Tuesday Kickoff: On Adu’s MLS options

Freddy Adu (ISIphotos.com) 

Photo by ISIphotos.com

Where will Freddy Adu go next?

That's the decision the young midfielder is pondering after a second European club decided to give him back to Benfica after failed loan stints. Belenenses seemed like a good destination when Adu first went there, but the loan proved to be as pointless as his stint at Monaco.

As it stands, we have to at least consider the possibility that one of Adu's options is a return to MLS. If that is, in fact, one of the possibilities, we should start considering potential destinations.

Before we do that, it should be noted that no team in MLS is going to pay Adu what he was making in Europe. No team is spending a designated player slot on him. The only way Adu can return to MLS is if he takes a serious paycut, probably to $250,000 or lower. If Adu is willing to take that sort of paycut, then MLS should be an option again.

Here is a rundown of the clubs that might be potential destinations for Adu:


Not the first club you expected to see listed? It might actually make the most sense given Adu's ties to FC Dallas assistant John Ellinger and Schellas Hyndman's preference for young players. And David Ferreira? The club has yet to re-sign him, though given how well he played last year it would be tough to think that he wouldn't re-sign. Dallas might also have to consider the fact that the club has struggled to sell tickets and Adu just might be one of the few names who could draw fans to Pizza Hut Park (and yes, it would be ironic if he returned to MLS and joined Dallas considering Dallas was basically strong-armed by MLS into giving up the No. 1 overall pick D.C. United used to draft Adu almost six years ago).


Sounds like crazy talk doesn't it? Peter Nowak couldn't possibly want to re-unite with Adu after their first marriage at D.C. United. Right? Don't be so sure. I spoke with Nowak at length about Adu earlier this fall and didn't get the impression that he held any grudges against the midfielder. It should be noted that Adu played for Nowak on the U.S. Olympic team in 2008 (and played well at times). Why would it make sense? Nowak would be the one in total control this time around, unlike back in 2004, when Adu was essential Major League Soccer's golden goose. Nowak just might be the coach to bring the best out of Adu (or finally break him). At the very least, Philly will likely help determine where Adu goes since it holds the No. 1 spot in the new MLS Allocation Order.


Would D.C. really bring back the player it unloaded happily just a handful of years ago? It could make sense for a variety of reasons. Christian Gomez is on his last legs, D.C. is a club that has long catered to one-way playmakers like Adu and Curt Onalfo did a good job of resurrecting Eddie Johnson's career at Kansas City. Adu reviving his career in D.C. would make for great headlines, and he would also be re-united with close friend and former U.S. Under-17, U-20 and Olympic teammate Danny Szetela, which might help both players find their form.


This destination might not sound like a natural fit, but with Houston set to lose Stuart Holden to Europe, the Dynamo just might have room for Adu's playmaking abilities. Head coach Dom Kinnear is one of the most respected coaches in MLS and is probably as well-suited to help Adu find his form as anybody. Kinnear also recently took a chance on another high-profile reclamation project in Luis Angel Landin so we know he's willing to gamble on young potential.


Could Adu really return to RSL and play in the stadium some people believe he helped build? No, not really. Real Salt Lake just won a title and boasts Javier Morales in the playmaker role. RSL doesn't need Adu, but I had to list the club since it was his last MLS destination (and because I wanted an excuse to run the great photo above). Then again, perhaps Adu could fill out the club's right wing role. On second thought, let's not completely rule this one out (and for those of you wondering, RSL doesn't still have Adu's rights if it spend the transfer funds it scored when he was sold to Benfica, which I believe is very likely).


The Red Bulls have longed for a productive playmaker since trading away Amado Guevara and Adu would offer up a marquee name as the club heads into a new stadium. No, this move doesn't really make much sense, but it's the Red Bulls so you can't rule out anything.


Where would you like to see Adu go in MLS if he came back home? Which club makes the most sense? Which club is the last place you think he should go?

Share your thoughts below.

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185 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: On Adu’s MLS options

  1. Kevin_amold says:

    That IS a quality photo.

  2. Al17 says:

    A second division club in Italy would be the perfect place for him. They still teach the game in Italy and he’d get plenty of opportunities to play and develop in Italy. A few years there and he’d be one hell of a player.

    My 2 cents

  3. Richard, UK says:

    Seems like a redundant question on a slow news day! There’s no way he’s coming back to MLS any time soon.

    I’ll glady apologise if he does head back this year, but I can’t see why he would. He’d be better off taking a smaller pay-cut and heading to Scandanavia, Holland or Belgium, somewhere like that. The boy needs to play regularly and soon.

    (SBI-What exactly is redundant about a post listing potential MLS destinations for Adu? Last time I checked I hadn’t written one before. I never said he was definitely coming back to MLS, but it’s something to think about. If you don’t want to consider that possibility, then don’t. I would tend to agree with you that a league like Holland or Belgium would make more sense, but only if he’s definitely going to play, and at this point it’s tough to say what his chances would be of assured playing time.)

  4. Josh D says:

    I don’t get the photo… : (

    Don’t think he would return in all honesty. I can see a Northern Europe team going in for him and the region has treated our boys well over the years. He needs to drop down a level and build up his confidence as well as the world’s confidence in him. Go somewhere without the media scrutiny, run away of sorts. Then come back into the fold.

    With MLS breaking its back to give LA everything they want, wouldn’t be surprised to see him go there to purely build “that” Yankee team full of stars, big names, yadda yadda. Do they need him? Not really. Is it LA so they want big? H*ll ya!

    I think I can speak for DC when I say, once with this guy was enough.

  5. Gary says:

    Playing for Nowak in Philly gets him right in the middle of U.S. soccer’s radar. Playing in the U.S. is OK for younger guys. Do it for a year, get your feet back under you.

  6. Keith G. says:

    I am going to say my top 3 destanations for Adu would have to be the Union #1 as he would a good player to help them kick off there 1st season. 2nd would have to be Houston if they do lose Holden. Adu would be another young tallent, and could fit right into the hole Holden leaves. 3rd would be DC United, for the reason that they need to get younger and to help there image as the team begins to drop in MLS power. On the Bubble I would have to put the Red Bulls becuase we all know they are never predictable and with whatever new manager they get who knows what players they will wont. Also on the bubble a team that Ives didnt mention is the Earthquakes, I think I could see them going out and trying to bring him in to help bring in fans, and to finally have a star player they could help them get out of the basement of the MLS.

  7. Time for Adu to hit the reset button on his career. He could go to Norway or Serie B but he is more likely to get starting time in MLS.

  8. Oranje Mike says:

    Aside from Porto, Benfica and Sporting there’s not much to talk about in Portugal. I don’t know if Serie B would be a good move for Adu. Most of the clubs are probably better and loaded with more talent than other Portuguese clubs. I could be wrong, though. I’m not really an expert or anything. Another question to ponder is how many Serie B clubs are willing to sign an American player. For some reason Yanks are too hot of a commodity in Italia.

  9. AngelUSfan says:

    I really sad for Adu, I just don’t know if it is his attidude or maybe is not capable. I think Adu should really think really hard in considering coming back to the MLS he still young and get more playing time and prove to other that he still a good or great player. Look what happen with Landon Donovan. Adu will not be the only player to fail to play in Europe. He need more playing time just in case he want to go to the World Cup or maybe the Next one. PLEASE COME BACK ADU AND JOIN THE GALAXY we will take you.

  10. Felix says:

    I would throw the Fire in there as well. They are presumably going to lose Blanco, and Adu could fill that #10 role ‘Temoc had and have the protection and working midfielders that Adu needs to thrive in Logan Pause and John Thorrington. He’d even have another young Ghanaian to work with in Patrick Nyarko.

  11. Nick says:

    At this point in his career, he’s not going to earn first team minutes on a top flight team anywhere in Europe. If he wants to even sniff World Cup minutes, he should come back stateside or head to a 2nd division Euro squad to get increased minutes and a real chance to regain his form. Just my take though.

  12. JL says:

    What the kid needs is a mental coach, to help him break through the non-sense and start putting in the work to get him playing time. Every interview I have read and heard has led me to the same conclusion, that he still just doesn’t get it. He thinks he is being mistreated and people aren’t giving him a break…well, when you don’t bust your ass in practice or on defense, you had better be lighting the nets on fire, which he isn’t. He has Eddie Johnson syndrome, where MLS told you You are great, long before you ever deserved it and as a result, work ethic is nil. I don’t blame him at all, for he was just a kid and still is, I blame those around him for not helping get him out of the cycle.

  13. Pat says:


    What about the Revolution. Now it would cost money, so normally that would eliminate the Revs, but he’s the type of player they could really use.

  14. Richard, UK says:

    Fair enough, it’s a blog rather than a news site, so these kinds of things are usually a fun bit of speculation. That said, there’s a million hypothetical questions you could ask about a million players…

    (SBI-Richard, this is as much a news site as it is a blog. Call it whatever you want, newspapers do the same sort of thing all the time (I should know, I was a newspaper reporter for ten years). It’s speculation, and it’s interesting reading for OTHER readers (apparently not for you). No one said you have to be interested in everything written on this site, but to go out of your way to try and point out how pointless something is seems, well, rather pointless.)

  15. japan says:

    I was going to post something similar to this but no need now. Well said.

  16. Mike in Tampa says:

    Hey Richard, or can I call you Dick? Could you be more of a twit? First you try to call this story pointless, then you try and take a shot at SBI by saying it’s just a blog and not a news site. SBI is as much a soccer news website as any in America.

    Don’t you have an EPL blog you could go annoy people in?

  17. Alexandria says:

    You can blame MLS all you want, but thats like blaming the cigarette company when you get lung cancer, it was HIS choice to believe the hype, and I do believe his teammates and coaches at DC busted his rump and tried to help him out and teach him but he wouldn’t hear it. At somepoint in time you got to stop blaming other people and blame the player.

  18. strider says:

    Josh, the player in front with the captain’s armband is Jason Kreis, i.e. the guy who is now the coach. So, here he is as a player with Adu.

  19. Richard, UK says:

    I was being polite, but getting pissy about a comment on your blog/news site seems a bit unnecessary. Sheesh. I didn’t say I didn’t find it interesting either. I’ve never come across a newspaper in England that would ever do a speculative listing like this, but I read The Guardian, so what do I know?

    Defend your blog if you feel there was unfair criticism, but it wasn’t criticism, just a comment that the question is almost pointless as I can’t believe that Adu would head back to MLS anytime soon.

    Speculate away all you like. I’ll just shut up.

  20. DS says:

    Ideally, Adu would find a team in one of Europe’s smaller leagues where he could start consistently and play at a decent level. But no team is going to be able to provide that kind of guarantee to a 20 yr old player with limited professional experience. So MLS seems like an excellent option. On the right team, Adu would be able to get regular playing time, and likely in his preferred playmaker/withdrawn forward role. Yes, you’d have to build your midfield to accomodate his talents (and deficits, like limited defensive ability and lack of size or range). But he’d finally find consistent time in an improving league, at an age that many of our domestic talent would still be college sophomores. If he can consistently demonstrate his skill and generate goals, doors will open for him again (both in Europe and with the National Team).

    I believe a smart MLS exec would be willing to spend some money to get him. Clearly not DP wages, but $250,000-$300,000 sounds reasonable for a player that (earned or not) would generate some excitement and probably at least a small bump in ticket and jersey sales. He showed flashed of his talent while with DCU, but was only 17 or so at the time and couldn’t outplay a Christian Gomez (who went on to be one of the league’s best playmakers for a few years). His short stint at RSL barely registers – DCU traded him because it was clear he wanted to leave for Europe, and he was completely distracted by that during his time at RSL(which by the way, only took a flyer on him because the price was low, and was still an expansion team playing on astroturf – name one player who truly excelled there at that time). I for one would be more inclined to buy a ticket to see Adu play, even if he has been a disappointment thus far. He will never become Pato or Messi, but there is no reason he can’t become a successful contributor to an MLS team (or even the Nats or a European squad down the road). And don’t forget, love them or hate them, Beckham and Blanco have been good for the league not only for contributions on the field, but primarily because people had actual opinions about them – they are polarizing figures, and offer a topic for debate, which in my opinion is exactly what this league needs.

  21. Richard, UK says:

    Nice one Mike.

    Nice to see the cutting wit of Oscar Wilde lives in on in Tampa. How was it a ‘shot’ saying it was a ‘blog’? I’d describe it as a news/sports entertainment blog. How is that offensive or critical? I didn’t know ‘blog’ was a dirty word.

    An EPL blog? Eh? I live in the UK, so yeah, I take little interest in the Premier League (I support Nottingham Forest, they play in The Championship).

    Anyway, carry on talking about Freddy Adu.

  22. ww says:

    Another reason FCD might be good – He went to school with McCarty.

  23. OmarVizquel says:

    I can’t think of a young athlete who took such a serious pay cut voluntarily. In any sport. I think it’s safe to assume he’s staying in Europe.

  24. Smith says:

    “it’s the Red Bulls so you can’t rule out anything.”

    So true. Last year they had a coach who stuck with a 4-5-1 formation for every road game even though it never worked & they were unable to get a single win using that formation. Crazy, right?

    (SBI-William, is there an expiration date on your bitterness toward Osorio? The guy had a nightmare year to be sure, but you’re one-man crusade to keep beating that dead horse is a bit disturbing.)

  25. EDB says:

    At risk of being flamed. I think this post is a tad unneeded unless Ives has a source he’s considering a return to MLS. With out that I think its safer to assume he will try to stay in Europe where he has the ability to make more money.

  26. Austin says:

    Houston or Philly would be ideal

    i personally think Houston would be quite interesting, but even before news of this loan termination came out i have been saying he might land in Philly this year, due to the Nowak-Adu connection

    i never got the vibe that they hate each other….they are pro’s and i didnt think there would be any grudge

    Stuart looks to be off to the U.K….Rico as well, but Houston can just slot Cameron into that position so this might be a decent move for dom

  27. Cosmos Forever says:

    He must have the worst practice habits in the world if he couldn’t get more playing time in Belenenses. I doubt he’ll be coming back to the US because there will be some struggling European team that will give him a tryout during the European winter break and he’ll show some potential and he’ll sign in January for at least a 6 month stint.

    But I like the idea of getting playing time in Scandinavia, or even a team in Belgium that isn’t Brugge, Anderlecht or Liege. Maybe even try for one of the bottom clubs in Holland. Hell, try Israel or Croatia. The pay isn’t that great, but at least he might have a chance at getting on the field.

  28. Austin says:

    people, you are forgetting the “major decision” part of things that he mentioned on twitter….sounds like he is returning to MLS

  29. euroman says:

    NO ONE will waste more than $100K on Adu in MLS. He’s just not a game changer and only a part time starter for a terrible RSL team when he left.

  30. Scud says:

    Great article Ives.

    For me, the elephant in the room is to extend the “Donovan Rule” to the rest of the league.

  31. Dylan says:

    I know he can make more money at the present. But I think for his future coming back to MLS is where he needs to be. If he can come back here and get regular playing time (which I think he will) he can get back into shape hopefully land a few MNT rosters. If he were already playing here he probably would have gotten a call into the January camp and maybe played his way back into BB’s heart. I know a previous poster mentioned LA as a joke, but as a galaxy fan, I’d love to see Adu sign with us.

  32. EDB says:

    That being said why not the fire. They are used to dealing with a creative second striker/mid that can’t play defense.

  33. Dylan says:

    Absolutely Agree.

  34. Richard, UK says:

    Good luck with not getting flamed.

  35. DC says:

    re⋅dun⋅dant  /rɪˈdʌndənt/[ri-duhn-duhnt]


    1. characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas; prolix: a redundant style.

    2. being in excess; exceeding what is usual or natural: a redundant part.

    3. having some unusual or extra part or feature.

    4. characterized by superabundance or superfluity: lush, redundant vegetation.

  36. ahm says:

    wait a minute are you saying you’ve never read a newspaper in england that does speculative listing??? Ives asked what MLS teams could work for Adu, from reports I’ve read based out of England over the past year or so, Liverpool have officially acquired David Silva, David Villa and Franck Ribery. While Manchester United have officially acquired David Silva, David Villa, Franck Ribery AND Luis Fabiano. While Chelsea have officially acquired David Silva, David Villa, Franck Ribery, Luis Fabiano, AND Steven Gerrard. In the dictionary speculation has a UK flag next to it

  37. jspot says:

    Freddy was over at RFK today…

  38. Richard, UK says:

    I was going to make a tongue in cheek comment about the UK Red Tops making endless speculations, so yes I agree with you there – but I stand by my point of never seeing a UK paper print a list of clubs one player might go to based on the fact that his loan deal at a club ended and that he MIGHT move/take a pay cut/ etc…

    (SBI-Ah, so now THAT was your point? Ah well, since you’re clearly in full back-track mode I’ll take that as evidence that your point wasn’t really clear to begin with. And let’s face it, there is NO player in the UK who is as polarizing a figure in the UK game as Adu is in the USA game who would wind up in such a situation. Oh wait, let me think, I am pretty sure papers all over the UK were offering up “Where will Michael Owen go now” segments. I know because I read them and friends of mine wrote them. And that’s at legit papers, not just “red tops”.

    You would have been better off saying “I could care less about Freddy Adu” and being done with it.)

  39. ahm says:

    very much agree. generally seems the older athletes are the ones willing to sacrifice money for either a chance to win or a better playing situation, not the younger ones

  40. JeremyInDC says:

    Adu thinks that he is better than he really is and isn’t willing to put in the work in practice to get any real playing time. It reminds me of Donovan’s stints in Germany.

    He needs to go wherever he can go to actually get playing time. He also needs to learn a little humility and hard work, qualities Nowak tried but failed to instill in him.

    I don’t care where he goes. As a DC United fan, I personally was glad to see him and all of his distractions leave. I don’t think that there is a place for him on the current team.

    Regardless of destination, if he can’t learn humility, then he is worthless as a player regardless of the level.

  41. c says:

    Ives, you can definitely scratch Houston from the list. There is no way Adu fits into that locker room. The locker room is sacred to Dom and he doesn’t want anyone to mess things up. Ask Kamara and DeRo on that one.

  42. ajrRSL says:

    adu didnt help build anything in SLC

    (SBI-You know that and I know that. Some folks seem to think otherwise, which is pretty funny.)

  43. ahm says:

    a UK paper likely isn’t devoted entirely to footy, has 4 divisions of English football to cover and can rely on game summaries to fill its space. Ives doesn’t do full game recaps for good reason (not very exciting) and the site itself is in many ways based off generating conversation amongst its readers (which if you continue to scroll down, and continue to scroll down, you’ll see in abundance). I’m not a huge follower of freddy adu but he’s been a major character in the US soccer scene for quite some time and there is absolutely no harm in generating conversation/debate amongst soccer/football fans. goes on in every sport with “who is better” debates, there is no real answer but it’s fun to talk about, which is part of the reason this site is a major success

  44. Shmenge says:

    Didn’t Freddy tweet right after the WC draw something about hard work and prayer?

    It clearly seems the World Cup is still–in his mind–a possibility.

    If that’s the case, then this isn’t strictly a $$$ discussion, and the comfort of home cookin’ might make sense.

  45. Paddy says:

    Not true! He helped build contempt in the Ellinger era…. 😉 (And also, despite the small hiccup where we traded him away and then brought him back, it was technically the Adu trade that brought us Rimando).

  46. Richard, UK says:

    “there is absolutely no harm in generating conversation/debate amongst soccer/football fans.”

    True dat.

    (SBI-Sorry for being so hard on you before Richard but a pet peeve of mine is when people want to dictate what the public considers interesting or worth reading/writing about. If you’re not interested then move on. To go out of your way to say something is pointless just seems silly. I would say that even if it wasn’t my post and my site.)

  47. fenel says:

    DC is the perfect place for him to go and start again. Think of Santino Quaranta.

  48. swansuite@gmail.com says:

    Wow, looks like we’re a little slow on the uptake here, so let’s do a quick review. Oh wait, it’s not necessary! Adu has failed at every single stop along the way, He’s failed in MLS, he’s failed in Europe, he’s failed even when a team desperately needed his help. What are we not getting about that? No, we don’t want him in MLS. Yes, he CAN go back and play for Ghana now if he’d like (although they won’t want him either).

    Now, since I’ve trashed the poor kid, the least I could do is offer an explanation of why he’s failed and why he will likely continue to fail.

    He has no soccer IQ. Zero. The kid doesn’t make game-breaking passes. Ever. He’s never seen a player in the world he can’t beat off the dribble, yet he NEVER beats anyone off the dribble. At least since he played U-15.

    He has no real field vision (see above).

    He is completely and utterly undersized. Name a player anywhere in the world at his height/weight who has played consistently at a high level then consider if Adu has THAT kind of skill?

    He has an exaggerated sense of his place in the soccer hierarchy. That results in him simply not putting in the time and effort to get better. See above…. has he bothered to put on any weight? Has he worked out with the express purpose of becoming strong enough to not get easily pushed off the ball? Yet this is his single biggest weakness. Want to know why Messi had such a great year? Take a look at the guy-he spent the better part of the past two years bulking up and getting strong enough to ward of ANY defender. He’s a little guy too……

    There is no humility in this kid whatsoever. See ALL of above.

    Case over. I don’t want him in MLS…. as far as I’m concerned, a player of his class is a step down now for us. Let him hit bottom and see if he has the resolve, heart, and guts to tear himself down and build himself back up again. I don’t think he does.

  49. jpc says:

    I think he just needs to play, then at 22-23 he can give it another go… The best way to do that is in MLS. I would want him to go to RBNY, b/c we need a midfielder like him; however, for him, I think the best place to go would be either Houston (Kinnear), New England (Nicol), or Seattle (Schmidt). I think those three coaches are the best in the league at putting players in the best position to succeed, and play a nice technical style that would suit Adu. Especially Schmidt.

  50. tk says:

    Why not Seattle? they could use some more creativity and finishing.

  51. SemperDoc says:

    Go back to the league that ruined him in the first place, why not?

  52. swansuite@gmail.com says:

    Don’t want him in Seattle, period. He’s an undersized kid who’s biggest weakness is playing against taller more athletic players, yet folks think MLS is the place for him? Really? The most athletic (and least skilled) league on the planet?

  53. c says:

    Why in the world would these coaches want to put in the time to teach Adu to play if he has an unteachable spirit.

  54. felix says:

    EJ actually had good seasons in MLS, I don’t know if you can say the same for Adu.

  55. OmarVizquel says:

    Comments about Adu’s practice habits or locker room attitude by people who have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about are funny. It’s obvious that something is wrong, but doesn’t anyone think that coaches simply don’t want to give valuable minutes to an undersized kid with little experience and few defensive talents? I know it’s not the sexiest answer, but I’d keep baseless speculation about his attitude to myself.

  56. Al_OC says:

    Ives – This is also assuming that Benfica will completely drop him without trying to recoup some money, right?

    (SBI-Of course. Here’s the thing. His salary would make a clean break worth it for Benfica if he’s just going to sit around and do nothing anyway. At this point I can’t see any other real loan options for him .)

  57. jb says:

    I think its such a shame the situation with Adu is. Here’s a kid with the kind of touch and natural creativity that no American player has and it is completely going to waste. You would think someone would have beat some sense into his head regarding work ethic and success. Anyway he has youth on his side and certainly time to turn things around. Needs PT somewhere and a healthy dose of reality. Maybe could get back in the picture for WC 2014…

  58. Hincha Tim says:

    No way he’s coming to RSL after his last stint. After watching him during his time at RSL, I can tell you he is the epitomy of the type of player that Jason Kreis does not like: a non-team, me first, type of player. I can understand why he has not made it in Europe after seeing him up close in Salt Lake City.

  59. Matt Mathai says:

    I have to say it doesn’t seem like you’ve watched him play. I watched every game he played for DCU, and he was one of the best passers on a team that included Christian Gomez and Jaime Moreno. He had great feet and excellent vision. It’s ridiculous to say that he failed in MLS. He did not. He didn’t take over the league, but that was never going to happen for a 14-year-old.

    What he did not have was any defensive ability whatsoever.

    I think it’d be worth it for an MLS team to take a chance on him, but I don’t believe he’d take the large pay cut involved. Personally, i think he should come back, make himself a useful player in the US, learn to defend a bit, and get playing time.

  60. Hincha Tim says:


    Its not baseless speculation. I saw up close and personal his work habits when he played at RSL. They sucked. He was unprofessional during his time in SLC and it would lead me to believe that this might be the problem now.

  61. wilyboy says:

    I don’t think Phili would work, although it would be a great story. Nowak is a man who will work you, not someone who will give you a helping hand. Tough love isn’t the missing ingredient here, I think Freddy has seen plenty of tough recently.

    Houston does make sense, remarkably. The have cap space and money with Rico basically gone and Holden reviewing his options. He could really be successful there; they are a physical team designed to fit around a single playmaking cog, and have plenty physicality to lend to his short frame.

    However, I’m curious that San Jose isn’t listed here. Now THERE’s a team in dire need of some creativity. They have a solid core from a physical standpoint, but can’t do anything in the offensive third.

    As a DC fan, I’d rather take Bryan Arguez back. Stronger, less history, can play in the middle.

  62. KACD says:

    For God sake, not DC. We have enough going on without adding a head case into the mix.

  63. Alexandria says:

    Richard is entitled to his opinion just like everyone else. I too don’t think Adu will come back, and whether its a blog or a news site who cares its the first place I check in the morning and before I go to bed it keeps me informed and I get to chat with fellow footy loving friends, so lets all play nice gentleman.

  64. swansuite@gmail.com says:

    Totally NOT baseless–he’s had these comments made by his coaches at every single stop along the way.

  65. OmarVizquel says:

    You were at the practices, in the locker room, and at team meetings?

  66. tim from texas says:

    With all the supposed money that’s going towards keeping Ferreira here, I personally would have those wages rather spent towards Adu. Though the thing is, being that Ferreira is pretty much the focal point of our distribution, we know for certain he works out. As far as Adu, we don’t know.

  67. tim from texas says:

    That could mean so many things

  68. Didier says:

    At this point, I think MLS is the best option for Adu. This is the only country where he is rated as anything unique at all. He is just the average player in Europe. If he can’t find playing time at a lowly Portuguese team, he’s not going to be guaranteed anything in Scandinavia or Holland.

    Major League Soccer, and the U.S. in general, has a vested interest in Adu that Europeans do not. These past two years have shown that Adu needs to be nurtured rather than fending for himself in a bigger league. A team like Philadelphia could do wonders for Adu at this point, in my opinion.

  69. islandofmind says:

    Filed under: So What!

  70. Austin says:

    a deal where he goes on loan to MLS to get confidence and playing time could be worth it for Benfica, MLS, and Adu….its possible that Benfica and MLS could make a deal where(if on loan) MLS or whatever team he goes to only has to pay a certain percentage of his salary which would mean he would still make AS MUCH AS HE HAS BEEN MAKING

  71. tim from texas says:

    What I’m wondering is how come nobody’s suggested that Adu should be LOANED out to an MLS team from Benfica. Seems pretty logical to me

  72. KevDC says:

    Good point, tim.

  73. PDX TImbers says:

    Portland (in 2011)

  74. Austin says:

    i dont know about the tough love thing……Nowak may take a different stance with Adu if he were to get him

    you have to manage players in different ways man, thats why they are managers, they arent just players they are people

    It seemed that Adu played okay under Nowak at times too, so why not

    again, houston would be a great place also

  75. Doug says:

    EDB, the kid just had his second loan bid axed, and the club he’s owned by doesn’t want him. How is speculating about an MLS comeback “unneeded”? You know what determines whether a post is “needed”? The reaction the public has to it. If nobody cared, there’d be no comments. As it stands, it sure looks to me like this post was pretty “needed”.

  76. kfly says:

    We’ll take him in DC! We need more attacking talent.

  77. Sheriff of Nottingham Forest says:

    Dear Richard, UK,

    We don’t want a wanker like you supporting us.

    Thankful to get rid of you,
    The Sheriff of Nottingham

  78. kfly says:

    Good parallel. I’m getting excited just thinking about having him back here. We need someone with a nose for goal, and Adu has exactly that.

  79. Jose S. says:

    Freddy needs to look into the Mexican League. His game is better suited for that league. Freddy even said he had interest from there.

  80. Illmatic74 says:

    I know everyone wants to think the problem with Adu is attitude and work habits but while that might be part of the equation it is probably because he lacks the talent. He is a very skilled and creative player who lacks the pace or strength to get by physical defenders and because he lacks the physical skill set he is a major liability defensively. He is not the first player with those problems but he doesn’t have enough skill to make up for it. I know we expect more because of his success in youth competitions but he had success there because he developed physically quicker than all of his counterparts in his age group. Altidore is the perfect example Adu has more skill but Jozy developed into a freak of nature while Adu has been the same size and quickness since he was 13(don’t give me the “he is older than he is listed crap” because something like this has happened plenty of times in other sports like Demetris Walker in basketball.

  81. Tim says:

    As a DC United fan i wouldn’t mind him coming back. It would be very interesting, and i think appropriate place for him to play. Both the club and the player have struggled the past couple of years and are need of some changes.

  82. jpc says:

    by that logic Valderama, Etcheverry, Schelotto, Blanco should all have been failures in the mls b/c they are not supremely gifted athletes… half of the physical part of the game isn’t how fast you can run or how big you are, its anticipating when and knowing where to run, and also learning to use even a smaller body to leverage other players. that is something only game experience can teach

  83. Eric K says:

    Show me how the Revs don’t spend money? They don’t waste it on DP’s like Denilson or Gallardo, but they’ve consistently paid good money to keep the core of Twellman ($420k), Joseph ($450k), Ralston ($150k), and Reis ($173k). They’ve also lost probably more talent to Europe than most other teams. They’ve offered deals to guys like Robbie Fowler and Pauleta before but wouldn’t budge past a certain amount. That’s smart, not cheap.

    link to mlsplayers.org

  84. C2 says:

    sbi won us best soccer blog, not best soccer news site. ives, people have said much worse and you havent lashed out at them for it. chill and let them be the idiots.

  85. 123 says:

    He is really lazy

  86. japan says:

    I was going to post where does he blame the coaches until I reread his orginal post and somehow missed the last sentence. Everything besides the last sentence was well said. The last one is completely wrong.

  87. Jimmie Johnson says:

    I still can’t believe many of you look at Adu with rose-colored glasses.

    The truth is that Adu has some good ball technique, and can make some interesting plays.

    The truth also is that Adu is a terrible soccer player.

    The first truth makes him interesting, the second makes him a failure. He is a failure.

  88. Richard, UK says:

    Wow. This isn’t funny, clever, interesting or relevant. Or even correct.

    Nottingham Forest were named after the Forest Recreation Ground where the team used to play, not Sherwood Forest. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT.

    You’re an oddball.

  89. Paul says:

    At some point the question has got to switch from “what would be the best move for Freddy Adu?” to “why can’t Freddy Adu convince anyone to give him any playing time at all?”. No, I have not watched him play or practice since he went to Europe, but all of the indirect evidence suggests that his game (encompassing not only matters of skill but of awareness, maturity, and yes, maybe even practice habits) is still in need of a lot of work. He shoukld pretend this whole European experiment never happened and seek out a place where he will play and learn, no matter what level or salary.

  90. Smith says:

    Ives – when every last sub-par player Osorio brought in is off of the Red Bulls roster, I will stop beating on him verbally.

    He is the Eric Mangini of futbol – the very picture of overrated incompetence wrapped in an image of professorial knowledge that the rest of us non-“soccer geniuses” could NEVER understand because we are not “great soccer minds” like he is.

    His need to play players out of position and his desire to stick with the 4-5-1 WHEN IT CLEARLY WAS NOT WORKING is beyond incompetence, bordering on the maniacal.

    I have nothing against the man personally. In fact,I wish him well in any profession that keeps him far far away from soccer.

    I hope that answers your question.

    I wish you Happy Holidays.

  91. MVK says:

    ROFTLOL, class down for the MLS? Stop man, your busting my gut….

    You have some truthiness but most is lost when you resort to hyperbole…

    Perhaps Adu’s problem is he wasnt pumped full of HGH like Messi :) The powers that be should have just put BALCO in charge of US Youth Soccer…

  92. MVK says:

    you just added a head case to the mix yesterday…..

  93. r.benjamin says:

    I disagree on at least one thing. Field vision is what I think he does do. I’ve seen plenty of instaces of game changing passes. See 08 to SK v holland.

    I do think his stature and tenacity combine to work against him.

    I see Adu eventually becoming a nice role player for a mid euro team and USMNT maybe by 14′

    he’s like one of those NBA kids who came out too early flop at first then by 25 turn into a good pro.

  94. babieca says:

    The best thing “for his future,” for any athletes future really, is to take the money while you can.

    His future as a soccer player may last another 10-15 years. His future, however, will last another 60 barring some kind of tragedy. Spending that time with a couple million in the bank is a much better plan than spending it with a few hundred thousand.

  95. Mikey D says:

    I think that whether Adu stays in Europe, goes to the MLS, or switches clubs in Europe he will still get bashed by fans. When Adu was a 14 year old in the MLS, we thought he was the next Messi or CR, and now look at him.

    He needs stability and more importantly PLAYING TIME. Gaining experience is the best thing that can happen to him. He needs to go to MLS, or go to a smaller club in Europe, one way or another. Its not like he is an old man, for all we know he has even cracked his full potential yet.

    Another thing I have observed is what is with the work ethic of US soccer players in general? Landon’s failed stints in Germany, Altidore’s fitness at Hull, Adu in general. Davies and Onyewu are obviously hurt. It seems like Dempsey is really the only field player that is making a big impact in Europe right now. Any thoughts about other players (not goalies) that were in Europe DURING THE FALL that made big contributions to their teams???

  96. Paul says:

    Not quite sure what you mean, Mikey D. Are you now casting aspersions on every American field player who has not made a “big contribution” to his European team by chalking it up to a sub-par work ethic? Any, um, evidence for that?

  97. einar says:

    FC dallas would be a nice fit. actually the best one in where karma plays a big role. FC dallas if they r not stupid and resign ferreira! Can use two attacking midfielders in ADU and Ferreira in a formation. that would be a lethal creative midfield

  98. moosecat says:

    Freddy, go to Scandinavia.

  99. Mikey d says:

    I forgot Michael Bradley he had made an impact.

    Also, no I am not saying that every player who has gone to Europe and not made an impact has bad work ethic. That is unambiguously a ludicrous generalization. I am just saying that it seems that some US players that go to Europe have bad work ethics, maybe as a result of being told they are gods because they excelled in the MLS. Or maybe we pretend they have bad work ethics as an excuse for their limited success. The only people who REALLY know somebody’s work ethic are one’s own teammates and coached.

  100. I really feel bad for Adu. I see his talent and struggle understanding why he can’t latch on…anywhere. My best guess is there is something we don’t know, like teams forced to take him by Nike when they don’t have the need for him, bad attitude (hard to believe based on his Tweets), bad training habits, lacks seriousness of purpose, whatever. Although he would take it as failure, I think he should come back to MLS. Sign a 3 year year deal, keep his Tweets to minimum, get his confidence back and worry about Europe later. I for one hope Red Bulls get him, it would at least give me a player I’m interested in watching this season.

  101. Aljarov says:

    NE has been consistently well below the cap. Part of that im sure is the savvyness of Stevie Nicol, but I’m equally as sure it’s in no small part to the tightness of the Kraft’s.

  102. EDB says:

    To me its not needed because it is just random speculation, and as this site is more then just a random blog I expect more from the posts. If Ives was to learn that MLS was on the table then I would think it appropriate to consider where he would go if he chose that route. But until that time there is no news other then his loan was terminated so the MLS speculation has no base.

    (SBI-You’re entitled to your opinion. I just happen to think you’re wrong. There’s no reason we, or anybody, can’t speculate on possibilities in MLS for Adu. To say it’s an impossible option, or even a serious stretch, is silly. This isn’t me saying, “Hey, if Tim Howard were available, which MLS team could use him the most?” You do realize that Adu’s options are limited, which is why MLS can be considered a possibility (and not “random speculation”). That alone makes it worth discussing. Since only a few of you seem to think otherwise, I’d say I’m comfortable in having made the decision to discuss it. As I’ve said before, if you don’t like a topic being discussed or a post that’s up on the site, move on and let others discuss what you don’t want to.)

  103. madmax says:

    The history of Adu and his agent appears to be, sit out an entire year rather than take a cut. I hope it changes, but what is the evidence? How long can he sit in Europe and still get the big bucks?

  104. GMD says:

    Um. No thank you…I’ll pass.

  105. Isaac says:

    I think Houston would be best for his development. Kinnear understands what it’s like to be on the national team and a common theme in all of his players is an excellent professionalism and maturity. His handling of young players is great, Stuart Holden being the best example. I could see this being their lineup







    It’d be great because every player in that lineup save for Waibel and Weaver have been capped internationally so it will be a nice place for him to develop his work rate.

  106. DC Josh says:

    Jozy starting, just had a decent charging 60 yard run on a counter attack that ended up winning a corner kick.

  107. DC Josh says:

    I would love to have him back in DC. However, he will go to Scandinavia, Belgium, or Holland.

  108. fischy says:

    That’s kinda interesting on a couple of levels. So, he came home for the holidays? Not entirely surprising for a young kid, but it does how that he wasn’t fully committed to the Portugal project. Maybe, he does need to be here for now….

  109. fischy says:

    Actually, that’s not an entirely stupid idea… His game is suited to Mexico, and so is his build.

  110. Richard, UK says:

    I’m not the only one to say that the article isn’t that interesting (to me, fine, it may interest others and certainly looks as if it has).

    Why are you being so precious? I’ll go back to your point earlier about not being a blog, despite your website being cover in the word ‘blog’.

    I’m not back-tracking at all.

    Right, I’m off to have my dinner, but first I’m making a list of the rooms I might have my dinner in and then a list of what I might eat for my dinner. Riveting and necessary, I’m sure you’ll agree.

    You must be the most thin-skinned journalist ever.

    (SBI-I was actually joking about the back-tracking, but since you want to throw stones and call me thin-skinned I’ll simply say it isn’t about having “thin skin” but about having no tolerance for people who are obnoxious enough to think they’re the judge of what is worth writing about and talking about on a soccer site. I mean seriously, did it bother you THAT much to have a discussion about potential MLS destinations for Adu? Seriously? It says in the very intro of the post that “IF” MLS was a possibility we should consider the possibilities. It was a harmless exercise that I thought readers would find interesting. Guess what? A lot of people did think it was interesting and worthy of discussion and consideration. The rest of you need to find something better to do than going around telling people what is and isn’t worth writing about.

    I’ll say it one last time. If the subject doesn’t interest you then MOVE ON and let the rest of the public discuss it.)

  111. Retro says:

    I disagree. Adu is a very talented player. Many coaches tried to harness his talent by resticting him. Look at the Brazilians, they allow players natural instincts to dictate their development, then they reel them in. Unfortunately, the American/European way is to do the opposite. That said, I do believe that Adu can regain his confidence in the right situation.

  112. Eric K says:

    Upon adding up the salaries on that list from the MLS Players Association for 2009, under “2009 Base Salary”, the Revs players listed add up to $2,586,995. Given that the salary cap is something like $2.3 million per team, and considering the salaries of both the veteran players and some of the guys they’ve brought in, explain to me the “tightness of the Krafts” when it comes to the salaries paid.

  113. aristotle says:

    So at what point will the Adu fanboys finally admit that Freddy Adu is nothing more than Eddie Johnson Jr.?

    It’s time he started making money from an autobiography and reveal it all books. He’s not going to make it playing soccer. He’s a flop, and the fact that he still doesn’t get how bad he is guarantees that he will stay a flop. I would bet that he still thinks he is far too good for MLS.

  114. Retro says:

    I agree with most of your points, however, i certainly disagree with your opinion of the portuguese league/team. That’s a very difficult league to play in. They are very defensive like the Italian league. The league doesn’t get the recognition because Portugal is one of Europe’s poorer countries.

  115. Mike says:

    Why exactly wouldn’t Adu to New York make any sense?

  116. swansuite@gmail.com says:

    Fair enough. But if you’re saying that Adu’s skill in any way matches the above, you’re definitely mistaken. I said as much in my first post. The guys who are undersized and still have impact have mass skill…. way more than the average pro.

  117. Brian says:

    Freddy’s dealing drugs? Get out!

  118. Jacopo Belbo says:

    i would just like to point out that he is still on 20. i have to say i cannot help but think that signing with MLS at 14 and getting drafted and trying to play with men at such a young age was disastrous for his career. if ryan giggs cannot do it than freddy adu couldn’t. i understand that the mls is no premier league but a 14 year old boy (and still to this day a smallish player) simply had no shot at properly developing by throwing him into the line of fire with full grown men, whatever their skill level. having said that he would have been so much better off having been signed by manchester united and joining thier youth ranks. would he have turned into a world beater or united starter? who knows, but being around other super talented players his age with the best coaching on the planet would have not only helped his game but also his attitude. he would not have been the ‘golden boy’ but rather one of a number of talented players and would have learned that you only get what you earn in the game of soccer. plus with mentors like scholes and giggs who are of a similar build and technical skill and who also knew the perils/pressures of being a teenage phenom would have done tremendous help.

    shoulda woulda coulda. but trying to start an mls career at 14 was definitely the problem. how much of the blame lies with mls for trying to desperately clutch at a 14 year old straw and how much lies with his family for allowing such a thing i really couldn’t say.

    i hope he goes to a place with good coaching and mentoring that can help him reach whatever potential he has. whatever that may be at this point.

  119. Richard, UK says:

    The back track joke didn’t translate that well in text form.

    Look, I get your point and after this I guess we can both drop it, but seriously? I can understand maybe you’re tired of people bashing a post you’ve made or whatever, but I didn’t. I just thought the whole question was moot point, which is an equally valid claim to make, isn’t it?. I couldn’t care less if you discuss it or if anyone else does. Where did I demand you delete your post and not post things like this?

    Anyway, mountain out of a mole hill as far as I can tell. I’m sure I’ll get shot down by your loyal followers (which I am/was one of), but what the hell.


  120. jig says:

    you act like its some sort of quick fix, like he’d go to serie b and somehow become a magical player. what about the thousands of guys that have played in serie b and still suck?

  121. jig says:

    he has a nose for goal? he doesnt score, ever.

  122. JoeW says:

    There are a couple of issues here to consider (especially for those saying “let him go to Scandanavia/Serie-B/Erie, etc.”).

    1. Yes, he needs minutes. He’s unbelievably rusty.

    2. But it’s more than minutes. He’s an incredibly one-dimensional player. He has so many holes in his game as a player. At one point he had a nice finishing touch. His vision is good. He’s unselfish. His touch is great. He has the ability to create chances off the dribble. That’s the upside. Here’s the downside:
    –his judgment is terrible (some of that is due to rust)
    –movement off the ball and showing for the ball is very weak and at his best moments, inconsistent
    –physically he’s at a disadvantage in almost every matchup on the field: shorter, slower, weaker than almost any opponent.
    –not a high work rate
    –he drifts in and out of matches (terrible for an A-mid: unless you don’t mind your A-mid disappearing for 20 minutes)
    –doesn’t read a match well (which is a problem for an A-mid)
    –oh, and he doesn’t defend well, win balls, provide defensive support or coverage, markup on restarts.

    Now, you don’t expect a player to do EVERYTHING well. But if you’re going to have an A-mid who is a defensive and ball-winning liability (or weak in the air) than he’d better be really good at being a creator and finisher. And right now, Adu isn’t. Even if he was sharp (which he isn’t).

    The truth is: when Adu was with MLS and if he came back now (while the standard of play has improved), he would not start at A-mid for probably half of the teams in MLS. He has world-class skill in a couple of areas. And major huge gaping deficiencies in some other areas. Marco Etcheverry was never a ball winner or defender. Carlos Valderamma never had much of a workrate. But you could cover for those two b/c they were so absolutely world class that the few things you did ask them to do.

    Anyone who starts Adu now, once he gets past the rust from not playing in a couple of years, is basically dealing with a development project. Nowak knew that when he was in MLS. Adu and his peps refused to believe that. He’s got to go someplace where he can get major minutes and that team can afford to play him even though he’s going to be a liability in a lot of areas for a couple of years.

  123. CanFreddy makeit says:

    Very good post. The only problem with it is will Adu agree with you?

    First of all its seems as if,under your scenario his choice is to gamble that taking a big pay cut will pay off later. That is a big ask. He may never again get such a good deal. As for endorsements, well he is now mostly known as a spectacular flop.

    Second, very few people have seen him play regularly for years now and much of his popularity is based on this mystery about him. If after one year, Freddy isn’t tearing it up and leading his team to the MLS cup, the novelty will quickly wear off.

    Third, as Ives has pointed out, if he is to be a starter, Adu needs to go to a team that is more or less built around him and, again that is a bit of a leap. At this point his talent level doesn’t warrant such a risk.

    Basically, resurrecting his career is certainly doable but Freddy will have to take some risks and maybe pay a big price, but it’s all in his hands.

  124. LudditeEDB says:


    I get it, it’s like, there is no reason to have posts or articles on who will make the USMNT squad for SA because, guess what, Bradley will announce it sometime in May and then we can be glad no one spent any unnecesary energy thinking about something we have no control over anyway.

    So, EDB, why do you even have a computer?

  125. over there says:

    Get his feet back under him…like Convey and Szetala. If he comes back, I see him being a career MLS player of midling talent. He needs a European environment where he will play to develop. Belgium would be the best fit.

  126. Jeff in Seattle says:

    I don’t think a third small guy named Freddy would help the Sounders. Lljunberg is plenty creative and Montero is a better finisher than Adu.

  127. 2Nil says:

    Adu needs to think long and hard about his next move. His career depends on it. He needs playing time, period, and if that means returning to MLS and taking a pay cut, then so be it.

    For his sake, I hope the young man is getting good advice.

  128. swansuite@gmail.com says:

    I’m just not sure where the hyperbole is? Yes, Adu would be a step DOWN, not from where we currently are, but from where we want to be. Sorry I wasn’t clearer about that. I see no exaggeration anywhere else here…. Oh, and HGH would be a marked improvement for Adu–at least you’d know he recognized the problem.

    Re: field vision? Not. He had 2 assists at DC his last season and 2 at RLS. If you mean he often can make a nifty little back heal to a streaking player… yes, he’s actually pretty good in tight spots (a strength). But when it comes to seeing the space, the player, and making the pass, it just isn’t there. He’s only 20, doesn’t mean it won’t, that’s for sure. But first we’d need to start with recognizing that there is a problem.

    Okay, maybe he didn’t fail in MLS (perhaps the second bit of hyperbole, MVK?), but he sure as heck didn’t give us any reason to believe that he was ever going to be anything special either.

  129. peaceful assembly says:

    I’d like to see Freddy playing in either Turkey or Uruguay. His “on the ball” talent really is best suited to the Turkish league’s style of play, but since he’s well known to the Uruguayan public he’d be a natural in that country as well.

  130. Turd Meuller says:

    Man this is a great topic today Ives. I have been reading everyone’s post and I was trying to figure out teams would be best for Freddy. I do believe a move to MLS is the right one. I still get pissed when I read the lack of respect of MLS by people. Why is it bad that players comeback to MLS. I dont care what anyone says the standard of play is comparable to Scandanavian countries and the coca-cola so what’s wrong if a player wants to get his confidence back and get playing time? MLS has been great for our national team and for our players. Our pool is deeper and many of the players have mls connection. Honsestly Im realistic to know that no MLS team can compete with Benfica but honestly is Belaneses that much better than any of the top MLS teams? With all that being said I think Philly would be great for him but I really like your opinion on Houston. I have a tremendous respect for Dom Kinnear and what he has accomplished. He has shown the ability to help develop players like Davis, Cameron, Clark and Holden. I think Adu on a veteran team like Houston could be kept in check. I also like everything Nicol has done with young players for almost a decade and God knows that New England could use some serious bump in attendance and relevance in Boston. Thanks for letting me put in my two cents!

  131. cfig says:

    I actually think the Houston idea could work. The locker room is sacred to Dom, as mentioned, but if anyone could whip Adu into shape it’s him.

    “You see Rico and Stu? If that’s what you want, work your butt off and do everything I tell you to and we’ll get you there.”

    It would be a surprising move, but one that could have some long-term success.

  132. Chodilicus says:

    The fact is that until Adu grows up he is never going to become anything at any level. He is a prima donna who simply does think the rules apply to him. I know that he burnt a lot of bridges here in SLC in the short time that he spent here not only with the organization but also his fellow players. He never proved anything in MLS and he never should have moved on until he showed some consistency at this level.

    It is a shame because the kid is so talented. I wish someone would just slap some sense into him. The USNT could use him and I think that he should come back to MLS and prove that he is a star and show some consistency. However, he has to change the attitude and prove it or nobody is going to want him.

  133. EA says:

    Just spitballing….

    But would happen if Portland or Vancouver splashed $500K for him THIS year?

    He’d be a HUGE draw for both the team and the NASL/USL.

    And he’d give them a star quality player for the leap to MLS.

  134. 123 says:

    But you forget the TRUTH. Everybody’s here saying that Freddy is a far superior player to Pato because they once shook hand in ’07 or were in the same city or something… Anyway, if they were both playing in Italy, Freddy could show that he’s the MAN! and Pato is a sorry failure who just gets PT ’cause he’s Brazilian.

  135. SoB says:

    At the meet the coach event for the Sons of Ben Nowak quashed any question as to whether he would want Freddy. SoB’s were told that’s a no.

    That was a while back though…

  136. smokeminside says:

    Nah, he’s not an oddball, he’s pretty normal. Just wrong about the Sheriff’s proper title. I think he uses the word “wanker” pretty effectively, though, and that was closer to what he was trying to say, than the moniker he was claiming. Where did you eat dinner, by the way? A place a Yank might enjoy, or would it require an acquired taste?

  137. smokeminside says:

    And the guy behind him is Rimando, the current goalie and latter day hero of the team.

  138. tim from texas says:

    Yea, idk if Jared Jefferey would agree with you there

  139. Seems to me that not even MLS are going to want him back at this point. Simply put, he’s become the forgotten favorite son, the wonderkid who turned bust.

    Sad to say, but the kid believed his own hype, and still hasn’t shown a tenth of a return on his potential. A good comparison would be another wonderkid, one Leo Messi. Messi knows how good he is, yet is still all ears when it comes to learning from others, even now when he’s considered the best player in the world by many.

    Adu, on the other hand, joined MLS at 15, and already had the attitude that he knew it all. Nothing seems to have changed sense then.

  140. smokeminside says:

    Probably a good idea, that last comment. You’ve riled up the rebels, and we all know how that turned out.

  141. tim from texas says:

    I THINK that in MY OPINION, the journalists that comprise the writings on this site, with all due respect, should just concentrate on adding commentary to those readers who rectify it, i.e., the readers, whose opinions spark and ignite worth while conversation.

  142. tim from texas says:

    will the idiots please just understand that this article was only written to spark conversation and for the appeasement of those who feel that if Freddy were to go to MLS, what an ideal situation would be for him.

  143. Hincha Tim says:

    As a matter of fact, washed up shortstop, I did go to practices, games, and talked with coaches of the team. You want more???? You are the one with empty speculation with no cause that it is simply his size (never mind that Iniesta and Javi are about his size) and lack of defensive skills (what is defense but almost all heart, desire and conditioning, and practice?).

  144. tim from texas says:

    where are you sources?

  145. tim from texas says:

    um, excuse me but…







  146. smokeminside says:

    He’s also famous in walla walla. Maybe he should play there.

  147. tim from texas says:

    wow, copying and pasting did not work.







  148. tim from texas says:

    I know Mullen is aging, but Cameron is not a winger and is an ideal replacement for Clark. I’d pencil Corey Ashe there before Cameron.

  149. Smith says:

    If I may a break from beating Osorio:

    Every place Freddy goes, he ends up on the bench. It’s hard to believe all these coaches are idiots.

    Logic indicates that Freddy is the problem.

    He may want to try a spell at Once Caldas. I hear they are looking for some players to play out of position.

  150. Freddy for USL says:

    I liked your first post better. Tell us how you really feel, don’t hold back.

  151. Z_ackk says:

    Is it out of the question entirely for Adu to come to Chicago?

    I mean not as our DP but but we lost quite a few players.

  152. Shortpeople says:

    Don’t insult those guys by mentioning Adu with them. They were/are great pros. It would be hard to say that about Adu.

  153. Isaac says:

    My bad; I’m not completely familiar with Houston’s roster. I probably should have Wiki’d it. Still looks like a nice lineup.

  154. tim from texas says:

    No biggie.I just enjoy fantasizing about Adu in a Houston uni w/ that projected lineup :)

  155. Roger says:

    Good point about Nowak. The conventional wisdom is that Nowak dislikes Adu and Philadelphia is the last place Adu will end up. However, maybe what Nowak really disliked when they clashed at D.C. was not Adu but having his lineup dictated to him by higher-ups.

  156. John says:

    Right now wherever he could get playing time would be good for Adu, if he wants to make the world cup squad..

    Ps. It’s nice to see there are a lot of people that know the game and the U.S.A. players. commenting on the article

  157. SOccastar21 says:

    Freddys Going to Greece.

  158. tim from texas says:

    Here here’s my ideal FC Dallas lineup after an off season make over:

    1.FC Dallas negotiates a permanent deal for Ferreira.

    2.FC Dallas trades for the 1 allocation pick to get Lee Nguyen.

    3.FC Dallas signs Jay Needham, former SMU product.

    4.FC Dallas trades both their picks and Van Den Berg for the #2 overall pick and Kandji.

    5.FC Dallas drafts Ike Opara #2 overall

    6.With Van Den Berghs departure, Hyndman moves Pearce onto the left wing.








    In the Van Den Bergh deal, Dallas now has their backup forward in Kanji.

    The Attacking mids can be backed by Avila, Chavez, Nguyen, Andre Rocha(if he’s still here) and Levya.

    The Holding mid would be backed my Daniel Hernandez and Bruno Guarda.

    The Backups on the wings would be Atiba Harris, Avila, Chavez, Brek Shea and Andre Rocha(if he’s still here) and Levya.

  159. Joamiq says:

    My two cents (just because I feel like it): I really don’t see anything wrong with Richard’s initial comment. I don’t think he was calling you out, Ives. I think he just meant that he thought the issue was moot. And I think Ives overreacted a bit.

    But I think Richard’s follow up comments were silly. I consider this a blog with news and analysis and discussion, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I really like these kinds of posts because even though the exercise is somewhat hypothetical, Ives DOES communicate interesting info and knowledge about MLS in this post. And more importantly, it sparks fun discussion. Just because it’s speculative doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.

  160. Supsam says:

    yea, and im sure Donovan would completely agree with about how its impossible to develop your soccer skills in the States :]

  161. Supsam says:

    haha riled up he has….riled up they are!!

  162. jon says:

    To imply that Revolution spend as much as other teams is deceptive.

    The real issue is: do the Revolution need another player, and the answer is clearly yes. Consider how much of the 2009 salary is currently being used. Twellman and Albright (23% of the 2009 salary) missed essentially all of last season, and may not return. Ralston and Reis (13%) finished the end of last season with serious injuries: Reis will miss the first 2-3 months of 2010, and Ralston turns 36 in June. Knighton, Heaps, Ombiogno, Larentowicz, and Badilla (14.5%) are either gone already, or are looking (JL) for another club. Jankauskas (10%) was injured for much of last year, and may not resign. Altogether that’s more than half the salary – and all the star-power except for Shalrie Joseph – that is potentially gone for next year. So if you’re inclined to defend the current management, see how they do salvaging the 2010 season first.

  163. over there says:

    Jared Jefferey is also a first time pro, unlike Adu.

  164. Adu Nugget?!? says:

    Fredy Adu was at the Washington Wizards game last night, does that mean he going to play for DCU or is he here taking some time off before returning to Benfica?

  165. Perhaps it’s pointless to introduce facts into a discussion like this, but, when Adu was at DC United, he was not a “one-way” player. He played outside midfield in a 3-5-2. The defensive responsibilities were considerable — basically from end line to end line and Adu was DCU’s most effective player in the position. Perhaps Adu would prefer to play elsewhere, but he is more than capable of playing outside and playing defense.

    It’s hard to know much about Adu’s experience overseas, but it is certainly clear that European clubs usually have more players than they know what to do with and that coaches are reluctant to play younger players — if only because coaches are expected to produce results quickly. Adu would not be the first good young player who got lost in the system through no fault of his own.

  166. over there says:

    That wasn’t a broad statement that no one can develop in the States, we just don’t do a good job with the type of player Adu is. How many quality creative attacking midfielders does MLS produce? Wingers…yup, defenders…yup, keepers…yup, strikers…getting there. Center attacking mids, not so much

  167. DCUnited says:

    Freddys Going to Greece.

  168. Timeisflying says:

    Your post makes a lot of sense, but I would say that Freddy does not have a lot of time to save his career, at least as an impact player who can earn big money.

    It’s true Freddy is only 20 but in pro football, 20 is pretty old. C Ronaldo was 18 when he went to Man U and was well on his way in a year or two; and there are many other examples. In Europe they believe that you basically have most of your skill set by about 13 and then after that it’s a question of how you body develops and how your “football brain” develops. It’s not that Freddy can’t develop his overall skills further but it gets harder to find soemone who will let you do that on their dime. And Adu is getting to be a pretty pricey “project”.

    If you have been a pro for 6 years like Freddy has and have yet to develop teams start to look elsewhere. The top teams don’t need or want to wait around that long for talent to develop. There are plenty of prospects, many of whom, have equal or even better talent than Freddy. Especially for the money.

    Adu’s may have a better skill set than any other American player (though that is debateable) but it doesn’t matter. Some kid will always come along. If coaches find Adu’s liabilities bigger than his assets, no sane coach will play him. Adu’s “skill” is completely worthless if he can’t convince a coach to play him. The evidence suggest he can’t do this.

  169. USworkethic says:

    Mikey D,

    Here are your words:

    “Another thing I have observed is what is with the work ethic of US soccer players in general? Landon’s failed stints in Germany, Altidore’s fitness at Hull, Adu in general. Davies and Onyewu are obviously hurt. It seems like Dempsey is really the only field player that is making a big impact in Europe right now.”

    The way your words read is that you are casting aspersions on “the work ethic of US soccer players in general”(direct quote Mikey).

    It makes more sense to think that those American players with “bad work ethics” have trouble adapting to the culture of their club.

    In other words, they may not communicate well with the staff and may not understand what is required of them. European coaches don’t sit you down and tell you what to do. They tend to let you figure it out on your own. By the time you do you may be toast.

    In Clint’s case, besides a coaching staff that was used to Americans, it is worth remembering that he had McBride and Bocanegra to teach him how to fit in and figure out what the coaches wanted.

    Bradley junior was someting of a football prodigy, having a dad for a coach and having hung around pro players since he was a kid. At Heerenveen I saw him give an interview in Dutch. Dutch is a pretty tough language to just pick up. US fans think Bradley Jr. is a moron but the evidence suggest he is very savvy and culturally adaptable. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is fluent in German.

    You short change the American outfield players because before they were hurt, Davies was a regular at Hammarby and Sochaux. Onyewu was a regular in Belgium for many years. It’s true he was taking a while to get into it in Milan but they generally take their time breaking in new players. So in recent years Bobby Convey,McBride, Bocanegra, Dempsey, Davies, Onyewu, Cherundolo, Demerit, Simek, and Bradley Jr. among others are American outfield players who have done well and played regularly at a fairly high level. Mcbride is retired, Convey got hurt and never got back into it, but all the rest are regulars for their club (when healthy) except for Onyewu, who really just got to Milan.

    Feilhaber is an example of a player who seemed to have problems with the staffs at Hamburg and Derby and then finally found a home in Denmark.

    So really, I can’t think of too many situations where an American outfield player went to Europe and got bounced out because was too big headed for the club and decided not to put in the work (Clint Mathis??).

    Talent and hard work is sometimes not enough.

  170. Bad Ibiza...BAD IBIZA! says:

    I think coming back to the MLS is the right thing to do. I’d like to see him in New York, as that’s where I’m currently residing. I actually think Novak would take him in a second of the opportunity arose. I was in DC during that time and I really got the feeling there was epic mis-reporting about Novak’s attitude vis a vis Freddy. Now that I think about, I suppose as a US fan, that’s what I’d most want to see: Fred in Philly.

  171. Jeff M in Houston says:

    Yes, Dom’s greatest strength is assembling a squad of guys who will play for one another. But, DeRo, IMHO one of the best players in league for 6 years (SJ and HOU), was not an issue…he was critical! He left b/c he was 30 years old, nearing contract end, and had chance to go home to TFC.

  172. Mike in Long Island says:


  173. Paul says:

    You are assuming that Adu believes he has something to learn from coaches and other players. There are some who feel that is one of his two problems, though it is the one problem he can do something about if he chooses. The other problem is his size, which he can’t do much about. He can get physically stronger, but he will still be prone to being knocked off the ball by bigger defenders. All that absolutely lovely talent is for naught if the ball is not at your foot because you can’t hold it.

  174. Freddyisresponsible says:

    Do you honestly believe that Freddy has no fault in this? 5 years, 4 clubs and very few goals and appearances after he leaves DC and he has no responsibility for his pathetic performance? With people like you blowing smoke up his rear no wonder he will never improve.

  175. tivo says:

    ok, Adu needs to be smart and humble. he is still young, but lets be honest, besides the first stint with benfica (which wasnt that much success); he hasnt had much success else where abroad. MLS is not that bad,sure its not europe, but he needs confidence and more discipline.both of which can be obtained in MLS. there is no reason why he cant become a decent player.just go to MLS, play, learn, improve your work ethic and your body. then maybe when your older go give europe another chance. coming home and playing in MLS helped donovan become USMNT key figure, it just maybe the case for Adu. i dont believe nor did i ever believe the hype machine, but dont see why he cant learn and get better.

  176. Goran Hunjak says:

    Freddy…you coulda been a contendah.

  177. The argument seems to be that Adu hasn’t gotten much playing time at several clubs and, therefore, it must his fault. That may be the case, but since no one seems to have witnessed any of the practices for any of these clubs or have first hand information from one of the coaches, this is all just speculation. And my point is that there is another explanation that accounts for all the facts — that is, that European soccer is intensely competitive and focused on immediate success and that, therefore, many young players get lost. Adu could be just another one.

    Of course, it doesn’t help that Adu is somewhat small and that his favored position is attacking midfielder where teams certainly prefer experience and that it is a position missing from many of the formations currently in favor.

    Having watched virtually every game Adu played for DC United I know that he has great strengths, including a willingness to work hard on the field — so I don’t buy many of the criticisms bandied about.

  178. Pete from Chitown says:

    That picture just makes me laugh. For some reason it’s hard to picture Jason Kreis as a player in an RSL jersey.

  179. Pete from Chitown says:

    If size is such a problem how can you explain Lionel Messi, he’s smaller than Freddy but he still owns all defenders he takes on.

  180. 20isold says:

    Let’s assume everything you say is correct.

    He left DC 3-4 years ago and in football terms, that is an eternity. I saw him in DC as well and, while I’m not as positive about him as you, I will agree that he had something to offer. It seems as if that something has not been worked on since and that is a shame since 3-4 years of rust is a lot to knock off.

    Even for football he is quite small, slow and seemingly weak. Still, that is one area where a pro athlete can improve on their own (with professional help they can buy, if necessary, on their dime). Yet the few times I’ve seen Freddy lately, he doesn’t seem to have done much in this area, which is too bad because it would help him with his defense. You are aware of the rap against his defense. Defense is all about hard work and application and being fitter would help him as well. Small statured footballers can be excellent players and excellent defenders. Claude Makalele and Nobby Stiles are both about 5’6″ or less yet were among the best defenders of their time. Adu is allegedly 5’8″ but seems smaller. In general you just get the feeling that, while he may have been ill -served by his club situation, he hasn’t done all he could to help himself. Speculative, it’s true but that is all fans have.

    I agree it is easy for a young footballer to get lost in Europe; which is one reason why I thought Donovan’s decision to come back to the MLS as soon as he saw what was happening to him always seemed sensible to me.

    Apparently, Freddy or whoever is advising him, does not agree with me. I do hope he takes advantage of this alleged loan move to Greece (if the reports are accurate ) because it may be his last shot at the big time. Twenty is middle aged when you’ve been through that many clubs and been a pro for 6 years. If not so already, he will soon be trying to fight off younger, cheaper players who may be as talented if not more so.

  181. One of the fascinating aspects of this discussion and others like it is that some people can not accept that it is possible for people to fail to meet their goals through no fault of their own. If player X has not been successful, it must be because he has a bad attitude or because he has accepted bad advice or because he simply is not good enough. Of course, all of those may be appropriate explanations, but it is also true that many players (people) fail to meet their goals in life because of factors beyond their control.

    And this is particularly apt in the context of European soccer. Clearly there is an oversupply of professional soccer players and of aspiring professional soccer players in Europe. The competition is intense. Something like 80-90 percent of the 16 year olds on the books of professional clubs in England are not playing professional soccer five years later… and so on. And the expectation for many clubs is immediate success. Coaches don’t have the luxury of giving young players playing time. Even in the English lower divisions it is worthy of comment when a 18 or 19 year old plays.

    So why is it hard to accept the young Americans — foreigners with different training — don’t have immediate success in Europe? Why must folks assume that the players are at fault, that if they had the right attitude, they would succeed?