Thursday, August 11, 2011

Adu Coming Back to MLS?

Freddy Adu may be poised to make a return to Major League Soccer for the first time since 2007. Though it hasn't been confirmed, it's speculated that the Philadelphia Union will announce Adu's signing tomorrow afternoon. The one time phenom originally signed with DC United at the age of 14 back in 2004 and both played in his first match and scored his first MLS goal before his 15th birthday. Adu spent 3 seasons with United winning an MLS Championship his rookie season and making a pair of all star teams before being traded along with Nick Rimando to Real Salt Lake before the start of the 2007 season. Adu would only play half a season for Salt Lake though, opting instead to transfer overseas to join the Portuguese club Benfica. Adu would appear in just 11 games for Benfica's first team though spending much of his time on loan to clubs AS Monaco (France), Belenenses (Portugal), Aris (Greence), and Çaykur Rizespor (Turkey). Adu failed to play substantial minutes anywhere and as a result, started to fall out of favor with the U.S. National Team including being conspicuously absent from the U.S.'s 2010 World Cup roster.
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However, Adu was a surprising addition to the 2011 Gold Cup squad under then coach Bob Bradley. Still just 22 years old, Adu played at a high level in the tournament helping set up Clint Dempsey's game winner in the semifinals against Panama after coming on as a substitute, and then starting and contributing to both U.S. goals in the 4-2 loss to Mexico. And just like that, Adu's name was back in the hat. Even after Bradley's dismissal Adu was added to the National Team Camp under new coach Jurgen Klinsmann leading up to the friendly against Mexico, and now it looks like he'll be coming back to the United States and Major League Soccer once more where he can hopefully get some consistent playing time. If he joins the Union, he'll be joining a team right in the thick of the Eastern Conference race. The Union are currently just one point behind the Columbus Crew for first place in the Eastern Conference. Hurting for playmakers following the recent transfer of leading scorer Carlos Ruiz to Veracruz (Mexico), and with Sebastien Le Toux's struggles around the goal (only one goal this year after scoring fourteen a year ago), Adu should be just what the Union attack needs down the stretch. Stay tuned, the official announcement is expected to come tomorrow at noon eastern.

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