By IVES GALARCEP
The long and drawn-out divorce between Freddy Adu and the Philadelphia Union appears to be close to reaching its conclusion and it may just work out perfectly for both parties.
Adu is closing in on a transfer move to Brazilian first division side Bahia, and is set to travel to Brazil next week to finalize the deal, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed to SBI on Friday.
If Adu does complete the move to Brazil, it would clear up considerable salary cap space for the Union, with Adu set to make $600,000 in 2013 as a Designated Player. While the savings in 2013 might not be as considerable, the move could help the Union land another unidentified international midfielder for 2013 and would free up a $390,000 salary slot in 2014.
The move could also be a perfect one for Adu, who would be heading to the highly-skilled Brazilian league, a league that is benefiting tremendously from the financial growth of Brazil as a nation. That financial stability has allowed Brazilian teams to go after and sign more high-profile players, like Ronaldinho, Diego Forlan, Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato, as well as keep established stars like Neymar in Brazil longer than in the past.
From a stylistic standpoint, the Brazilian League could be a perfect fit for Adu, who would be playing in the host country of the 2014 World Cup a year before the tournament. A move that could help him revive his faded U.S. Men’s national team hopes.
Adu endured a disappointing 2012 season that saw him fall out of favor with the Union late in the year, with head coach John Hackworth benching him and the Union essentially letting it be known that Adu was not in the team’s plans.
On the field, Adu was still one of Philadelphia’s better attacking players, but in a year when the Union struggled considerable he never could get going and have the impact the Union were expecting when they signed him in the summer of 2011.
The sides spent the entire off-season trying to work out a resolution, with Philadelphia presenting Adu with several loan and transfer opportunities, to countries ranging from South Korea to Australia, but the Union and Adu couldn’t come to an agreement on a good fit for Adu until the Bahia move emerged.
The Bahia move came close to falling apart a week ago, but it has come back together quickly and the move could be a dream scenario for both sides. Especially considering the nightmare alternative, which could have seen Adu spend the entire 2013 season on the sidelines while he took up a significant portion of Philadelphia’s salary cap.
Bahia has some ties to MLS, with Brazilian forward Rafael Sauza joining D.C. United on loan this season as a young Designated Player. The club also counts former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Jeferson on its roster.
What do you think of this development? Think Adu could do well in Brazil? Excited to see what the Union will do with the cap savings? See Philadelphia being a contender in 2013 without Adu?
Share your thoughts below.