By FRANCO PANIZO
Looking for the type of stability that has eluded him throughout his career, Freddy Adu has teamed up with a familiar face and officially made his way back to the United States.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced late on Tuesday that they have signed Adu, who is reunited with head coach Thomas Rongen in an effort to to get his career back on track. The 26-year-old Adu, who was a free agent after recently leaving Finnish club KuPS, previously played under Rongen while with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team in 2007.
The NASL club plans to play Adu as an attacking midfielder in its 4-3-3 set-up, but also believes it could use him anywhere along the front line.
“We’re pleased to have Freddy Adu join our club,” said Rowdies principal owner Bill Edwards in a statement. “Our goal is to make the Rowdies the most successful club in North American soccer and this is just another step towards achieving that. I’ve spoken to Thomas about signing Adu and he is as excited as I am about this opportunity.”
A former U.S. Men’s National Team player with 17 caps and two goals to his name, Adu joins a Tampa Bay side that has gotten off to a 1-0-1 start in the NASL’s Fall Season. He adds experience and bolsters a Rowdies attack that already includes Maicon Santos, Darwin Espinal, Brian Shriver, and Corey Hertzog.
Adu also becomes one of the more recognizable names in the league, alongside the likes of New York Cosmos duo Raul and Marcos Senna.
“Freddy and I have always respected each other,” Rongen said in the same statement. “He’s a very unique player, very gifted. He’s a difference-maker. He’s got superb technical ability and field awareness.
“He’s a guy that I’ve always enjoyed being around on and off the field. He’s got a wonderful sense of humor and is a good teammate. He can make any team better.”
Before signing for KuPS back in March, Adu was under contract with Serbian side Jagodina and Brazilian outfit Bahia back in 2014 and 2013, respectively. He was with the Philadelphia Union prior to that.
Adu has played for 11 clubs since turning pro as a 14-year-old prodigy back in 2004. He is looking for consistent playing time after only making 14 competitive appearances since 2013.
“I’m someone he relates to and someone he feels comfortable with,” Rongen added. “I like daring, creative players and Freddy has those qualities. His signing has immense upside for a club that is already making its mark in the NASL.”
While it is unknown when Adu will make his Rowdies debut, their next game is on Saturday at home vs. FC Edmonton.
Here’s a brief video of Adu talking about his move:
— Tampa Bay Rowdies (@TampaBayRowdies) July 15, 2015
What do you think about Adu signing with the Rowdies? Expecting things to work out for him under Rongen? Is Adu now the biggest name in NASL?
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