11 March 2013
Anybody remembers Freddy Adu? A few years ago, that name was not only making noise in U.S. soccer, but all over the international scene. For those of you who don’t remember (or don’t know him at all), Freddy Adu was once a teenage soccer sensation in America. Taken first pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft at age 14 by D.C. United, he became the youngest American athlete in 100 years to be signed professionally in any team sport. He then played for his country at the young age of 16, sparking interest in the major European teams. Premier League giants Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal were rumored to sign him. But none of them did. Now, Adu is back in the U.S. After playing in a few mid-market teams in Europe (like Benifica and AS Monaco), he returned to MLS proving almost nothing to the world. His loan spell to AS Monaco in France gave fans a glimmer of hope for the budding superstar as the team (and the league) seemed like a perfect fit for him. A country as soccer-savvy as France could have been a helpful environment for Adu’s growth. Unfortunately, it did little in his improvement. Freddy returned to the United States liked a washed-up athlete. Let’s hope that it won’t happen.
In his misfortunes in Europe, Freddy could have gambled his fortune away. Especially in his stay in Monaco, there are casinos everywhere you go. He could have played poker there and do it professionally. Poker is a great way to earn money, and also release stress. Perfect for a frustrated athlete. Knowing his personality, a guy like Freddy would have stayed at home and played online in websites like partypoker. The feel maybe different compared to live poker, but the prize is just the same. It could have been his ticket to a new career, and maybe a second chance at stardom.
In 2011, Freddy Adu returned to MLS to play for Philadelphia Union. This move reunites him with former D.C. United and U.S.A. U-23 coach Piotr Nowak. Like in Monaco, everything seemed perfect for Adu. The place, the team and the people supports him. Fans were hopeful that he could make a successful comeback in the MLS. However, reports of his disrupted influence inside the locker room spread all over the news. Early this year, Philadelphia Union announced that Adu will be traded because he is no longer part of their “plans.”
It would be a waste of talent if Freddy turned out to be a bust. The hype that was given to him when he was young could have caused a lot of pressure. Hopefully this trade can change Adu for the better. He is still young and can turn things around. But that decision is all up to him.