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Free agent Adu training with Blackpool

Freddy Adu Bahia (Getty Images)


Freddy Adu’s club future might still be unclear, but his whereabouts are not.

Currently in search of a new club, Adu is in England training with Championship club Blackpool. It is unknown as to whether the 24-year-old midfielder is on an official trial with the Seasiders, especially given that he would have to qualify for a work permit to play for them, but it appears he is attempting to stay in shape while he sorts out his next move.

Adu was last with Brazilian outfit Bahia, who decided not to renew his contract when it expired in December. He struggled for playing time at Bahia, making just seven appearances across all competitions for the club.

Adu has struggled to find a permanent home in recent years. He joined the Philadelphia Union in August 2011 for his second stint in MLS and showed glimpses of quality during his season and-a-half with the club, but head coach John Hackworth said at the start of 2013 that Adu was not part of his plans going forward, which opened up the door for the move to Bahia.

Prior to arriving in Philadelphia, Adu was loaned out several times by Portuguese powerhouse Benfica from 2007-2011. Some of the teams the former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder played for during that span included Monaco, Aris Salonika and Caykur Rizespor.


What do you think of Adu training at Blackpool? Which league would you like to see him go to? Prefer to see him back in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Hey Freddy, go to Spain and play for a mid table or lower team where attractive football is played and appreciated. Haven’t seen Blackpool play since Holloway left but they played attractive on the floor football under him.

    Teams like Rayo Vallecano, Almeria, Elche etc could use your services too. In Spain, even bottom of the table teams play good attacking style unlike what you will see in the Championship.

  2. Adu’s problem is no matter where in the world he ends up, there is only room for at most one midfielder who hurts the team defensively. For a player like him to start he has to be the best technical play-maker in the squad. When he was at Benfica, Rui Costa put him on the shelf. When Rui Costa was at AC Milan, Kaka put him on the shelf. When Kaka was at Real, Mesut Ozil put him on the shelf. Not a lot of shame in that.

    He probably was the best play-maker at Philly, but sometimes even that’s not enough. The coach still has to decide that the defensive deficiencies and salary demands are outweighed by the genius. In a league like MLS, that’s so defensive, teams often play without a #10.

    • Gosh, a posting involving Adu that actually made some sense. Is the second coming at hand?
      The shame of the Philly situation was that Adu was probably the best player on the pitch or on the roster. The rest of the team was hopeless and Hackworth was (is?) clueless. But Hackworth needed someone to blame and Adu was available. (And an offensive mid-fielder in MLS is usually something of a luxury.)

  3. Sunderland should sign Freddy, but I think Freddy and Jozy on the same team would cause the comment section at SBI to explode.

  4. Would love to see him go to Turkey. He had his best season there, the level is pretty good and his prior success might help him get taken seriously.

  5. Best of luck to Freddy. Funny thing is, even though he did not live up to the hype, he is a 10 year veteran of professional soccer, played meaningful minutes for the national team, played in the Olympics and is really only about half way done with his career. I hope he has invested his money wisely though because I don’t think the next 10 years will be as kind.

    • Alex H,

      I always laughed at those who said he should cut his salary demands.

      You cut your demands when no one meets them and people kept meeting them.

      Maybe that ends now and maybe he has to cut his demands from here on in but for ten years he fooled a lot of people.

      More power to him. He has had a good run and , if as you say, he has been smart with his money, he could live a very nice life from here on out.

  6. I watched freddy destroy poland at the 2007 u-20 world cup and then pick apart Brazil 3 days later. jozy had 2 goals that day. Many of us knew that Freddy was headed for trouble. The marketing machine pounced. How could he live up to all the hype? Maybe it will take Freddy 10 years to figure out how to be a well-rounded player. Maybe never. If he does though, it will be well worth the wait. I’m rooting for him.

  7. This guy has always shined for the USMNT.

    I would love to see him in the Red, White and Blue again.

    Too bad it’s never worked out for him.

    • “This guy has always shined for the USMNT”

      Define that.

      Does he make the US senior team play better? Do the team win more often because of him?

      What is the USMNT senior team record in games Freddy plays in?

  8. If the Blackpool thing goes awry, AKA business as usual, than MLS is the only option really, just take what they give ya!

  9. He just need to find a team that fits his playing style….o wait you can’t play anywhere if your lazy and can’t defend at all.

  10. Adu has to take a paycut. That is really the factor for him to get to play. Because he is ok, but just not worth what he is asking for right now.

    • !00% agree with this. To repeat what I said somewhere else yesterday, there has never been a lack of teams that would like to have Freddy. There are, however, a lack of teams that are willing or able to meet his wage demands.

  11. I know I have a lot of shortcomings, and I demand too much in wages.

    But I also know that you guys can’t forget about that 2007 U20 world cup and the 2011 Gold Cup. If only I could get my sh1t together and play near my upside…

  12. I can’t decide whether Adu is secretly supported by a sportswriters group — who need something to write about on slow days — or by some anti-business conspiracy — who seek to undermine productivity in the USA by providing all the potential slackers something to post about on work time.

  13. Adu has to cut his salary demands to $100-$150K, and MLS clubs would line up to take a flyer on him. Problem is, Adu doesn’t want to do that, or he could sign with any MLS team that he chooses.

  14. You guys are asses. We created this hype when he was just a kid.

    Would love to see him at Cosmos — beating MLS in the Champions League.

    • Not our fault at all. It’s adu’s fault that he got caught up in the media hype. Its not like he’s Palmer-Brown. That kid is money and the next beckenbauer. Let’s get that kid a million dollar Nike contract and hype him like crazy. That would give US soccer the publicity or needs!

    • He is the only player to ever score a hat trick in two different youth level World Cups, according to an announcer at one I watched several years ago. At the youth level he was like Messi, but I guess all the geniuses here never bother to watch that stuff. Yeah, he’s been a disappointment, but there is a reason so many people, including soccer management, thought he had great potential.

      • It’s like college basketball or college football

        Adu is just a variation on the Tim Tebow story.There are a lot of people who are still waiting for the right NFL team to realize that Tebow is “their” QB.

  15. I think Freddy needs to decide if he wants to be a pro or not. His quality has never been in question. Rather, he simply seems to lack the toughness and work ethic required. No manager or player wants one of their guys dogging it on the pitch.

    • His manager at Bahia said the exact opposite. That there was no issue with his work ethic or professionalism but that it came down to his quality.

      • see, from what i read, the “technical deficiency” was more in regards to soccer IQ. but agree the coach made it clear Adu was very professional about everything.

      • That entire Bahia business was terrible when it turned out the management dumped Kleberson for Adu against the coaches wishes and then there were several scandals and people were fired.

    • By the way Bahia is a disaster of a club, they went thru 3 different managers last year. The club faced an indictment for financial corruption linking it to a drug cartel too last year. Part of my family is from Brasil and I follow the league too. Vai Corinthians!!!

  16. I’m baffled at why you guys are so hard on Freddy.
    Is he overpaid? Yes.
    Were unfair expectations set on him as a teenager by Nike and USSoccer? Yes.
    Was he one of the best players on the pitch the last time he wore a US shirt? YES!!!

    I’m rooting for him. His upside is still tremendous and when he suits up for the National Team, he always performs.

      • So good, he has not played with the USMNT since 2011.
        C’mon guys. Root for him all you want, I am too but to say he has “Always been good for us” is a huge stretch. How well did we finish the 2011 Gold Cup…oh yeah, 4-2 hammering by Mexico in the US. Freddy was good that game?

      • Actually, he played a key part in setting up both of our goals, so yeah… He was certainly one of our best 2 or 3 players that day.

    • “when he suits up for the National Team, he always performs.”

      Examine his USMNT record closer and you will see that is not exactly true.

  17. Still the greatest technical talent we’ve ever produced. And still so young.

    Get your sh(t together and become the star everyone predicted. Kthx.

      • Freddy Adu is pretty much unequivocally the most technically gifted player the USA has ever produced. Period. Full stop.

        Inter Milan was offering his family six figure contracts when he was 10. He was panned at that age with the potential to be the next Pele.

        Ball skills have never been his problem. It was the work rate. Jozy Altidore still refers to Adu as the best player he’s ever played with.

      • Well, that settles it then. Since Inter Milan was offering six figures for him at 10 years, then he is world class.

        Every player that age who is courted with big sums unequivocally turns out to be a world class player.

        Stop, just stop.

      • Sorry, couldn’t hear you over the seven teams that cut him because of “technical deficiencies”. Guess our national team is pretty weak if the most technically gifted player we have ever produced has been called out again and again for being weak technically by multiple teams.

        And Jozy doesn’t have the highest soccer IQ either. It’s not like Pep Guardiola is saying that Freddy is the most technical player that he ever saw.

      • To be fair ACID BURN, you are putting words in Madden’s mouth. He never called Freddy Adu “world class”. He simply said Adu is the best “technical player” USA has ever produced. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that by technical ability he is referring to dribbling/ball handling skills. Freddy Adu is easily in the top 3 or 5 when it comes to that. Now, it takes more than that to make a great soccer player, and Adu is clearly lacking in other things.

        Another good example would be Edgar Castillo. Castillo is clearly down the latter when it comes to current USA players, but he is easily one of the best when it comes to dribbling and ball handling right now.

      • source for the “seven teams that cut him because of ‘technical deficiencies'”? because except for this last explanation (which came from a brasilian website, not the actual team, but whatever), i don’t remember hearing that before.

      • Adu wasn’t cut for technical deficiencies, ever, by any team. What you’re referring to is something that was written in a newspaper, but wasn’t said by any coach, just something a random reporter wrote.

      • +1
        thank you thank you thank you… least someone who knows whats good. To add to that even Sir Alex Fergusson one of the greatest coaches that ever lived showed interest in Adu. Plus Man U, Inter Milan, Benfica etc all have some of the best scouts, that recognized raw talent and happened to home-in on Adu. I really hope he can get it together soon…..and good facts Madden

      • Mr Chin,

        You forgot “end of discussion” and “because I said so”.

        “Freddy Adu is pretty much unequivocally the most technically gifted player the USA has ever produced. Period. Full stop. …Inter Milan was offering his family six figure contracts when he was 10. He was panned at that age with the potential to be the next Pele…Ball skills have never been his problem. It was the work rate. Jozy Altidore still refers to Adu as the best player he’s ever played with.”

        I saw Freddy when he first came to DC. He looked like a boy amongst men probably because he was a boy amongst men.

        And Inter did that sort of thing with lots of kids we never heard from again.

        While I wish him well, I wasn’t impressed then and I’m not impressed now. He is basically still the same player.

        You need to be more exact when talk about “ most technically gifted player “. Since he never plays with any regularity, how would you even measure that? Would you have a skills contest like that You tube video of Freddy and Mikey trying to replicate those Bird/ MJ commercials?

        And if he cannot use his gifts to produce on the field, in a game, which given his favored position, means creating goal scoring opportunities for either himself or others, then what is the point?

        The technical gifts he had/has would have been great if they were the DC United Globetrotters and went on the field just to put on a show. And Freddy is very gifted. But no more so than a lot of US players I’ve seen over the years.

        Perhaps you’ve never seen John O’Brien, Tab Ramos, Hugo Perez, Clint Mathis, Preki or a young Donovan or a young Reyna. Maybe you never saw a 19 year old Claudio Reyna tearing down the wing, blowing by people, for the US. As far as I’m concerned, in terms of relevant talent, those guys compare quite favorably with Adu and I think OBrien and Ramos were better. Not as flashy, just better.

        And of course, Jozy never played with them.

        Conrad: “Who’s the best player you’ve ever played with?”

        Altidore: “Honestly? Talentwise, Freddy Adu.”

        What Jozy said is what is known as a qualifier. A big one.

      • Music,

        If that is true then wouldn’t the manager play Adu 90 every game the whole season?

        Isn’t that what you would have done?

        And if the manager did not do that would that not mean either that the manager is not very smart or there is some good reason why Freddy isn’t there for 90 every game.

        And don’t tell me the forwards were terrible because that is no reason to remove the creator of opportunties. If Freddy is there and creating all these chances for 90 minutes then eventually someone, even Freddy himself will score

        So tell me why Freddy did not go 90 in every single Union game if he consistently creates so many chances.

    • Woah stop the train! We have a lot of players that are more technically gifted than Adu, they just don’t try to do it or show it when its absolutely pointless and it can hurt their team look at Agudelo, Dempsey, and our whole U-20 squad! Just because wanna be Pele did a few tricks in a commercial doesn’t mean he’s the “greatest technical player”

      • Did we really produce Freddy Adu? Wasn’t he 9 when he moved? When he got here he was already very skilled.
        Anyway if Adu is considered made in USA I would go with Tab Ramos as most skilled (he moved here when he was 11). Altidore never played with him…

      • If it did not translate to the senior team then what is the point?

        What good is being the best hitter in the minor leagues if you can’t hit above .200 in the majors?

        Jozy hesitated and then made it very clear that Fred was, talentwise, the best he had played with. That is not the same as the best player.

      • His parents SAID he was 9. We all know he was really 16 at the time. That makes him 31 now. Too old. Too slow. No Technical ability.

      • I don’t think saying Adu is the most technically skilled player in American soccer history is a stretch at all. Saying he is technically great doesn’t mean anyone is calling him a great player. He has crazy skills with the ball. However, technical ability is only one piece of a very large puzzle that makes a good pro. Its become pretty clear he is missing a few of the other pieces needed to succeed at the top level.

  18. i’m as big of a Freddy Adu whore as they come, but this is just painful to watch… when you see the kid play, you can see all the potential, the technical ability, the flair. those 2-3 games he played in during the 2011 Gold Cup gave me so much hope that he could finally mature until a true professional and fit into a system, then …. nothing.

    • I’ve always been a harsh critic of Freddy but have always said that I do want him to do well. It helps him, US Soccer, the USMNT, and soccer in general. But there is a reason that he will become the first ever player to play in every country that has a professional soccer league.

    • Yeah, I think the whole problem is he started at a higher paygrade than maybe he deserved, and so he’s forever in search of a team that will pay him that type paycheck, regardless of whether they intend to play him. Most teams, particularly in MLS, want a certain level of production for that level of paycheck. He delivers journeyman production (with a dose of bellyaching) at DP money. If he aligned journeyman money with journeyman production he would stick someplace.

      And the problem he’s increasingly going to face is as a mediocre G.A.M. European teams are not interested in signing him to sell Americans shirts anymore. To raise a touchy, cynical issue many finesse, that, hmmm, when Stoke signs a pile of Americans it can’t even play, that maybe it’s not entirely about sporting concerns.

  19. I’m not sure he really struggled for playing time no matter how fit he was as this was clearly a move to gain American interest and it failed. In the end both teams traded terrible contracts.

      • He is referring to Adu’s stint at Bahia and to the fact that the player exchange that sent Adu from the Union to Bahia was a desperation move by both clubs. He is referring to that sentence in the third paragraph of the story which reads “he struggled for playing time at Bahia.” It isn’t rocket science.

      • he means that bahia took freddy more as a publicity stunt and a way to get dead weight (kleberson, maybe?) off their roster, rather than having any intention of giving him substantial minutes (therefore he wouldn’t really be “struggling for playing time”).

        don’t know how legit that theory is, but i think that’s what the OP is saying.

  20. if he comes to MLS he should be real with himself and where he stands and not demand more than 45k per year salary…if not play for free to begin with 🙂

  21. Back to MLS please. Chivas USA would be perfect–they want to play a “mexican style” and needs a boost at gate. Comp for playing time would not be so acute either. Not happening but that would be ideal…

      • Mexican-American families already go to Galaxy games and tend to act like other fans and not a racial block.
        Adu would be a great addition to a team lacking offensive spark and who desperately need to fill the stadium.

      • Right, but the government can implement whatever policy they want, and that can vary by league. I’m not sure how they can expect a 4th division team or whatever (obviously not referring to blackpool, just an example) to only be able to recruit national team players if they’re from outside the EU.

      • They recruit Englishmen. Soccer is really big in that country. There might not be that many good players left, but there are players and that’s why some could call them pub leagues.

    • There are no distinctions I am aware of related to level. The perception there might be could be fed by players like Jay Demerit, but he had a Danish passport (edible?) which allowed him to start at the bottom of the English pyramid and work his way up. If you have dual-EU citizenship you can slot in whatever level you want. It’s harder if you lack EU citizenship because then you have to meet the criteria or win an appeal, which generally demands that you be a rising prospect or USNT regular. A player of that level will likely slide in either EPL or Championship based on mutual benefit. They won’t play lower because either the level or the check will be beneath them and/or beneath what they could get in MLS or elsewhere. Plus the sort of team looking for an American who can survive work permit would be looking for a quality player, too.

      So it basically works out that the work permit people are generally in the top two divisions because why would a NT regular with play and CV worthy of the permit drop down and play in a low league, where they might get 25K quid a year and play at a level worthy of USL. They’re going to play someplace with decent quality and a MLS+ paycheck at bare minimum.

      • Cosmos can pretend it’s signing currently relevant players and Freddy can pretend he’s signing for a currently relevant team.

      • As much as I like what is going on in the NASL, their champion still remains about as relevant in the soccer world as the Durham Bulls and Omaha Storm Chasers (International and Pacific Coast League Champions) are to baseball.

      • Jesus, does every soccer player/team/league have to be viewed as “World-Class” or “crap?” Why can’t a decent soccer player go play for a decent team in a decent league and make a couple bucks while trying to put on a show for those that are interested in the outcome of the match? No. If you’re not playing for Barca then you suck. Duh.

      • But in all seriousness, I agree with you. And for some reason, the comments on this site have drifted more and more towards hyperbole of late. It makes for a much less fun read.

      • People have this kind of reaction to the Cosmos because some of their fans act like their team made the choice to spurn MLS because they don’t want to be constrained by salary caps etc. when the reality is they weren’t asked to join. It’s that attitude that’s off-putting – like they’re bigger than MLS.

        This isn’t 1975, Pele isn’t on the field, they play in a college stadium in Long Island in front of 5,000 fans, so they are as relevant as Freddy Adu.

      • But everyone has fun at the games and the fans aren’t annoying and the concessions aren’t overpriced.

        How dare they!!!!!!!

    • Somebody quietly call the Daily Mail / Mirror / Sun etc. and get this started. US Soccer Star Freddy Adu courted by NY Cosmos in “the” NASL

      NY Cosmos looks to up their profile by signing US International star attacking midfielder with European and International big club experience


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