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Freddy Adu: Sandecja Nowy Sacz interest was ‘a recipe for disaster’

While Freddy Adu’s search for a new team continues, he departs Poland confidant he made the right decision to walk away from his latest possibility.

The 28-year old American was recently on trial with Polish first-division newcomers Sandecja Nowy Sacz, but quickly found that he was unwanted, at least by the team’s manager Radoslaw Mroczkowski, reports Goal. The coach apparently had no knowledge of Adu’s trial, which was organized by sporting director Arkadiusz Alexander, and was less than pleased, to put it mildly.

“It’s a joke,” Mroczkowski told Polish website “I read in the media about his trial. I asked the sporting director why he did not tell me anything [about Adu]. After all, he sent me a text message that there ‘will be a player on trial’ and that they all knew. Marketing knew, the staff at the club knew. Only the coach did not know who the trialist was.”

Adu knew the trial was off to a bad start immediately after disembarking from his plane. His requests for a lack of media presence were ignored, and it became obvious to Adu that the primary reason for his visit was not a serious offer of playing time, but publicity.

“As soon as I walked out of the airport I knew something wasn’t right because I was told to take a picture with a team scarf,” Adu told Goal. “I made it clear I wanted no press or pictures or anything but that went ignored. A few hours later I found out the coach made some comments about me which was pretty clear that he didn’t know I was coming … or I was not the player he asked for.”

“I waited three hours at the stadium just to meet with the technical director who was in a meeting with the coach, and that’s when I found out that they weren’t all on the same page. I couldn’t be in a situation like that because I’ve been there before and it’s a recipe for disaster.”

To Adu, it was a familiar situation. After news of the failed trial spread, Adu took to Twitter to explain the similarities of this situation to others he had experienced in his journeyman career. Adu announced that he wouldn’t be signing with the Polish club, stating it shared commonalities with “a situation like this before in Moncao” which ended poorly, and that he needed to “find the best situation for my career”. He then posted a short note explaining his quest for stability and a fair crack at playing time.

For Adu, the search for a home now continues. He last played professionally for the USL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2016. Knowing that his name can attract many publicity offers, Adu instead searches for a serious offer to get some playing time and contribute to a team in a meaningful way.

“I know I haven’t played in a while and need to sort out a club and play, but it has to be the right club and the right situation,” Adu said. “I can’t rush into another situation and not get the playing time I need.”


  1. Sorry for the double-negative, but I have no reason to not want to see this American flourish somewhere … I don’t recall anything negative being said about him that was non-soccer related. So, again, I wish him all the best and hope he finds a good landing spot and does really well there.

    As for this Polish squad, who plays these kinds of games with people? Bring a guy from the States to Eastern Europe just to have him pose with a team scarf, while not telling your Manager what you’re doing? Think this team will stay in Poland’s Top Flight after this coming year?

    • I think you’re assuming MLS rationality, structure, and behavior. I watched a documentary recently on Beitar Jerusalem. Owner decides as a dramatic gesture, while on a trip to Chechnya, that he is going to integrate a notoriously anti-Muslim team by acquiring two muslim players. Coach didn’t want them, several of his teammates sided with the fans who were generally hostile. Owner pushes through loan anyway and while they were the first openly muslim players to suit up for that team, chaos ensued and as soon as the season was over they basically raced to take the first plane out.

      So, perhaps the owner and GM, the paycheck people, want him in, coach doesn’t. Maybe it’s a stunt. Maybe the coach is racist. Who knows why. But I think it’s where MLS is generally harmonious, and rarely are there coach-TD blowups, and sometimes there isn’t even a TD, where it just feels odd that a player the coach didn’t want came in. But I assume in teams run more as dictatorships by the owner, or where the coach is lazy and the TD isn’t on his wavelength, or someone’s playing a game or making a point, yeah, this could happen.

      • I also think that we’re sometimes naïve even about professional and sophisticated teams signing Americans to pose them with a shirt and them ship them off as an asset on loan. Will Miazga really be integrated with Chelsea? Or would he have been better off signing with a different team.

  2. Curious how he didn’t see any risk in looking at Eastern Europe, period, considering how many black players have been treated.

    I’d compare him to the Ibeagha brothers in the sense that his trying to avoid MLS is reaching almost comical stupidity. I don’t care if MLS wants long contracts and doesn’t want to back up a bank truck for me, it’s better than not getting paid, racism, PR games at your expense, and all the dumb alternatives his blindspot seems to be leading him towards.

    • Avoiding MLS?! You’re assuming that MLS is even an option for him. I don’t think any team would touch him with a 10 foot pole at this point. Any team that gives him a tryout is immediately derided by fans (see SBI comment section). I assume he would jump at the opportunity to join MLS, which is why his career has taken him to Finland, Serbia, and now Poland…

      • I cannot believe he is worse than many MLS bit players I have seen. They might not want the ‘tude and what I really think it boils down to is a mix of work rate and almost more importantly salary demand. If he cost $75k and was both paid as and played like a bench sparkplug, I don’t think they’d be opposed. But I think he expects more money and a bigger role, despite reality. That’s where I think the rubber hits the road. So he’s avoiding MLS (and them probably too) because he won’t accept the smaller role and cost they want. That is not literally the blackball scenario you seem to be selling.

      • Not sure where you are coming up with these ideas about his salary demands…. You are aware that his most recent gig was flaming out with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, where he was reportedly earning $3,500 a month? Timbers worked him out for 2 weeks and didn’t bother offering him a contract. From where I stand, this dude is hardly “avoiding” MLS…. probably salivating at the idea actually.

  3. Good on Freddy for walking away and having enough pride to not go through this charade. None of us know what his financial situation is and how much more soccer he has in him, but he did the right thing. This was never going to go well.

    As to the comment above that Adu reached his ceiling at 21-22, I would say it was probably more like at 18, during that U20 world cup in 2007. That’s not to say he can’t contribute at some level now, but he’s probably never going to be that good again (or stand out that much among other grown men).

    It seemed to me that the Rowdies stint could be the right situation for him (in America but less limelight, lower level), so when that didn’t work out, I lost hope that he could make it work anywhere…

    • Adu, to me, epitomizes the pitfalls in the youth to adult jump. Small, slow, not physical, modest work rate, doesn’t play defense. At one point the eyewash with the ball and the occasional highlight passes looked good. That’s youth play. Adult play the game speeds up and there are athletes everywhere and if you aren’t an athlete yourself you better be god on a ball or hardworking as heck. He is neither. He is still stuck back in adolescence where we’re supposed to be in awe of his occasional technique, but adult teams need 90 minute players and ideally ones who play defense and have athletic attributes.

  4. This Adu tale is just pathetic at this point. Actually it has been sad almost throughout his professional career.
    Adu peaked as a player at 21-22 years of age. Since then, he’s just degenerated. That might sound crazy but in sports it’s not unusual. Players who have “higher ceilings” tend attract the teams willing to invest in their progress. In Adu’s case he was always been marketed as “america’s Pele” and “the next big thing” whereas in reality he already was the finished product at 21-22. In the US we see these things happen in other major sports. Super collegiate athletes who can’t make it at the professional level. If he just would’ve settled on a team he would’ve at least sustained his level of play.
    He’s a small team, small market player. He could’ve had a long career in MLS…
    It seems as if everyone from agents, etc. tried to cash in at his expense… But in the end, he can only blame himself.

      • Please stop with your overtly racist commentary (jokes). Accusing individuals of cheating based on their look or continent of origin is racist. While it’s true that third world countries (not just in Africa) are not always good at record keeping, it might be off by a few weeks or months not years. For your story to be true he was passed off as an 8-year-old when he came to America at age 18.

    • Let’s be real, this doesn’t sound cool but at a certain point he has to own the consequences of whatever his salary demands are, whatever his feud is with MLS where he’d rather be farting around in Poland than finding a team here, and his work rate problem and other pure soccer issues.

      The whole thing has been driven by money and desired focality at destination after destination. If he cared about a career at some point he’d accept a humble role at a modest salary and earn his way back up with good play and hard work two ways.

      • Imperative: I get that he was probably making unreasonable salary demands when he returned to MLS 6-7 years go, but I don’t think thats the case anymore. And I don’t think MLS is an option anymore for him. That’s why he ended up in the Serbian second division…

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