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Report: Freddy Adu set to sign with NASL’s Rowdies



After another failed stint in Europe, Freddy Adu has reportedly found himself a new home back on U.S. soil.

Goal USA reported Friday that Adu is nearing a deal with the Tampa Bay Rowdies after receiving offers from multiple NASL teams. The deal could reportedly be finalized as soon as this weekend.

The move would reunited Adu with Rowdies coach Thomas Rongen, who coached Adu with the U.S. Under-20 national team at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup.

Adu recently left Finnish side KuPS after just three months, stating on social media that he had departed the club in pursuit of new opportunities. Prior to his time in Finland, Adu has signed with Serbia’s FK Jagodina and Brazil’s Bahia after leaving the Philadelphia Union in 2011.

Most recently, the Rowdies finished second in the NASL Spring Season, just one point behind the New York Cosmos. If the move comes to fruition, Adu could feature for the Rowdies as soon as July 18 against FC Edmonton.

What do you think of the potential move? How would Adu fit in with the Rowdies? How would a reunion with Rongen impact Adu’s career?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Years ago, a businesslike peter nowak used to put a cocky, upstart adu on the bench a lot, presumably to offset his cocky nature. Imo that was wise. And i believe that adu also rode a lot of pine in europe, yes? Perhaps he’s now ready to receive the wisdom of thomas rongen? I’m being totally serious. Maybe he can appreciate this opportunity? i am hoping we all will see an older, more nature and wiser freddy adu.

  2. Rongen & Adu were made for one another.
    Will be lovely to watch them to farcically linger on the marginals of American soccer.
    All they are missing is Jonathan Bornstein.

  3. Always find it interesting that Freddy is such a lightning rod. There is no question he held great promise and failed to deliver, but this isn’t unique to him. How many European teens sign professional contracts and ultimately wash out? Hundreds each year? Heck, even the NBA has had some huge busts when drafted at 18 (four years older than Freddy was at the time of his first pro deal) out of HS.

    Honestly, I don’t care one way or another, but his status as media darling at 14 did him no favors as far as realistic expectations and he has always been held to a standard of massively inflated expectations because of it. For me, the time is long since past to just let him be and hope him happiness wherever his career takes him.

    • THANK YOU! At least someone on this board has logic. I can’t tell you how many Brazilian and European can’t miss prospects have missed. It is a lot more common than people (Americans) think. That is why established pros in other leagues always say things like give player x time to develop….there is a big jump from a prospect to established pro and established international…etc.

      In addition, I don’t know if you guys know Scott French, but he is an established soccer writer who has been around since the NASL days and was the former editor of Soccer America magazine as well as reported from every world cup the US has been to. He has a similar take. He talked about in a podcast (I don’t want give the name unless it’s allowed). He also who ever talked this kid into signing a professional contract at 14 should be taken into the woodshed. He belonged in an Academy, but MLS was dying in the early 2000’s, they were contracting and they needed the publicity. He said he met Freddy many times and is a pleasant, nice kid, but people tell you from 14 you’re next Pele and you start to believe it. He definitely had talent, but it requires more than that.

      • Edmondo,

        I first saw Freddy at DC United when he was 14.

        I thought he looked great.. for a 14 year old.

        But a lot of the time he also looked like a 14 year old.

        When he finally left for RSL and then Benfica I hoped that he had some good advisors because he was after all a teenager who was clearly heading for a Bieber-esque meltdown.

        When he started bouncing around Europe I was saddened but not surprised.

        The key thing that everyone forgets is that, at his very best, and I have seen that, he was no better a prospect than lots of other younger, cheaper,more coachable kids from Africa, South America, or Eastern Europe. And a lot of those kids are now flipping burgers or selling drugs or dead.

        He is living testament to the fact that hype can get your foot in the door ( after all don’t tell me most of you guys really give a s++t or really know anything about the NASL ) but without any substance behind the hype you soon get booted out.

        If I lived in Tampa I’d go to a game or two just to see the freak show.

        I think Adu will do okay in Tampa. Rongen should be good for him and the media such as it is will be pretty close on him so perhaps he will not be out getting loaded every evening.

        Benny managed to stay employed as a second half sub for a while. Surely Freddy can dredge it up enough to do that.

        In Finland, he probably had nothing better to do than drink, alcohol not being an unfamiliar substance to the Finns.

      • You are spot on with that he belonged in an academy. He had moments where he shined at D.C. United, but the MLS was not the right place for him. I believe he had chnces to sign with some big European clubs before D.C. but he turned them down. I believe he could have been a lot better player if he started out in an academy. Zelalem was maybe a year or two older than Adu when he left the US for Arsenal. There he is getting the top coaching and training for his development. Zelalem is already better than Adu ever was, and I attribute that to his time in the academy.

  4. let see if freddy and old coach can work some magic! Freddy you still got some magic left! we know it. Everybodys pullin for you man. Got get em young gun! Floridas got nothin but love for you.

  5. Very nice! The Rowdies have really stepped it up lately. Glad to see someone other than the Cosmos making big moves. Hopefully Freddy gets in shape sooner rather than later and gets things going again. I doubt he makes any moves past this one, but hopefully he ends his career on a good note, at least.

    • Based on how many teams he’s been to, he must have a super agent who somehow gets him amazing offers. I would imagine he is somehow making 6 figures through some agreement

  6. The Rowdies are looking decent so far this season.

    He is not good enough. A poor publicity stunt, perhaps; and for what at this point?

  7. “He was probably better than [Bradley and Altidore],” said then-U-20 coach Thomas Rongen, who also had Adu on earlier U-20 teams along with Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, and teenage star Bobby Convey. “He was coachable. He was a good kid. He had a great sense of humor. He was driven at that time to succeed in the right ways.”…………But lack the discipline it takes to be a professional coach Rongen.

    That was quick….too quick. Did Rongen / Adu already have a talks in the works hence the hasty departure from KuPS or was it that Freddy Adu found out they didn’t need him for anything but his fan following? Either way if Rongen can’t fix him, then he is indeed broken……..

    • Uh, Bro–I hear what you are saying but let’s keep it real.

      With your Traffic ownership, y’all got bigger problems then Freddy putting on your jersey while he tries to resurrect his career (again).

      Freddy–not, by a long shot–wouldn’t be your biggest problem. Don’t worry about the circus coming to town coz the circus owns your town.

      Hope that situation changes soon…

  8. In all seriousness, I think this will be his last club. After he gets released for not trying in practice, who will sign him? Who will sign someone who couldn’t hack it in the NASL?

  9. “Thomas Rongen, who coached Adu with the U.S. Under-20 national team at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup.” …when he was 23 y/o.


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