I live in a suburb of Washington D.C. As punishment for this, I have had to endure all of the ridiculous hype revolving around Freddy Adu. And I’ll admit, I was drawn in just like everyone else. If you had asked me in 2004, I would have assured you that “14-year-old” Freddy Adu was the world’s next superstar. He would play for all of the biggest clubs and eventually carry the United States Men’s National Team through to world cup victory.
The biggest news about him was that he was so good at such a young age. But was he really 14? Reports were coming in that there was no actual record of his birth due to poor record keeping in Ghana and that his mother could not actually remember the year of his birth. So for all we know, he was 16 or 17. This would make him break absolutely no records. Bobby Convey, now at Reading, signed for D.C. United at age 16. So was all this hype warranted?
In his first season, he struggled to even get into the first team. No criticism was put on him since he was still “only 14”. Even with limited starts, he did manage to score 5 times in his first season. But since then, his scoring has decreased dramatically. After more than 3 seasons in the league, he has only 12 goals, which are terrible numbers for an attacking midfielder/winger/support striker.
He was traded away to Real Salt Lake from D.C. United after the 2006 season. Since the move, he has done even worse than before. He is tied as the number one goal scorer for his team…….. with one goal. In 9 tries, Real Salt Lake has yeat to win a game, and has scored only 3 times all season. Adu looks out of place. His first touch is dreadful, he is easily pushed off of the ball, and he has trouble keeping the shape of the team. He is played on the left wing, yet he seems to just drift aimlessly around the field.
In the MLS break, which happens during the Premiership season, Adu had a 2-week trial with Manchester United, and this opened up the old debate of whether or not Adu could make it in the big leagues. Eventually, nothing transpired from this trial and Adu was sent back to the states. With this decline in play, his small size, and his uncanny ability to disappear for 10-game stretches, I don’t think Adu will ever play for a big team in Europe.
I hope he can eventually live up to the hype, and do us Americans proud, but I just don’t see it happening. What does everyone else think?