Freddy Adu should be one of the most recognizable names in American Soccer. Going pro at the age of 14 to play for Major League Soccer’s D.C. United, Adu made a name for himself as a soccer prodigy. No one could deny the fact that this kid was good and quickly soccer teams around the world started having an interest in this little guy who immigrated to the US from Ghana at the age of 8.
After playing 2 seasons at D. C. United, and almost signing with Manchester United, Freddy was traded to Real Salt Lake. He played a season in Salt Lake then moved on again to play in Europe. At this time in 2007 this was a big step for American players who played in the MLS. A move to a big European team meant a lot for your career and gave you a chance to show not only America, but the world what you were capable of doing out on the pitch.
After a short run with Portuguese team Benifca, Adu was put on loan to AS Monaco, followed by Belenesnes. Unfortunately for Adu this meant that the team never really found a place for him at Benfica. Adu has been moved around from loan to loan in Europe and has just signed a year and a half loan with Greek team Aris Salonika FC.
So why has Freddy Adu’s stardom shrunk tremendously since moving over to the European clubs? Well there are a lot of theories out there such as he’s too small and not physical enough. Also that he doesn’t really listen to what his coaches tell him and some criticize him as being too immature. I personally disagree with the majority of these criticisms. I have seen the tapes and you can look him up on YouTube, this kid knows how to play. He has skills and to be honest with you the size issue is a terrible theory. Two words, Lionel Messi. 5ft 7in, considered the best player in the world right now and Adu has an inch on him.
I personally believe that the issue with Freddy Adu is that he has a hard time finding a place on a team. All he needs to do is find a team that he can work with and that will allow him to show what he is really capable of doing which may mean a smaller, less popular team. Not only does this need to happen for him, this needs to happen now. Adu is approaching the age of 21 and in the sport of soccer if you don’t make it by then, good luck ever making it. He needs to stop worrying about what the world expects from him and focus on the issue at hand, getting play time on a team.
As a side note to this I must add that I follow Freddy along with many other American soccer players on Twitter. One thing that following Freddy has done for me is show me how much heart he still has. He never shows negativity or weakness but rather is very positive and shows he has a lot of heart. Many people in the pro sports world hate having pro athletes on Twitter, but I feel it really helps the fan understand what’s going on in their life when it comes to sports rather than hearing it from the news.
Ultimately I have high hopes for Freddy Adu. I truly feel he can do what it takes to prove to the criticizing world that he is a great athlete. And if he can’t make it big over in Europe, I know a nice little league that would welcome him with open arms, the MLS.
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