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Union looking to unload Adu, who has likely played his final game for Philadelphia



The Philadelphia Union are ready to part ways with midfielder Freddy Adu and are working hard to ship him out either via transfer or on loan before the start of the 2013 MLS season.

Union head coach John Hackworth revealed the team’s plans in a letter to season ticket holders issued on Sunday. Here is an excerpt from the letter:

And now to the elephant in the room, if you will, Freddy Adu.

Much like Carlos, this was also a conversation that started before the end of last season. Basically, to make a very long story short, we presented Freddy with an option to come back and play for the Philadelphia Union.  However, Freddy chose to stick with his current contract, which was not an option we were willing to accept.  At the moment, Freddy has not been sold nor loaned and he continues to be our player, but in reality, while we are paying his salary and while we have his rights – he is not a part of our plans going forward.  We have a number of challenges because of moves we have made in the past couple of years that affect us long term and frankly, Freddy Adu is a major one.  The next step for him is one that we have been trying to work on since October, which is to see if there is a viable option to sell or loan him that makes sense for our organization and for Freddy.

In other words, Adu has played his last game with the Union. What remains now is just how the Union will ship off their most expensive player.

The Union pushed Adu to renegotiate his contract, but there was little motivation for Adu to change his deal considering he is on a guaranteed deal in 2013 at a salary between $600,000 and $800,000.

Adu endured a disappointing 2012 season, during which he managed five goals and one assist. He was far from alone in his struggles on the Union in 2012, with the team’s inconsistent attack also contributing to Adu’s poor production.

The Union have tried to shop Adu within MLS, but his salary made a deal within the league all but impossible. That leaves Philadelphia with the option of finding a foreign club to take Adu off their hands (or for Adu to find a foreign club that will be a good fit for him). As of Monday, remains to be seen just where Adu might wind up.

What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The things a lot of people are saying on this post is unbelieveable,
    1. Blaming Adu for what happened in Philly, he’s been doing this his whole career
    2. Saying he’s not good enough, quick enough or is an average player at best
    3. That he didnt produce for Philly
    4. It’s his attitude in the locker room
    5. He’s not worth the $600,000

    What happened in Philly showed their lack of coaching ability hence a bottom league team. You don’t go buy an expensive tool for your tool box, use it the wrong way then you want to say there is something wrong with it…….no, it just means you are an inexperienced handyman.
    Why do you think he keeps finding himself in these predicaments……being bought for big money then been loaned off after THEY cant use him. You don’t buy a player for that amount of money without doing your research or without knowing he’s worth it….because if you do then you don’t have the slightest clue how to scout and coach in the first place.
    Then you take a bunch of nobodies….Jac Mac, Farfan, Poboy etc and instead of letting Freddy lead them you play him out of position, throw him on the wing, have a young inexperienced midfielder like Farfan controlling the game in the middle then expect him to turn water into wine…..from the wing?
    He’s too slow, not that good or talented, easy displaced off the ball….really? Do we really need to go there again? Anytime he is on the National team he delivers, better yet anytime he is around quality and good finishers he delivers. Too slow….average talent? Tell that to Toronto and NYRB defenders…….they got a taste of him off the leash and I bet they restructured their back lines after he was done with them.
    Does anyone know what Dero, one of the best players in MLS, who has the skills to play even in the EPL, was doing at 23? Playing for the Richmond kickers…….even though he had a good run with SJ, Houston, Toronto they got rid of him, refuse to pay him what he was worth, so did NYRB who traded him for Dax McCarthy…….Dax McCarthy!!!!! Why is it that Giovani Dos Santos punishes or should I say embarrasses the US defense every time we play Mexico but can’t seem to find a top club to play for? Same reason as Adu, he is being played out of position or coaches think they can make him into something he’s not but then when they find out he doesn’t fit their system they throw him away (Loan).
    Adu with the right system, the right coach is going to confirm with a lot of people don’t want to admit…….

    • Well said. that is all that is needed. I love how most of these novice think they know something cornballs want to bad mouth the kid, when he has more talent in his finger then all of the philly roster, and most of the USMNT. It’s really impressive to have MB, Demps, Donovan etc..and then struggle to get to the final round of the HEX. Pretty impressive….

    • Legitimate question (not trying to stir the pot, I’d really like to know) – in your estimation, what system would work for him and what’s his position in said system? As a follow up – who employs that system and of those teams (i don’t doubt that there are more than a few out there), who’s looking for someone like Freddy that doesn’t already have either a better, more proven version or a younger, less expensive version of him?

      See, here’s what I can’t wrap my head around. I agree he’s a talented guy with a fairly rare skill set. However, not one, not two, not three, but SIX teams have now passed on Freddy since he left MLS the first time. The cause of that is certainly up for debate (salary certainly plays a part), but what’s not up for debate is the fact that when you’ve been a part of 6 teams in 5 leagues over the last 6 years and exactly 0 of those teams have felt like you’re the guy they want to give the keys of the offense to, it’s going to be pretty freaking hard to convince someone you’re their guy without taking a massive, massive pay cut and proving it to them.

  2. Honestly, i don’t care where he plays or how much, just as long as he makes it back to the Nats. He is a different player when he puts on a US shirt, and the Nats are infintely more interesting to watch when he is on the field with guys like Clint, Bradley and Landon. Better? Maybe, maybe not. But waaay more entertaining…

  3. Bottom line, as has been brought up by several pundits including Ives, is that Freddy Adu was hands down Philly’s best player and lead the league in good chances created. It’s too bad the coaching staff got rid of their only real finisher and then put in a bunch of wingers.

    But yeah, absolutely Freddy’s fault that the Union players couldn’t finish.

    • Freddy is too much of a luxury for this league. I bet if Messi played in MLS but his name wasnt Messi, they’d run him out of town too because he doesn’t play defense, track back, play as a target man, etc. All the BS that comes from people who never played but now run the game in this country.

      What is Hackworth’s experience as a soccer player? Not asking about coaching experience but actual playing experience in soccer. Was he a guy who got involved by taking his kids to practice and then became coach? Too many coaches who learn from books rather than playing the game themselves.

      • ARRIGO SACCHI- Won back to back euro league cups.
        CARLOS ALBERTO PARREIRA- led brazil to the 94 WC win
        AVB- Won the Euorpa and the Portugese Cup
        None ever played professionally. Don’t need to have played the game to manage it. As for Hackworth, he played collegiately and played for a USL team. So he did play the game just, not at a very high level.

      • College and lower-level club teams. Not a great playing resume. But that comment struck me as particularly ridiculous just the same. To compare Hackworth to a recreational youth coach – one of the parents who doesn’t duck fast enough when the club says someone has to do it – is ridiculous.

        This guy coached D-1 college, the U-17 national team, asst on the USMNT, etc. He’s hardly Will Ferrell reading drills out of a book.

        I’d say that comment reflects a complete unfamiliarity with soccer development in this country. Try getting even a high school JV coaching job without a C license sometime (fairly big high school – not talking Hoosier high), then come post. It’s not like it was a couple decades ago.

    • Freddy was hands down the most talented player on the Union squad last year. There is no argument for that. The problem is that for his salary, he disappeared from games far too often. I either attended or watched every game last year, and far to many times he would be no where near the play and wasn’t setting himself up to be included in the play. He drifted away from the game far too often. Many times it seemed that he was trying to do to much and would be dispossed, or would have a bit of contact and hit the ground begging for a foul. He is a very gifted player, but he doesn’t play the professional game like a professional.

    • A,

      Explain how with that same team with the crappy finishers?

      Farfan had 5 assists, Jack Mac had 3 assists, Pajoy, Torres and Williams had two a piece.

      Freddy had one

      • Pajoy was so bad and missed so many Adu sets up that he was cut. Real bad example.

        Torres was also benched for a chunk of the season for “not fitting in.”

        And if you argument is that a player is more productive because he has 1 more assist than don’t bother replying to me. Assists require players to finish. What you’re arguing is that over the course of a season the striker only finished twice more from Torres passes than they did with an Adu pass.

        Your stat actually hurts your argument.

  4. the problem with Freddy Adu is that in his formative years (15-19) he received very poor coaching, and thus he never was able to make that leap from being a technically gifted player to a player that can play with others.

    He doesn’t fit in to any team he plays with. How many clubs has it been the last 4 years? Maybe 8?

    MLS ruined Adu by throwing him into the league when he was 14. It ruined his development. If he had joined a youth setup of a Euro team he would have been much better off.

      • Umm.. Landon was in the US Residency program and in the Bayer Leverkusen system. He didn’t come to the MLS until he was 19.

        Your comment was in regards to Adu’s development from 15-19…

  5. The Union FO are idiots! Why do you come out and say a player is not part of your plans when he is still under contract for you?!?! You make the player feel unwanted and you lose leverage when negotiating, now other teams can low ball them to have Freddy play for them at a reduced cost. I wouldnt be surprised if they took a loss and sold Freddy for a reduced price just to simply move him off the books.

  6. I really can’t understand this. The union signed him to the contract. Now one and a half seasons later the contract is too expensive for them? That’s BS! Give Freddy the keys to the team, surround him with players that can actually score, then lets talk about his value.

  7. 1. The Union want to move Freddy. Who said that they are not going to honor his contract? They can’t break his contract. Simple fact. They want to move him. A fan of any sport knows that a new coach doesn’t always want all of the players brought in by the previous coach.

    2. Freddy got a chance to play for the Union. He quite simply did not fit, especially after his old buddy Piotr was shown the door. Say what you will, but this is Philly. If you are not from Philly you may not understand how much we loathe athletes that don’t play hard (Especially the one’s with fat contracts.) There is a reason Seba wanted to come back to Philly, we love our hard working athletes like brothers. In reality we, meaning the season ticket holders, make the team tick. So do we have to pay Freddy, absolutely. But Freddy needs to hear this “We pay your salary jack ass!” And please don’t tell me that we don’t know soccer and thus cannot appreciate Freddy’s talents. We love Roger Torres, we chant for Roger Torres. We all appreciate Michael Farfan’s fluid attacking verve. We don’t like Freddy because he is lazy and feels unduly entitled.

    3. If this was Philly’s fault then why has he never stuck with ANY team? He pisses off coaches left and right. I hope when he lands on your team he “puts it all together.” That being said, good luck.

    • I agree with you. Give me a team of hard working, Charlie hustle players who give you everything every time. Talent is something you’re born with and Skill is something you learn and develop through hard work. Talent can only get you so far Freddy learning that. The rest of the players on the Union might not started out with as much talent but through hard work and desire they gained the respect of the Club, Coaches, Teammates and of course the FANs. Freddy hasn’t shown any heart to this fan.

  8. I think he is one of those players that shines when surrounded by talent (see under: 2011 Gold Cup Final).

    Too bad he is too expensive for a spot on some of the more talented MLS squads that could make use of his skills.

  9. Freddie Adu is played out of position. He is a forward. American coaches have tried to convert him to a midfielder. With his midfield experience he can play as withdrawn striker or secondary striker (play making striker between defense and midfield). His real strength is at the forward position. If I were his coach I would play him as a forward in a two forward system. Adu has the ability to dribble past players and create time and space for himself (that is his game). Beating players on the dribble in the penalty area will generate a lot of goals. Play Adu to his strength (forward) and not his weakness (midfield).

      • Foreign coaches also figured out he is not a midfielder or Adu would have written different chapters in his career.

    • Top class forwards need to be fast, strong and fit or at least two of the three.

      Freddy is none of those things. His weaknesses, such as they are, can be better hidden in midfield.

  10. I would never play for Hackworth. What a completely clueless coach. Another down the drain year for the Union this next season. You got the news here first from me.

  11. Is Philadelphia the worst run organization in MLS? They get buyer’s remorse and decide to more or less slander a player BEFORE they unload him? Let me know how that works out for you…

    As a matter of fact, I’ll save you some time and provide one possibility…you’re going to suck up $250k of his contract and send him off to the Sounders for a pound of smoked salmon (Chinook, not King) and free admission to the Space Needle for the team when you play here in ’13.

    You’ll first realize that you play the Sounders at home in ’13. Oops. Then the Sounders will trot out a lineup that looks something like this in Chester on May 4th:

    Forwards: EJ, Adu (withdrawn)
    Mids: Zakuani or Mario Martinez; Evans or Tiffert; Rosales; Alonso in front of the back four
    Defenders: Gonzalez; Ianni or Zavaleta; Hurtado; Johansson

    Game ends 3-0 to the Sounders. Adu has a goal and an assist. Philadelphia, then realizing a need to sure up their defense, seeks out the representation of Rafa Marquez. Hilarity (continues to) ensues…

  12. Freddy needs to man up and face the facts. He’s talented but not great and deserves a smaller salary. Look past ego and accept he still has work to do. Take a cut in pay, ply your trade in MLS or a smaller club in Europe and see what happens.

    • Count me as one who is oddly optimistic that Benny could succeed to do what Hackworth failed to do, motivate Freddy and find a position that suites his strengths.

      Please do not take this as me relieving Adu of all blame, for failing to live up to the hype that once surrounded his career. I nearly think Olsen might be able to turn Freddy into a consistent MLS player, deserving of a role as DeRo’s possible successor.

      • Really? A replacement for DeRo? What has Adu done to make you think that level of play is even possible for him?

        Adu is okay – he’s quick with good touch. Not terribly fast, but quick. He’s an okay passer. Used the right way, he could fit into a lot of MLS rosters. But DeRo is the real deal, and Adu has never even solidified his role with a single MLS team. That’s not to say he couldn’t, but he hasn’t. That comparison seems over the top.

  13. Why would anyone be surprised by this? Adu may have some natural gifts but his training habits are extremely poor (this has been documented many times). His fitness level is terrible. There is a reason there is not a single MLS manager willing to give him the keys to the car. He’s unreliable and that’s the cold hard truth.

  14. Too bad …Adu didn’t signed with Inter instead of MLS..oh well.

    Adu was great with Aris and had some bright moments withBenfica, AS Monaco barely played, and Turkish Second Div. did good.

  15. Philadelphia Union management are not the brightest bulbs in the room. Just blew any chance they had of not only possibly collecting a small transfer fee, but of finding a club to take Adu at his full salary. Now no club in the world would put Adu’s full bloated contract on the books, but instead will be wheeling and dealing along the lines of, yeah, we would like to have Freddy, but only if you, Mr. Smart Guys at the Philadelphia Union cover 3/4ths of Freddy’s salary. Sort of like what Man U apparently did to get rid of Berbatov to Fulham.

  16. Thanks to everyone who talked about Adu’s play rather than his age. Here is the problem with Freddy’s game: he’s an offense-only midfielder, only no one is sure is offense is good enough to make up for the total lack of defense. Adu is the kind of player that the coach tosses him the car keys and lets him run the team, only that hasn’t happened other than that one U-20 WC Team. Adu needs to find a situation in whatever league and at whatever pay grade so he can show he can be the focus for a team, or he needs to reinvent his game as either a pure forward or a 2 way player.

  17. I think another MLS club would take him, but not for that salary! I was thinking he’s closer to $400k, not DP-level. At that salary, he really needs to produce and can’t be just a “contributor” for a club. Maybe he’ll go down to Mexico and play.

  18. Thank god. Adu = waste of money. For everyone that loves this guy so much and thinks he’s such a great player, all I can say is I really hope he winds up with your club.

  19. What I find strange about this news is simply that Adu’s departure from the Union was highly predictable well before the end of the 2012 MLS season when Union manager John Hackworth made it clear Adu wasn’t in Union plans. i.e. by not playing him.

    Hackworth in today’s press conference says “And now to the elephant in the room, if you will, Freddy Adu…Basically, to make a very long story short, we presented Freddy with an option to come back and play for the Philadelphia Union. However, Freddy chose to stick with his current contract, which was not an option we were willing to accept. At the moment, Freddy …is not a part of our plans going forward.”

    1. How would anybody like being called the elephant in the room? Classless is all I can say.
    2. Union aren’t willing to accept respecting the contract THEY signed w Adu. What? So often players are accused of not respecting their contracts and wanting out, here we have a soccer organization saying respecting the contract they agreed to is “not an option we we were willing to accept”. Legally, I wonder if Union have an elephant trunk to stand on!
    3. Now, some of you may be saying Adu is finished, his contract is too heavy and all the historical facts about his early arrival in MLS. Perhaps it’s more a question of bringing up a player far too soon and destroying his confidence, drop by drop over a very long period of time.
    4. Assume Adu accepts a new reduced contract w the Union. What will be become as a player: on the bench, occasional use, etc… I predict this would destroy him very quickly.

    What to do then? Hackworth is right on: loan or sell Adu to another organization. One caveat though, given the manner the Union showed to all that Adu was no longer a player for them – thus diminishing his true potential value – Hackworth should swallow his pill, the one he has tried to shove down Adu’s throat, and sell/loan Adu at a significant loss to Union if need be and get on.

    Maybe next time Union and Hackworth will show more respect to a player THEY sign and take responsibility vis-a-vis the contract thus signed.

    Sad to see this happening.

    From a native Montrealer who follows MLS – and Union on occasion.

    • Glad you brought this up. “Elephant in the room…IF YOU WILL”(?) If you will, being, what a signal that he’s speaking rhetorically? “If you will,” because, you know, Adu is from Ghana, and Ghana is in Africa, and, you know….elephants!
      What a jackass.

  20. If im the NASL NY Cosmos, i’d take a flyer on Adu and offer to pay some of his contract to get it off Philly’s payroll with option to buy. I always felt Adu has the ptential to be great but seems to lack the ability to play within some of these systems of constant coach turnover he’s seen in his career. I actually felt Adu looked and played well in most games i saw him in, so never really understood his coaches decisions to bench him in favor of less productive players.

    Take a step down to NASL where he can regain confiedence and be a star and still get paid. Sounds liek a decent opportunity to me.

  21. So you’re saying MLS makes contracts with players and then does not see them through. They effective break contracts without mutual agreement.
    How can they get away with so much stuff that FIFA prohibits?
    Why do the fans seem to not be aware of how MLS operates outside of many FIFA player rules?

    The FIFA player statutes Article 13, Respect of Contract: A contract between a professional and a club may only be terminated upon expiry of the term of the contract or by mutual agreement.

    MLS as a third party owner of players it intends to make money on transferring to teams outside the national association is also not within the spirit of the FIFA player transfer rules.

    MLS terminates contracts during the season, July 1.

    When is MLS going to join the world and become a real soccer league with real competition for resources instead of just an owner collusion/entertainment league?

    Why don’t more MLS fans complain about the way MLS runs our league? Stuff like this is maybe why a country like Qatar can beat the US in getting the 2022 World Cup. It is about time our little MLS league grows up and joins the rest of the world!

    A professional player should be able to chose what team he wants to play on in the USA.
    A professional sports league should have competition for resources in the USA. Free enterprise and real competition is the American way. MLS soccer works more like it believes in Socialism and that is just not in line with the rest of what we believe is good and healthy for business here in America.

    The talks between the MLSPU and MLS are going to be interesting come 2014…

    NASL has none of these problems by the way…

    • JW7, you are a joke. Qatar got the world cup, because they paid Blatter off. MLS is now entering its 18th season, passing the NASL record of 17th season. By MLS joining the rest of the world, you mean clubs being in huge amounts of debt? MLS, follows the most successful sports model in the world, the American sports model. Clubs aren’t in debt, and the league is more balance, then just having two clubs in the title race. Baseball use to never have FA, the same for the other sports as well. MLS doesn’t allow FA, to keep cost down. In the future, they will have FA. Also please stop taking to me about FIFA, FIFA could learn something for MLS. FIFA has no clue what to do about racism. FIFA is also one of the most corrupt organizations, in soccer.

    • “When is MLS going to join the world and become a real soccer league with real competition for resources instead of just an owner collusion/entertainment league?”

      that’s the question a lot of us who aren’t MLS-bots have been asking for awhile.

      The answer? not anytime soon. And the sad thing is it hurts our development as a soccer nation big time.

  22. Just for the hell of it, here’s the salary info for comparable players — fantasista/CAM/creative winger types with long track records. The number in parens is the year-end Castrol Index rating (which has tons of problems, but at least provides a basis for comparison).

    Adu: $519k (196)
    DeRosario: $663k (36)
    Feilhaber: $446k (90)
    Ferreira: $705k (157)
    Higuain: $324k (210)
    Morales: $477k (78)
    Rolfe: $198k (89)
    Rosales: $225k (44)

    • Based on Feilhaber’s salary, I think Adu is at about right.

      I still think Freddy can pull it together if he ends up at a smaller team, in a smaller league that’s built around him. We’ve seen him take on national teams and be that spark the US has needed. I still don’t buy that he’s been played in his favored shadow striker/AM position enough. He’s not a winger and that’s what he tends to get straddled with.

  23. One has to think that Seattle is a very viable option. I think Adu playing as the CAM/second striker would do wonders for Seattle. Adu feeding EJ could be a very good combo.

  24. This is amazingly stupid on Hackworths part to say this because ADU is going to get paid any way and this reduces the price others would be willing to pay since he’s going to be free soon aparently. Stupid John just stupid!

  25. Here’s an idea. Chivas trades a few non-latino players to Philly for Freddy, who then takes a small pay cut–let’s say down to $300-400K range. With LaBrocca gone and Alvarez (the draft pick) really young, Freddy gets a chance to play attacking mid for a team that wants to play differently than the rest of MLS. Obviously Freddy Adu is not Mexican or Mexican-American, but I think we can argue that his game would fit better in Liga MX than with most MLS teams. Chivas USA is not going to be able to turn their entire roster over into Mexican heritage players right away, or even into Latinos more generally. So why not sign a guy who at least plays with a little of the South American flair? It would be entertaining, that’s for sure…

  26. Adu may not have earned his high salary, but we all now how that happened. However, he is a fantastic player and has proven this in his appearance for the senior national team. The US needs him. I hope the Galaxy picks him up. Let Landon “retire” so he can return to Everton, and give Arena the task of bringing out Freddy’s quality for a club team.

    • With his coach skills, ability to mentor and train young players effectively, If Arena picks up Adu….I don’t know what I’ll do with myself….lol

    • Adu is not a fantastic player. He is a player who can at times pull off clever plays, but he lets his teammates down too often by taking risks when it is a bad idea, he is not particularly strong and can be out-muscled for the ball, he is quick, but not overly fast so he can make a quick move, but not really blow past defenders. Adu is a technically gifted player who has yet to figure out the tactics needed to help his team, that makes him a liability more often than an asset.

      • I disagree he doesn’t take risks except in the offensive third of the field. High reward/low risk areas.

        I do agree he is technically gifted, but in terms of team tactics its unrealistic for Philly fans/coach to think that if you insert 1 player he will instantly take over a game. The finishing surrounding Adu was horrid, which btw was widely recognized even by the coach. Drogba goes to China and his team finishes in the bottom half of the table. Does that mean Drogba sucks? Or perhaps we should recognize that there are another 10 players that contribute to the success of a team.

      • yea i guess he would considering he’s an attacking Mid player…wow is this why our US team will never go anywhere….idiots…

  27. Why would he want to take less money to play for a crap team that he doesn’t really fit in to? Anyone who watched the Union would have seen that Freddy would have been one of the leaders in MLS assists if they had a striker or two who could consistently finish.

    He certainly has some flaws to his gam,e but he could still bring something to the USMNT if he gets settled (how many times have we said that?). He is a different kind of player than anyone else in our pool and has show the infamous “flashes” of brilliance. I truly hope this move puts him exactly where he needs to be, because I truly believe he could be a difference maker for the national team (has super-sub written all over him) in the future.

  28. Easy to decide how much another person should make,I do not blame Adu instead the
    Union are the ones to blame, they sign him Adu did not put a gun in their heads, now is easy
    to make Adu look as bad guy,the Union does not want to honor a contract.

  29. Thats has been the problem with Freddy Adu a player with so much potential, unique skill set, that the US National team needs but he keeps on falling in the same place ……big money deals made, promises on position not fulfilled, then he is played out of position which of course is not going to render his full potential and he gets frustrated and feels like he doesnt need to try anymore, sometimes the club club coach gets fired and the next manager doesnt have Adu’s style of play in his plans or formation and they find just ANYWHERE to off load him, but not before asked for a pay huge pay cut to stay with the club ( but why should he because he is going to get that money anyway whether you play him or not…lol)….next thing you know he is switching clubs………JOSE S. hit it dead on “its ridiculous to ask a player to take a pay cut when you shouldn’t have made that offer in the first place”…..he needs to earn his pay
    I wait time on end to hear some good news about Freddy Adu, hoping that he went to train in Turkey to come back and finally have a good season or maybe because he knows of something we don’t… a place on the USMNT, and he wanted to be ready….now this…….PPPLLLEEEAAASSSEEE FREDDY I NEED TO BE ABLE TO BUY YOUR JERSEY WITHOUT GETTING RID OF IT JUST AFTER A SEASON OR TWO.

  30. ANOTHER team that wants to get rid of him…

    If I could make a recommendation to Adu, it would be to agree to play for $150K, get some playing time and visibility in MLS, take the sense of entitlement off of his shoulders, and earn a living playing for your hometown fans.

    • This is a chicken game, Philly wants him out, but ultimately as you note Adu has the ace of spades because he has a signed contract and I don’t think he’s in any kind of an option or waiver situation given his tenure. So they can tell Adu to find a loan team but in theory he doesn’t have to go anywhere.

      • I understand Philly wants to clear cap and is playing with a limited stack of monopoly money, but they have committed a substantial amount to Adu, and unless he leaves, I think a player of his MLS tenure is guaranteed. They can only be rid of him in an option year or a contract year or by his own agreement to tear up the deal. So sayeth the CBA. Once Philly did a multiyear deal, they were stuck. They can moan about the cap but unless Freddy finds a new home and either goes on loan or tears up his Philly deal, they’re stuck.

        This is a big difference between say NFL and MLS. NFL they can tear up your deal tomorrow. MLS once you get your 3 years I think the player is set. I think that’s true even if you left and returned.

        I’m sure Philly wants to clear cap but the problem is to get rid of him they have to find someone approximately as dumb as they were.

  31. Freddy Adu wasn’t a good fit in Philly… Parting ways is good for both sides because Adu’s salary isn’t cheap. Not sure if he will continue to play in the MLS but I think he will go abroad somewhere.

  32. Half the problem is Freddy, the other half is that he gets big money deals he has yet to earn. I think is is ridiculous to ask a player to take a pay cut when you didn’t have to pay him that much in the first place.

    Interesting to see if Freddy can find a team in the upcoming weeks.

    • My issue with your comment is the notion that half a million isn’t too much. Not criticizing you. A lot of us tend to grade according to perverse athletic salaries. But half a million is still half a million, and when it’s money paid for an athlete who isn’t producing, in a league that is far less moneyed than other sports leagues in this country and other soccer leagues overseas, it is a lot of money. The average salary at SJ, which won the supporters shield last year, was just over a hundred thou.

    • Agreed, Union accepted these contracts terms under their own will and knowledge of the player’s history and trajectory. It’s ridiculous when owners and management just up and decide in the middle of contracts that the terms signed no longer fit their assessment. Who here would be willing to take less money halfway through a contract? Certainly Adu under preformed on a poor team but he is being made the scapegoat. And I’m not convinced he played that bad, the Union’s strikers were a teenager and a bunch of players no one can name.

    • +1. Its a guaranteed contract for 1 more year! Philly Union management once again showing their lack of class!

      I honestly think that he could do well with casey and le toux but he needs management that believes in him. Its really shameful how his career has been mismanaged with huge expectations and contracts followed by benchings and never getting a good opportunity to play to his potential. He is certainly a special case player and i can’t say that he has helped his cause too much but i feel like if he was given a shot with good management he could still become something special.

      Maybe Ernie Stewart can bring him in as Altidore’s replacement at AZ or Sigi can give him the EJ effect in Seattle!

  33. He’s got quality, as seen in internationals. I don’t get to watch much mls, is he really that bad for club? He’s still youngish, I wonder if any MX teams would take him or Scandinavia?

    • I’m not sure he’s that ‘youngish,’ basically because I personally don’t believe he was really 14 when he started with DC United. He was the same height as today, or almost, and his face then looked older than 14 to me. Look at this current picture. Does that really look like a 23-year-old to you?

      The whole Adu myth started when people looked at what he could do at 14 and started imagining what trajectory future physical development would allow. The thing is, there isn’t a lot he can do now that he couldn’t do when he started with United – which was okay for an older teenager, but not other-worldly good.

      That perceived trajectory quickly put him on a salary path that clubs weren’t interested in sustaining. People were always paying for the future abilities; not current abilities. When those future abilities don’t materialize, you see things like what is happening in Philly.

      • His bro also had a flat trajectory to his development. Coincidence?

        Adu’s career makes it look like he was 16ish instead of 14 when he started out with DC. That would mean he is 25 now and not really going to get any better. WYSIWYG.

      • “WYSIWY.” TIAAGALTR…………
        These internet acronyms are getting a little too ridiculous. See what I did there?

      • Are you kidding me with the crap??? Seriously. Let me tell you something, I hit an early growth spurt at 13-14. I went from barely 5″0″ and 100 lbs. to 5’9″ and a 150 lbs in less than 18 months. Guess what, at 30, I’m 5″10 and 165-170 lbs. I have barely grown since 14 yrs. old. When I hit that growth spurt I looked older, sounded older with my voice, had a mature body, and was far more athletic than my peers. By the time I was in high school, everyone had caught up, and I was no more mature physically than my peers. I was on an even playing field so to speak. The only reason people bring up the age of Adu is because he was born in Africa which ridiculous. They do keep borth records there.

      • I know a Baptist minister who has been involved with a couple African adoptions. He told me kids routinely come with no documentation. They expect that, and are prepared to create a full slate of official paperwork, including birth certificate, when the child hits the States. He also told me they typically make older kids 8-years-old, with the idea that they can catch up with other students in second grade, but if they are put in third grade or behind, it’s a tougher learning curve.

        Adu wasn’t adopted, but his mom won the green card lottery, and came here when Adu was supposedly eight.

        My thinking is they did the same thing with Freddy – just create paperwork with the idea of putting him in second grade. He did catch up academically, and eventually surpassed his initial classmates, so that he was allowed to jump two grades and attend the Heights High School when he otherwise would have been in seventh grade.

      • So this is your evidence that no one from Africa can be trusted? Your unimpeachable source is a Baptist minister?

        Usually what you wrote is called gossip at best and something much uglier at worst. Forgive me if I remain unconvinced.

      • Count me as one who finds the Adu age questioning as tiresome and offensive. If you have facts that clearly dispute Freddy’s official documentation, then submit this information. Please do not present speculation based on how old he looked at 14, a Baptist minister’s experience and his second grade placement. At minimum, your speculation is insensitive.

      • Sorry to tire and offend you, but I have no facts, and I’m guessing from your tiring of the issue that you have heard it before… so seems reasonable to assume you’re likely to hear it again.

      • Thanks for your reply, Paul. Adu’s age speculation is something that has been repeated for the better part of 10 years, maybe longer. Unfortunately, it will likely continue. Early accomplishments are an imperfect predictor of success at the professional or senior national team level. At age 14, Adu played in the U17 World Cup and was simply amazing for the US. (Here’s a link to the results: . If you Google Adu and U17 World Cup, you’ll find some fun articles to read.) It is regrettable that Freddy has not succeeded in the way that seemed possible at the time. Scanning the list of top goal scorers in the 2003 U17 World Cup, many have gone on to professional careers, but most are not household names (with the exception of Fàbregas, David Silva and a few others).

      • What fantasy world do you live in? Age cheating is very common in West African countries. That’s pretty much common knowledge. Even Nigerian soccer federation officials ADMITTED what they did was wrong and said it hurt them in the long run. Because even thought they won youth world tournaments, West African nations always do poorly at the real World Cup since the rest of the world catches up age wise. Here is your proof BTW

        And be honest with yourself. Are you going to give the benefit of the doubt to West African nations that are known for being notoriously corrupt. If you do, I have a Nigerian prince that wants to wire you $10 million. He just needs your bank account number.

      • My reality? I tend toward verifiable evidence and science. If you think your link provides proof, you don’t understand the concept. If you can present some direct evidence that Adu is older, then please do. Absent proof, the speculation should cease because it is tiring and it is insensitive.

      • Adu has played in numerous youth international tournaments from U-17 to U-23 and everything in between. One would think that he would have to supply some documentation to authorities of his birth date in order to qualify, especially when he has dominated those tournaments as he did in the past. I keep reading all this about how he is really older. So, how has he managed to fool all the youth tournament officials ?

      • It is common practice in that part of Africa to get a “birth” certificate when the child is several years old. Nobody would question his age if he was born the US.

        How do you explain Fro’s similar track development career? U-17 National Team pool to average college kid. As the comp got better they both flatlined for some reason.

      • Did you ever hear of players like Sergio Santimaria? How about Florent Sinama-Pongollel? Those two like the likes Cesc Fabregas, Toni Kroos and our own Landon Donovan all won the Golden Ball at the U-17 World Cup. Showing promise as a youngster doesn’t guarantee you will have a successful senior career.

      • Absolutely true. Nothing is proven about Freddy’s age, or his brother’s. Just people on an internet discussion board expressing their doubts about a player’s age.

      • Where any of those guys playing U-17 at “14”. I think not. Fro’s history only adds to the evidence against Freddy. It all makes perfect sense if Freddy was 16 when he started playing U-17. Just like the guys you cite that failed to meet expectations.

      • Oh, and African nations do keep records, but it’s a spotty history. Back to a football context, you aren’t telling me this is the first time you’ve heard these questions about African youth national teams, are you?

      • If you have info that Adu faked his age, you should probably go to FIFA with it rather than just post about it in a comments section.

        Just because a player showed promise at a very early age and didn’t live up to it, doesn’t mean that they faked their birth certificate. Whatever happened to Memo Gonzales? Whatever happened to Nik Besagno, who at age 16 was the #1 pick in the superdraft? Did they fake their ages too? Or did they just not pan out like most phenoms?

      • I don’t have and didn’t present any info on Adu. I speculated, based on what someone told me about adoptions of African children. The rest – that’s fairly common knowledge, especially in the DC area. I really don’t think FIFA needs me to tell it Adu skipped a couple grades and played high school ball when he could have been in seventh grade.

      • The same could be said of anyone’s opinion on any subject here on this internet discussion board. Yet, we still come here and post our pointless opinions. I imagine Ives is grateful we do.

      • But, you are having an opinion about a fact. We could have a lot of opinions about whether or not Adu is a good player. But, Freddy Adu only has one birth date and everything points to the fact his birth date is June 2 1989.

      • Ah, guess links aren’t allowed.

        Anyway, all of our opinions are opinions about facts. Whether our opinions correctly assess those facts is another story. There is objective value to player qualities. Whether any of us can identify those objective qualities is the question.

        But I got your point about how age either is or isn’t correct – the objective quality is more easily determined, if paperwork is factual.

        Google African youth teams and age sometime. You might be surprised what you find.

      • What do African youth teams have to do with this? Freddy Adu never played organized soccer in Africa. His international career consists solely of representing the US.

        I might be wrong, but I’ve never heard of a case of the USSF using an overage player in youth competitions.

      • Astorian, it goes to a lack of birth documentation in many parts of that continent. As someone mentioned above, in many countries it has been customary to develop birth certificates years after birth, for everyone, not just athletes.

      • Ya, that’s looks about 23 to me, which makes sense as I am also 23, making me a de facto expert. I think this is more a case of casual (and unintended, so don’t get butt hurt, I’m not calling you a klansmen) racism. It’s harder to guess ages of people of another race. Case in point, while working in Korea I was routinely believed to be older than I was and I consistently under estimated the age of Koreans. So while this is something that can’t be known conclusively without a press team having documented his birth, there’s no reason to disbelieve him. It’s just a bunch of white folk saying he sure looks old for 14 and he’s African This is also partly the reason why black males are more likely to be tried as adults compared to white kids.

      • Luckily im a white person who got my Doctorate in “Different Racial Age Determination” and i have come to the conclusion that Freddy Adu has indeed falsified his age. Many of you may be familiar with my prior work of exposing Dannny Almonte. Thank you for wasting 2 mins of my life Arty

      • This issue has been put to rest. SI investigated it. Circumstantial evidence with his Mom pretty much disproves it. Adu has a reason to lie about his age–to claim he was OLDER (he could have qualified for Euro money earlier before he signed with MLS). And let’s suppose he was 16–he still had amazing skill at the time. And there are plenty of guys who were “okay” at 16 (Clint Dempsey anyone?) who then got a lot better at 20.

        The reality is that the weakest part of Adu’s game wasn’t his feet, it was always his head. He hasn’t done the work, has been to eager to go to big clubs, take big money and sacrifice his development in the process. He’s actually behaved like a nice–but very immature–kid…which belies the argument that he was actually older.

        As for his brother Fro…totally different situation. Not as outgoing, much much taller, nowhere near the technical ability.

      • I agree. I also think the CIA blew up WTC 4, the Pentagon was hit by a meteor, not an airplane on 9/11, vaccines cause autism, there are twelve hidden layers on Obama’s birth certificate and the world is flat.

        We should hang out, Paul!

      • Hmmm, I don’t know, Wally. I’m having a hard time equatting Adu’s mom falsifying his age for elementary school reasons with the CIA blowing up a New York building. Maybe those are comparable actions in your mind…

      • Except that he IS taller now than he was at 14. He’s been listed as 5’7″ since he went pro… but I’m 5’7″, and when I saw him at age 14 he was 3-4 inches shorter than me.

      • Eric Miller gained a couple inches between his freshman and sophomore years at Creighton. What’s your point?

        My point is Adu has lines in his face. I don’t know many 23-year-olds who do. Granted, lifestyle and other things impact different people differently. But that photo doesn’t look like a 23-year-old to me. When you add in the way he played when he was “14,” the way he hasn’t developed much as a player since, and the fact that he comes from a region of the world that is notorious for late birth documentation, well, not saying it’s proof, but certainly fodder for pub conversation (or internet discussion boards).

    • Adu needs to be playing in Holland because he’s a touch attacking player with effort issues and limited speed and size who doesn’t want to play much defense. He needs to be playing somewhere finesse. MLS is a physical league where people play both ways or get flushed. And the defense is good enough here that technique oftens needs to be bolstered by speed, and he’s not fast enough to beat most defenders in a footrace.

      • That’s a nice stereotype except it’s not true. Adu has a major holes in his offensive game. Doesn’t make good runs off the ball, doesn’t show well for the ball, decision-making is inconsistent, skills are outstanding one minute and then disappear the next, drifts in and out of matches. Holland might have been a good place for him 5 years ago but not now. He’d still need to run and work in the Netherlands. And MLS is full of guys (Carlos Valderamma, Christian Gomez) who were wildly successful here here yet couldn’t spell “Defense” if you spotted them every letter except the “D”.

        Simple story: Adu wants to be paid a big time wage but he’s not good enough all-around OR he’s not good enough at a few things (playmaker or finishing or distribution) to justify building a team around him. Nowak and Hackworth both gave it a try.

    • I see more as unfulfilled promise/potential vs downward spiral. He’s never been able to meet any clubs expectations based on the contract terms. Maybe if he stops looking for money and starts looking for a club that’s a good fit his career will blossom as many have hoped.

      • The problem I see is he is a complimentary player at best who commands a star player salary. And because he started out in MLS as a rookie at something like $500K, it’s hard to go down. It’s not so much that he’s awful as that he’s overpriced for what he is.

        The issue I foresee is finding a sucker…..errr, acquiring team… take him. The CBA probably limits MLS options. You can’t give him a paycut outside of the re-entry/waiver process. And I think the idea a foreign team will pay for him is naive based on his CV. Meanwhile, Philly is announcing this before they offload him. Look before you leap….you may be stuck with a player you just humiliated. Remember how NY was going to trade Cooper?

      • I agree. He entered professional soccer at too high of a salary which meant he has never had to fight for a living – so to speak.

        He’s bombed out in a lot of leagues. It will be interesting to see which one he goes to next. No one in MLS is going to take that contract on.

      • I tend to view Adu’s issues as more physical than mental. He’s a short guy who’s not particularly fast to get open at the highest levels — even if he has some jukes and a cross — and he’s not a big motor guy to play midfield, even though that’s the position that suits his skill set. I think there are a lot of kids like him who because they don’t have many qualities besides skill disappear as they hit the adult game, where everyone starts to be pretty skilled, and others may be taller, faster, harder in the tackle.

        I don’t think he’s absolutely bombed out — I’ve seen worse kid prodigy burnouts — I think he’s just an average player who commands a salary beyond his production, which in MLS is difficult because it’s a salary cap league with guaranteed salaries for tenured players and little way of “cramming down” a contract player to his real salary level.

        Maybe he thought he was going to hit it big, and Philly was willing to pay, but the mediocre play puts him in an awkward spot. No one wants to pay $500K + for someone who produces average results. Average results doesn’t mean he can’t play in MLS, but it does make him cap poison.

      • +1

        I think there are plenty of teams who would take him, just not at that price. He is a Honda Accord at a Mercedes price.

        Another option is to just do like Portland did with Boyd and buy him out and wave goodbye. The market then gets to decide how much to pay him and if his salary demands are too high then his career is over by his own choice.

      • I agree, Philly being so brutally blunt means it is hard to see how Adu could ever be a contented player there. It is also hard to see why any MLS team, or any team for that matter, would pick him up for that salary, unless Philly pays (a good fraction of his salary).

        Not a happy moment for anyone involved!

        He can still pull off clever plays, but he still seems to find it hard to always be in synch with teammates. He is not that good that his longish periods of hiding and his propensity of taking risks when he shouldn’t can be forgiven.

      • The problem is he is under Philly contract for the year so them openly saying they want a player this hard to move, out of town, puts them in a bad spot. The default if nothing else happens is he’s on Philly’s cap even if he never shows up or plays a minute. So it’s brave talk. Reminds me of the Timbers shopping Cooper fall before last. He didn’t actually leave til the winter.

        Yeah, my thing on Adu is the individual plays his proponents love tend to be the end result of a bunch of homerun swinging. You say hide, I say no motor, I think we’re getting at the same thing there too.

      • Agreed–no “downward spiral.” He’s actually a better player now than he was about 3 years ago.

        He still as some amazing technical ability. He’s still unselfish and can lay off some beautifully weighted balls to teammates. He can still make some amazing strikes. But he still disappears from matches, has mediocre decision-making, often fails to show for the ball, rarely contributes when he doesn’t have the ball (for instance, on attack, his runs off the ball to clear space for teammates–meh! So it’s not like I’m saying he’s a great attacker and weak defender or ball winner). And the technical ability isn’t there all the time.

        You could say all of those things about him probably 6-7 years ago. Plus he’s physically overmatched against most opponents. But he enjoys the money and isn’t willing to do what is necessary to either become a complete player OR a player could enough to start 90 minutes every match b/c you’ll find other guys to do the work he won’t do. He’s just never developed.

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