there have been a lot of situation of racist/ethnic/Semitic chanting as well slogans and banners.

        I hate to say it, but he is done. It is one bad decision first by his handlers then himself. Two big ones that stand out: (1) not going to a Euro academy when he was 15 and letting MLS use him for publicity (not his fault), (2) not staying in Turkey with a salary cut to establish himself when the team liked him and (3) not learning to properly play defense/both sides of the ball.

        Like

      • Petedela

        Uhmm… What are u talking about.

        I’m just laying out what he can expect.

        As a Black-Austrian American of partial Serbian descent who lived in Europe for over 7 years I think I know a bit of what I’m talking about. I sincerely hope he is not subjected too unfriendly xenophobia. But unfortunately, I doubt it.

        I really don’t understand what your intentions by name calling.

        I will follow Freddy on Twitter and root him on. I’d love to see him prosper.

        Like

      • Yankiboy

        ^Petedela wrote what I was thinking the second that I saw the title.

        Is don’t understand what Jeff took offense for, let alone to be so disrespectful.

        I’ve personally know guys who’ve played soccer in Serbia and they’ve related their own experiences. Racism is a serious problem. I’ve read it’s a problem for guys playing in other sports like basketball.

        I can only guess what Jeff was going off about. Hopefully he’ll clarify.

        Thanks for your take Petedela. Sometimes people forget about that ugly reality.

        Like

      • solles

        hes taking offense because hes a right winger and rush told him to take offense with one line arguments

        Like

      • GW

        Adudinho has played in Europe often enough that I doubt he needs anyone to tell him what to expect in terms of racism.

        Fredinho is a lot of things but stupid isn’t one of them.

        This is all about trying to get noticed by a bigger clubs as Serbs as scouted frequently by them even if SBI fans don’t know that. Good luck to him.

        Like

      • Mason

        The monkey chants are almost the exclusive province on European right wing ultras. Educate yourself before you complain incorrectly.

        Like

      • Wood Chip Zip

        The Serbs I know living in this country who say racists things vote democrat. Politically they are not right wing in the context of this country. They come from a socialist area of the world.

        Like

      • Mason

        The Serbs you know don’t live in Serbia, so they’re irrelevant.

        Like

      • Mason

        Look… this isn’t really up for debate. Most of the racists BS in European football comes from Nationalist RW Ultras. You know… people that vote for the National Front, UKIP or their fellow travelers. It’s not really the more mainstream conservatives like the Torries, Forza Italia, or Germany’s CDU.

        Like

  • Maykol

    As long as he actually is employed, good for him. Man i remember how impressed i was with him at the gold cup

    Like

    • r.benjamin

      We’ll always have the U20 cup. V brazil he was the best player on the field.

      Like

      • Duke

        And people that want to hammer him should remember those two outings. JK should be working with him, not shunning him. Maybe he could be saved if he ever landed in a good situation

        Like

      • Matt

        There are dozens of US players younger and better than Adu that JK should be concerning himself with. He’s not shunning him…there’s just no reason for Adu to even be on his radar. Adu has been in lots of good situations, and hasn’t delivered…it’s up to him to prove that there’s something worth salvaging.

        Like

    • Wood Chip Zip

      He’s been good pretty much every time he has worn a USA jersey. He played well for the Union too. He would have had lots of assists for them if his teammates at the time could finish.

      Like

      • GW

        “He’s been good pretty much every time he has worn a USA jersey. ”

        That is not true.

        Like

  • EA

    Eastern Europe? Yikes. Who would want to play there?

    What’s the over/under on how long before the “fans” start lobbing bananas at him and making monkey noises?

    Like

    • Andy McClatchey

      “Enjoy Bratislava. It’s good you came in summer, in winter it can get very depressing.”

      Like

      • William the Terror

        Every scene in that movie is funny. From the psycho Manchester United fans to the Amsterdam brothel to the Vatican.

        Also great with the Bratislava guy:

        “Is there a train coming soon?”

        “Oh yes, very soon. They are building it now.”

        Like

      • Luke

        “Ay man, we just got Miami Vice on television. Miami Vice is number one new show!”

        Better watch out the PC guy above may accuse of us of being anti Slovakian.

        Like

    • Kosh

      + 1

      Yeah, you know what you’re kind’a walking into on this one, Freddy. This is almost asking for it. In any case good luck to him and hopefully the folks there prove us all wrong.

      Like

  • Andy McClatchey

    The joke is all on us… Freddy is just playing in all these different places to absorb all the local spice and flair for the sport… once he makes his last stop in Suriname he will be the most complete player and on the planet and ready to lead the US to the 2018 World Cup…

    Ghana, US, Portgual, France, Greece, Turkey, Brazil….now Serbia…

    Like

    • Falsify

      The joke is not on anyone but Freddy. His entire career has even one disappointment after another. The evidence supports anyone who doubts Freddy. He’s never come through or exceeded expectations or risen to the level he is capable of. The dude is a joke.

      Like

      • away goals

        Freddy is no more of a joke than the thousands of other aspiring players out there. He didn’t ask you or anyone else to anoint him as the american pele.

        Like

      • Nate

        he came through against panama in the gold cup with that 40 yard inch perfect assist….or maybe you forgot.

        Like

  • bakunin

    Good for Freddy!
    Even little FK Jagodina could beat our defending MLS champions (or any other MLS team for that matter). Moreover, I have a feeling this is going to work out for Freddy.

    живели!
    živeli!

    Like

  • TheSoccerDude

    Adu has great soccer ball skills. However, those ball skills don’t make him a good soccer player. Many of the great soccer ball jugglers completely suck as soccer players.

    Like

  • Dennis

    I wonder what his salary demands were? At Stabaek, he probably could have helped the team since Stabaek has stumbled lately. Bradley was the last coach to give him meaningful minutes in situations he could handle (2011 Gold Cup) and likely could have found a way to use his talent to advantage had Stabaek been able to sign him. Or maybe Bradley did not like what he saw from Adu in his couple weeks of training.

    Like

    • Anthony

      I don’t know if it’s his salary. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t we don’t know. For all we know, he just fit in etc.

      Like

  • beto

    Good for him. At this point tho there are a lot of more relevant players in the US Pool to report on.

    Like

    • solles

      a) why does a player have to be in the us pool to be reported on, and

      b) he’s still in the us player pool??

      Like

  • AcidBurn

    Just looked at FK Jagodina on Wiki. Adu will be their only player not from Eastern Europe (actually about 90% Serbian, with a player from Macedonia, Croatia, and BiH). Gulp.

    He better deliver there or it could get ugly. Stranger in a strange land.

    Like

    • Falsify

      I give it two games before bananas are thrown on the field. Fans in that region are scum.

      Like

    • GW

      Jagodina has had African players, even Ghanaians, in the last few years.

      They do well and move on, which I’m sure is Freddy’s plan.

      Like

  • Cairo

    The ridiculously stupid age assumptions have got to stop. They really are the low point of American soccer fandom. The only documents we’ve got say he’s 24, so until you have an official document saying otherwise, just stop being, well…idiots.
    Not that it matters, anyway. He’s no longer the great hope of American soccer, so how old we think he is is irrelevant. What matters is whether clubs want to pay him and possibly play him. If it ends up being this Jagodina club, then so be it. The vitriol Freddy gets is, I guess, because people think he let down US Soccer. I can’t think of another reason. He doesn’t insult people publicly, he doesn’t say racist things, he’s never bitten anybody, he didn’t even really go after Hackworth after he decided he didn’t want Freddy. (and Hack is gone as well, probably never to be seen again as a head coach in MLS). Freddy comes off as a nice, possibly misguided young man whose talents were not nurtered, but whose life thus far has nonetheless been more interesting than most fans who post on this or any other website. If that makes you feel inadequate enough that you anonymously spew crap about the guy on soccer websites, then there’s not much hope for you.

    Now, to his transfer. After a ton of rough choices and failed experiments, this one seems pretty rough as well. Serbia does have a history of racist chants, and if you look at their current roster, Freddy will be the only one who isn’t from Eastern Europe. I think he’s the only one who is not from the Former Yugoslavia. That’s a huge challenge. For this to work he’s going to have to keep his head down and work his ass off. Given his track record, this is going to be tough, but his spell in the Turkish second division was ok, so there’s at least a chance that this will be successful. I’ll just be glad when he’s playing again, somewhere. He loves the game and he’s pretty entertaining when he plays.

    Like

    • Joe from Philly

      Thank you. Intelligent, reasonable and well thought out. Makes me think back fondly to when this site was younger and the commenters were more mature.

      Like

  • Mikey K

    It is cool he is playing for a Europa League team. I am of African-American background, I would never step foot in that country. Adu in Serbia, is not a good idea. Their was a American player who use to play in Serbia, I forgot his name. He and his Brazilian friends who were of Afro-Brazilian descent. They were ran out of Serbia due to racism. I hope he is safe if he does sign there.

    Like

  • Ryan

    Great move for him, seriously. I heard the Serbs only had to pay 3 goats to get him. Once his stock rises, I’m thinking at least 6 goats will get him to a bigger club

    Like

  • Herman Munster

    Why is this even news? Irrelevant player signs to play in league nobody cares about? Yawn

    Like

      • Falsify

        People care in the sense that it’s a running joke. Nobody is invested or has serious hopes for Freddy. He’s an after thought

        Like

    • Benjamin C.

      The same reason an article on Tim Tebow would receive tons of hits. I’m not sure why people still question these things; sports never has been and never will be totally about what happens on the field. It is essentially a big soap opera, and whether you think they should or not, certain ‘characters’ draw more interest than others. Adu will always be a fascination, a myth or urban legend so to speak, to many American soccer fans; there is no point in questioning it or getting mad when news about him comes out, it is just the way it is.

      Like

  • Mason

    That photo looks more like Freddy Oldu, amirite?

    Remember to tip your cocktail waitresses…

    Like

  • Zachary

    I’m assuming they won’t even speak English since everyone on the team is basically Serbian?

    What the hell has this guy done to his career? Why does no one in MLS want him? Is it his salary demands?

    Like

    • 1st Time Caller

      Have you ever been to Serbia? Bc your comment is dripping with ignorance

      Like

  • Vasco

    Seriously, eastern europe. OMG

    I would go for the NASL, before eastern europe.

    Like

      • Vasco

        I know, just saying NASL would be better than eastern europe.

        I know someone who played in eastern europe, who’s career was ended by the rough play and tackling.

        It is only one man who played there, but I did see the after math.

        Like

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