Hackworth says no decision made yet on Adu’s future with Union

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


CHESTER, Pa.– The rumors began to swirl immediately after the Philadelphia Union’s game-day roster was announced. The absence of Freddy Adu’s name led to some scathing theories about why he was missing from the squad for a second straight match, with one report suggesting Adu’s days with the Union were already over.

Union head coach John Hackworth put to rest the notion that the team has already made a decision on Adu, but did make it clear that he and the team still had to weigh their options.

“Me and Freddy have a long history and, despite what people think, we’re pretty close,” Hackworth said after Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls. “I want what’s best for Freddy. I expect a lot out of him. He expects a lot out of himself. We’ll have a heart to heart talk and see what’s best for both of us.”

Adu has a guaranteed contract in 2013, meaning the Union are on the hook for his salary next season and can only move him if they either trade him, sell him or buy out his contract. If the Union decide he won’t be in their plans, the most likely scenario would be to find an MLS team to trade him to, though trading Adu would most likely involve having to absorb a large portion of his salary.

Multiple high-level sources with the Union shot down claims that the team had already made a final decision to part ways with Adu, as well as denying rumors that Adu was a disruptive force in the team’s young locker room.

Adu endured a disappointed 2012 season, as did the Union. He finished the year with five goals and one assist, playing in 24 of the team’s 34 games. Adu dealt with his share of injuries, and productivity, but like many of the players on the Union, he struggled playing in a system without reliable veteran goal scorers.

Hackworth did make it clear that the team still has to weigh options and consider whether or not to keep the high-priced playmaker, but he made it clear that no final decision has been made yet.

“We had a good talk and agreed we just need to have a little bit of separation from the year and all of the emotions and things like that,” Hackworth said. “Then we’ll make some decisions going forward that are good for both of us.”

What do you think of this situation? Think the Union should bring Adu back? Would you take Adu on your team in 2013?

Share your thoughts below.

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59 Responses to Hackworth says no decision made yet on Adu’s future with Union

  1. Drew says:

    unfortunately, as someone who grew up an enormous freddy adu fan, i am forced to concede that he is incredibly lazy when not committed mentally. freddy just never seemed to give much effort this season after he wasn’t handed the keys to the offense originally. When the union finally gave him that chance, his lazy play continued. and even as i defended him all season to my fellow union fans, i was really only hoping that his few flashes of brilliance would turn to a consistent blaze. it never did.

    while jozy seems to have taken his game to the next level, i fear we will never see that u-20 duo of altidore and adu that i remember tormenting brazil. ashame.

    • Benjamin C. says:

      Either you or Ives is completely wrong about Adu’s season. Ives has written repeatedly that Adu’s creative play has been completely wasted due to inept finishing on the part of the Union forwards. You claim that he is a lazy liability. In the limited number of Union games I have watched, Adu has consistently played smart passes and created chances for his teammates, though he does disappear at times. He certainly has his shortcomings, but for him to not make the matchday squad when he is healthy and available? That is ridiculous. And it looks even worse after that 3-0 drubbing they took today.

      • Drew says:

        I’m not saying he shouldn’t make the bench. But his laziness has caused him to disappear in over half the games and he is making over $500,000 in total compensation. I have a tremendous respect for Ives as an analyst and he correctly notes the finishing has been quite spotty on some nice adu plays. But if freddy were to only try, he would be a completely different player.

      • fischy says:

        Actually, they could both be right. Yes, Adu has served up some tantalizingly delicious passes that his teammates couldn’t finish. That’s one or two bright moments a game. Perhaps, he could do more. I have really only seen him play twice this year — when the Union came to RFK, and then when he came on as a sub in Philly against United. He seemed very committed — dueling mightily with Andy Najar on both ends of the field. He was the Union’s most productive player. On the other hand, he still produced less than a handful of good chances in what amounted to close to 90 minutes across the 2 games…and, it may be that he was especially motivated to play against DC. I don’t know how he’s looked generally, but it could be that he’s drifting a lot.

    • Al says:

      Maybe if the Union had talent on the team equal the the 20U squad he would perform better. That team is a joke, and always will be a joke with Hackworth at the helm. Not only did they spoil a number of excellent selfless highlights for Adu, they messed up numorous times on their own. Not to sure why people are so in love with JackMc and the Farfans, they are novice at best.

  2. Dan says:

    Freddy needs a squad that will not rely solely on him to win the game. He needs a team where his creative skill set does not come off as a liability. The freedom to make mistakes and be creative…

    Think back to his u-17 days when he was able to do whatever he wanted on the field… he was magic.

    I Have faith his best day is ahead of him (sometimes an athelet needs to hit the bottom… BOLT).

  3. KEEP says:

    Welcome back to DC Freddy

    • fischy says:

      Not out of the question, but hard to see where he fits in the team. I suppose they could let Boskovic go, which might create a slot for him, but even Boskovic isn’t playing full-time.

      With Freddy there’s the perennial dilemma of where to play him. Is the guy a CAM? He doesn’t have the physical presence you’d want in central midfield. Is he a winger? He doesn’t have the speed you’d want there. Is he a striker? His height really works against him there.

      He’s got good skills on the ball, but that might not be enough to be a star.

    • Josh D says:

      We’d never take him back. Olsen likes his hard workers more than he likes his creativity. Plus there’s too much baggage with a return.

      A player like Adu just isn’t viable yet in our league. He’d be far better off heading to Spain where he’d be allowed to roam around and create without defensive responsibilities.

      • Al says:

        Well said Josh D. Our American style of ground and pound kiss ass to the coach is the reason why our teams suck and will never go anywhere. On a roster of 23, Donovan (who may retire) Howard, Mike Bradley, and Demps are your foundation, after that its a crap shoot but JK wants his same crap players on the squad swearing they are better then most. I pray a La Liga team even a division 2 or 3 squad picks him up.

  4. EA says:

    Welcome to Puerto Rico Islanders, Freddy.

  5. Haydenjo says:

    Hope he goes to the fire

  6. George Archer says:

    Hackworth is poor coach who thinks he has found a scapegoat. The Union have been disorganized and confused since he took over.

    • Matt says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head.

    • Liga says:


      Ive watched almost every Philly game this year, and the Union with Adu on the pitch are far more dangerous than the Union without him.

      For heaven’s sake their lone forward missed a wide open net from the edge of the 6 yard box today.

      • EllisCarver says:

        I’ve watched every game as well and there were many games where Adu was by far the worst player on the field. He gets dispossessed far too often, his crosses aren’t very sharp, and he often takes too long to advance the ball. Against good teams he was completely ineffective.

        • fischy says:

          He does get dispossessed — that’s true. However, it’s not that he’s overmatched, when that happens. It’s just that he’s tring to make something happen with his prodigious dribbling skill…and he’s making the defenders earn their pay. It might not help the team, but it’s not the same as say seeing Chris Korb get stripped of the ball leading to a Fire breakaway yesterday. His crosses aren’t uniformly great, but they’re still better than 95% of the other Americans on the pitch.

        • Al says:

          I find it so funny how you feel being dispossessed is like the most horrible thing. Do you remember the champions league match Barca v Chelsea I’m pretty damn sure Messi was dispossessed a few times in that game where Ramires stole the ball and scored. So its ok for greats like Messi who play with ALL STAR CAST to make mistakes but Adu who plays with English football Division 3 talent at best is not? Put Adu on any of these all star studded teams and watch how well he does. Is it just coincidence he plays so well with the USMNT? Put real talent around him, and watch him flurish.

  7. Smith says:

    Freddy Adu of the 2013 New York Cosmos of the NASL!

  8. Travis says:

    What is his salary like? Surely he isnt making DP money, correct?

  9. Liga says:

    Hackworth has clearly decided that Freddy is his scapegoat for the utter embarrassment that is his coaching and personnel selection.

    Build an entire team around long balling to… jack mc. Torres rides the bench and Adu can’t even make it.

    Good thing Freddy was around to watch from the owner’s box as Philly got plowed today, 3-0. His absence surely did the team wonders.

    • Will says:

      I forgot how Hackworth built this team. Oh wait, he didnt. Nowak’s team and if anything Hackworth gave him a bit of a chance to shine which he didnt. Freddy continues to be a scapegoat because he plays the role well and should be one. He had one or two good games this year where he showed potential but that isnt enough. Doesnt help that he is at ladder 15 (a bar in philly) all week before games. This is a young team that works hard, but with Freddy that doesnt happen as easily. He’ll be gone.

      • Al says:

        They sure do work hard and suck at the same time….. Give me a drunk Adu from Ladder 15 which you know so much about you must be right there with him over the rest of those non-finishing bums any day.

  10. eric says:

    Skc could use him on the left to replace a worthless convey

  11. Judgmental John says:

    He needs to return to MLS…

  12. that guy says:

    adu to the galaxy

  13. Spencer says:

    RSL if they could find a way to get his salary lower.

    • Hincha Tim says:

      You’re kidding, right? Last time Adu was in an RSL uniform he was a lazy worthless s.o.s. Wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.

  14. milton says:

    I sort of see this as the last of Nowak’s mess that hasn’t been cleaned up yet. The Union got dooped (pun intended) into signing and overpaying this guy when he bizarrely got called back into the USMNT and the U was in desperate need of a name signing. The problem with the signing was that Adu would have had to hit a heck of an upside to justify his paycheck, and to few peoples surprise he hasn’t gotten anywhere near that upside. As a Union fan, I think we should first try to sell him or try for a trade that we don’t get killed on as far a covering salary. If no luck, we ask him if he’ll agree to re-do his contract and take a major paycut, or do heavily incentive based, since he vastly under-earned his pay during his past two seasons. Our leverage is we can keep him and sit him, just like we already have, and ensure he doesn’t progress. That will hurt his position greatly on his next contract negotiation. Its hardball, but he’s been insanely expensive relative to performance. If he believes he’s worth his salary, then tell his agent to find someone to pay it such that the Union can offload him without covering salary, or he sits.
    Frankly I hope the Union can find another team willing to take him on. That tv shot of him with that shit eating grin he had on his face today during the Pink Cow game was the last straw for me. The U’s finishing off a rough season, in the middle of getting railed by its bitter rival, for the third time in one season, without their highest and overpaid brat all smiles. He obviously more interested in celebrity, so lets not waste him time by putting him on the field.

  15. Andy says:

    Houston needs a CAM. Just saying.

  16. Kojo says:

    He is absolutely gone from the Union. He will have one more year of professional soccer due to his guaranteed contract and then he will toil away into the lower leagues like NASL and eventually into oblivion. His reputation here and overseas will haunt him wherever he goes. Just goes to show you that you can’t make it on talent alone you need to have the maturity and willingness to work for the greater good. What a waste!

    • Josh D says:

      You’re mad. Adu is still twice the player of most MLS’ers. He needs a new team. The Union are only out done by Toronto when it comes to crap teams. But at least Toronto tries to buy talent whereas the Union just sells its talent.

  17. Adam says:

    As far as Adu and even others are concerned, I think that its probably hard to get comfortable when you start one game and then sub the next. I think what is really detrimental is not having a solid and consistent starting line up. First with Novak and now with Hackworth, these coaches for some reason cant figure out a starting line up until the season is over.

  18. PD in Philly says:

    I said it in an earlier post, but it’s worth repeating here.

    There’s what you think you are capable of, there’s what the world is rooting for you to be capable of, and there is what you ACTUALLY DO. Sooner or later you reach a point in your life where the first two things no longer define you as much as the third one does. While Freddy is not quite at that point yet, he’s in that zone and fast approaching the other side of it. This was supposed to be the season that started to turn that around, and I’d say the consensus is that it was too little to really shift the tide. That means that next year has to be a year where he makes it happen, no excuses, no “if only there were other players”. I hope it’s with the Union, but honestly I can’t help p but shake the feeling that the team doesn’t really want him there (which is a shame because they are pretty inept as it is, and it’s not all about youth, either). I think the Union would be foolish to deal him, but at the same time I get that they can’t afford to to have a part-time 500K player, either.

    I’m usually not a person who takes as cut and dried a stance as this, but it’s getting to be back to the wall time for him. if he’s going to actually become half the player that we all thought he was going to be, he needs to start showing that for 75-90 minutes every week. It’s put up or shut up time.

    • skyman says:

      I appreciate your repeating the only conclusion I get from reading the many comments of Union viewers, and those like me who have followed his career. There is a striking similarity between him and Charlie Davies, based solely on comments made on these boards; If I could only observe Freddy’s play (and CDs) myself, as well as their body language on and off the ball, I could then have a more concrete opinion of what the h*ll is going to happen with their futures. I really hope that Freddy doesn’t end up out of the MLS.

    • EA says:


      “We are who we thought they were.” – Dennis Green

  19. 2tone says:

    If a trade happens: Here are the teams that might be in the running.
    1. Seattle- If Montero does decide to head on to Europe in the off-season freddy Adu would be the logical choice to replace him. Sigi is the kind of coach that can the best out of players i.e. Eddie Johnson. Also Eddie Johnson and Freddy are very close friends, and could form a very dynamic partnership in Seattle. But this all hinges on if Freddy Montero decides to head to Europe.
    2. Portland- Porter will want to make his stamp on the team immediately. Porter knows what Freddy is capable of, and both seem to have a healthy respect for eachother, and quite frankly Portland has been horible in offense. A motivated Freddy may be the tonic.
    3. Chivas USA- They need offense period.
    These are three teams I think are the most logical for putting in trade offers for Adu. Personally I think he would flourish at either Seattle or Portland.

    • Travis says:

      Think he would struggle for minutes in Seattle, he isn’t an out and out striker so he wouldnt replace Montero. In the midfield they already have two somewhat defensively challenged mids (Tiffery, Rosales). He might fit as an impact sub but that is it.

  20. D in Philly says:

    I wrote on a different post earlier: his only hope is Portland. Yeah, Hackworth’s style is terrible- it IS literally long ball…Regardless…If Adu wants to be a Somebody, he has to IMPOSE his game on his opponent. I always said the same thing about Mwanga. I never saw any purpose or DRIVE to goal. Step-overs are for nothing unless your actually going to get behind the defense.
    Freddy said he wants to be like Messi a little bit ago…take note Freddy: every time Messi touches the ball he attacks the back and puts them on their heals.
    We’re not going to pay someone DP money to pull up and hit poor crosses from 30 yds deep and then throw their hands up.
    Porter is his Obi Wan Kenobi…

  21. Matt B. says:

    It looks like Duka is in Warzycha’s doghouse..and with the academy products coming in maybe Columbus can trade Duka and a 2nd round draft pick for Adu? An Adu, Higuain, Arrieta, Gaven, Merosevic line up would look dangerous.

    • SilverRey says:

      I don’t want Freddy anywhere near my Crew. Way too much of a head case with way too much baggage.

  22. FK PIRIN says:

    Freddy doesn’t really need to care, his agent hyped him and got him paid well since age 14. He has earned a great deal and hasn’t really accomplished much in soccer. He gets another year of a fat paycheck, and then he will hit reality. MLS will most likely offer him another contract at a reduced salary, then Freddy will either turn into Eddie Johnson, who is only making about 125K this year and playing hard, or he will ride his fame to another fat paycheck in a less well known league. I hope he can light a fire under his own ass and become a great player like Messi, but even if he doesn’t he has still made a ton of money, travelled extensively, and had a pretty fun life. I wish I had been that good at soccer. My question is what will he do if he doesn’t play soccer? In any case he seems like a nice person, so I hope it works out for him and he doesn’t end up drugged up and pissed off in his mid 30s.

  23. Soccer Guy says:

    It’s amazing that people are still making excuses for Adu, and still think that he will suddenly become a good player. He has had more chances and time to develop and get his act together than any player has the right to expect.

    I don’t think I have ever seen a player freeze in his development the way Adu has. There are a few very important aspects of his game that are seriously lacking, and are clearly not going to get better. Some people say his personality is childish. I’m not sure about that, though he certainly has been on occasion, but his ability to take on players and dribble is childlike. It’s painful to watch Freddy try these moves that you see schoolyard kids use. You watch it and think “What is he thinking?” Which leads me to another aspect of his game that is sorely lacking. His soccer IQ is pitiful. He is one of the worst students of the game you will find anywhere. He is always making the wrong decision. Finally, he has always been to weak as a player. Players have always been able to dispossess or push him off the ball with ease. I don’t know why he hasn’t been able to greatly improve this area of his game with weight training.

    Freddy is what he is, and he is just not very good. I think we have to accept that Adu is a journeyman player, and he seems to be running out of journeys.

    • GW says:

      Freddy’s problem is he is a part time player with a DP salary.

      Teams would be more willing to bring him in and let him earn his way up the food chain but not at that price. And right now he needs a situation where a team will let him do that.

  24. Big bill says:

    Like every other Union fan who has actually watched Freddy all year I would be happy to show him the door. Nobody is less a leader than Freddy. And a decent middie should be making the players AROUND him better, not vice versa. Sure the Union need a clinical striker (and more) but it would also be nice if the highest paid player on the team actually gave a damn. Or was capable of playing 90 more than twice a season, or whatever it was THIS year. Delivering one nice through ball per game isn’t a worthwhile trade off for his utter lack of interest in defending or his endless falling down and waving his arms for a foul that didn’t occur as he gets knocked off the ball. I don’t blame the team for bringing him in, seemed like a decent gamble on a team that (at the time) had some veteran leadership. Now? Time for yet another last chance elsewhere. Be gone, Freddy, be gone. He isn’t the only problem, by a long shot, but he isn’t part of the solution.

  25. Roy says:

    Why are people still blaming the coaches? Look at how man teams he has been on in MLS and overseas. You’re telling us that all those coaches were wrong about Freddy?

    Too bad Freddy just wasn’t some college recruit into MLS. Not because of the coaching, but the chance to grow up more typically.

  26. Rob says:

    It is time to close the final chapter in the adu chronicles .
    Adios Freddy.
    Ply your trade south of the border.