Adu signs deal with Bahia, will be introduced Monday

SadFreddyAdu (ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

Freddy Adu’s latest stint in Major League Soccer is officially over and he is ready to embark on the latest adventure in a roller-coaster career in a league that just might provide the perfect environment for him to showcase his skills.

Adu completed his transfer to Bahia on Friday night, thus ending his tenure with the Philadelphia Union, sources confirmed to SBI on Friday. Adu will be introduced as Bahia’s new player on Monday.

The transfer is part of a player swap that will send Brazilian World Cup-winning midfielder Kleberson to the Philadelphia Union.

The move ends a difficult and disappointing run in Philadelphia for Adu, who never settled in with the Union after signing as a Designated Player after the 2011 Gold Cup.

The deal ends a messy end to Adu’s time with the Union, which saw the Union bench Adu late in the 2012 season before informing him that he was no longer in the team’s plans. His guaranteed contract, which still had two years and $1.3 million remaining on it, was a burden for the cash-strapped Union, which won’t save much money in 2013 on the deal, but will free up almost $400,000 in salary cap space for the 2014 season.

The move is also a welcome one for Adu, who had become persona non grata with the Union. He will now be joining a Bahia team that plays in the Brazilian First Division, a strong league which has been attracting more and more international stars as the financial strength of the Brazilian economy allows teams to compete with big-spending European teams for the services of players like Ronaldinho, Diego Forlan and Clarence Seedorf to name a few.

Signed by the Union after starring for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Adu never could find his footing with the Union despite showing glimpses of the outstanding skill that has made him one of the more intriguing and well-liked American players in recent memory.

What do you think of the move? See Adu thriving in Bahia? Think Kleberson is a good addition for the Union?

Share your thoughts below.

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63 Responses to Adu signs deal with Bahia, will be introduced Monday

  1. MikeG says:

    Carpe Diem

  2. Riggis says:

    Is it too late for World Cup 2014 for him?

    • Georges Jean says:

      World Cup Qualifying requires steady players in a team to develop chemistry. Therefore, in order to to have a successful run, the players need to play in the team for a long time before the World Cup happens; In this point, Adu has not been part of a regular National Team squad. http://www.22222.webs.com.

      • Brian S. says:

        Robbie Finley and Hercules Gomez would beg to differ. Neither played a significant role before South Africa but yet were on the squad. Freddy still has a chance to prove what he can do and then it will be up to JK’s discretion.

        • dikranovich says:

          how many world cup qualifiers did DMB and donovan play in back in 2001/2002 before the 02 cup?

        • Georges Jean says:

          TO: Brian S.: I agree on the discretionary point, but it would make more sense, theoretically, for the players to get in “sync” before a “World Cup,” which is tough!

          • Benny says:

            If he plays well in Brazil, he will be invited to the Gold Cup tournament. If he plays well in the Gold cup and is on form with his club in Brazil, he has a great chance to make the 2014 team WC. Time will tell.

      • YO says:

        Old wives tales!

      • MemRook says:

        SPAM

      • Gary Page says:

        Klinsmann just played his 24th different line up in 24 games, had a January camp with 30 players and played a bunch of newbies in the Canada friendly and can’t seem to decide what formation to play from game to game. What you say makes sense and is something I think should be true, but it certainly isn’t working out that way.

        • DCP says:

          Yet there has been one constant for all of those games and line-ups, Freddy Adu has not even been invited into a camp under Klinsmann’s watch.

    • GW says:

      Freddy needs to think about his club career first before he starts thinking about the World Cup..

      That is who pays the bills and besides if he takes care of business with Bahia the USMNT will take care of itself.

      He needs to get that amalgamic fire back.

  3. Georges Jean says:

    I am happy for him! A Brazilian league will capitalize on his style of the game.

    • Darwin says:

      To me, the Brazilian league isn’t really developing into a super power. It is actually more like MLS, in that it can now compete with Asia and the Middle East for aging stars like Forlan, ‘Dinho, and the occasional flop like Pato. Granted, it is several steps ahead of MLS in almost every metric…

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        Brazilian Serie A has clubs winning Libertadores and World Club Cups..The league is already good and now more financially competive..I think it is becoming a super power

  4. Avatar says:

    While I may not like everything Adu does, you cannot deny he has shown more on the ball technical skill then most American players do. He has the opportunity to show his ability in a league well known for encouraging attacking flair and player creativity, . Adu may very well be a fit in the Brazilian league.

    • keithbabs79 says:

      Agreed. Due to the Brazil’s style of play, I was initially overjoyed; the league should showcase his best abilities. But I also fear that this type of league will reward his bad habits, instead of breaking them.

  5. Adam M. says:

    Caught an interview with him by the Brazilian media (while in Brazil). Adu seemed genuinely pleased to be signing in Brazil and for Bahia, he made a point of stating the club’s history, and had a broad smile on his face the whole time. There is a lot of curiosity there about the “American Pele” (yes, they used that term during the interview, no I would never). Bottom line is that if he succeeds in the Brasil A league — a tough league stocked full with creative and technical talent — there is no question he should earn another look with the Nats. Its a big if. But its also a tremendous opportunity for him the reinvent his career. Boa sorte, Freddy.

    • solles says:

      It’s a pretty physical league too, which could be an issue, Adu never seemed completely comfortable with that aspect of MLS.

      • CroCajun1003 says:

        We give Adu a hard time (as well we should) but we forget that in order to make the team at this point, he doesn’t have to be as good as we all hoped he’d be, he just has to be better Zusi.

        • Riggity says:

          Ya but while he is more advanced technically (Adu) he is a lazy midfielder who isn’t willing to track back and play team D and consistently has the worst fitness in our player pool(probably why he won’t track back) IMO simply saying Adu should replace Zusi on a wing doesn’t really work. Adu doesn’t have a high enough work rate to play on the wing, if you could take his skill and Zusi’s willingness to play D then we might have something but I don’t see Fred Adu learning the importance of team D in Brazil, but that would be really great.

          • sefone says:

            Kind of an outdate notion that he doesn’t play d.

            While I think there is plenty to criticize Freddy for in terms of work rate/ not fitting, drifting in and out of matches, and possibly the psychological side of being a pro, he has made a concerted effort to address the defensive side of his game.

            His tackles are pretty bad and he makes some stupid fouls, but if you have watched any of his games over the last two years it is obvious that he has tried to be a bit more defensive.

            • Spugger says:

              ,” said not a single Union supporter ever.

              • npshididididid says:

                coming from a union supporter (and adu fan) that actually watched all their games, his main problem was drifting in and out of games and being inconsistent but when he was on his game he was the best player on the field creating chances and taking on defenders, I would have liked to see him with the team this year as everyones improved since NOwak left. wish him luck though

  6. Old School says:

    As a fan of Adu’s, there’s simply no more excuses now once you he arrives in Brazil. You’ve gone to a league that, by your own account, utilizes your strengths. If it doesn’t work with Bahia, Adu has to, for once and all, look himself in the mirror.

    Hopefully he flourishes for his own career and perhaps a future still with the Nats.

    Up to you, Adu.

  7. IvanRG says:

    I hope Freddy can get his rhythm back, he has a unique talent not a lot of players have, he just needs to get his confidence back, playing with brazilians should help with that.

  8. pancholama says:

    Blessings of light and love, prayers to strengthen your resolve and increase your devotion to the beautiful game.
    Long may you run Freddy Adu.
    One day the world will spin on your shoe laces.
    Perfection, fullness, art, swing.
    Love, devotion and surrender.
    Let’s go!

  9. UnionFromThe Beginning says:

    Fantastic night for the Union! First, with a good showing and win against Pumas and now the deal goes through for Adu!

    Not a Adu hater, but the kid never did anything worthwhile to deserve that salary! So happy to see the Union clearing dead weight especially considering they will need that money to keep their succeeding young players.

  10. CR says:

    I’m happy for him. Say this every time, but I hope it works out!

  11. Spank says:

    Cap him!!!

  12. 2tone says:

    When does the league start? I know Brasil is in their state league right now which Bahia doesn’t play in.

    I will also add that Brazil has a rule where only 3 foreign players can be on the bench or on the field in a single game.

    So if Adu is constantly one of those 3 foreign players then things should be good for him at Bahia.

  13. Michael F SBI Mafia Original says:

    My wife is Brazilian. Apparently Bahia as a team is a joke. I don’t care. I just want him to play regularly. Anywhere. I thought he did better then he gets credit for in Philly. If the forwards put away a third of his set-up the narrative would decidedly different. And why is it ok for teams to sign players to contracts then freeze them them out in an effort to move them? I just don’t think that’s fair.

    • Old School says:

      “And why is it ok for teams to sign players to contracts then freeze them them out in an effort to move them? I just don’t think that’s fair.”

      …or freeze them out when they’re out of contract: See Kevin Hartman

      Although, credit to Adu for getting his way and not getting stuck in MLS purgatory (not the league but the system).

    • Hogatroge says:

      Looks like Bahia finished 6 points clear of the drop zone last year. It should be noted that the Brazilian Serie A relegates four teams vs. 3 in most Euro leagues. There were also only 10 pts btwn the 6th place team and Bahia in 15th.

      Not amazing, but hardly a joke. Mid-table. Freddy should get his PT.

    • Clyde Frog says:

      Joke? What does that even mean? To whom? Having been to a few games in Salvador I can assure you Bahia has tremdous fan support and has a decent history. If they’re a joke then the overwhelming majority or clubs in Brazil are even more so.

    • Rodney Marsh says:

      Adu will be playing in Red, White and Blue sooner than most of you think – those are Bahia’s colors!

      Bahia are comparable to West Ham or Aston Villa – it’s a borderline yo-yo club with a rich history. They don’t have the economic clout of the main clubs from Brazil’s richer southeast, but more than the majority of clubs from the next tier down.

  14. SEBASTIAN MORALES says:

    Still not certain that Adu deserves more internet chatter (or perhaps that any of us should be devoting more time to it). Nonetheless, two points ought to be made. First, a player’s success at a particular club relates to many factors other than his own skills and attitude. The world is full of players who doing just fine, thank you very much, until a new coach showed up, for example. Second, a player coming into a new club could take quite a long time to fit in and begin to show what they can do. A year or more for a transition period would not be all that unusual. It is probably a vain hope, but perhaps commentators will keep these and other similar notions in mind before they pronounce Adu a failure and/or the next best thing to canned beer.

  15. Realist says:

    Adu just needs to retire and stick with driving a cab or sending out 419 emails for a living.

  16. Brother Carlitos says:

    Bahia is a two-time Brazilian League Champion, the most recent of these happening in 1988 (link to en.wikipedia.org). After spending several years in Brazil’s second division, Bahia was promoted to first division in 2010, and has been fighting relegation ever since. In 2013 the team will be playing at the Arena Fonte Nova (link to arenafontenova.com.br), a state-of-the-art stadium in the city of Salvador which was completely rebuilt in order to host World Cup matches. After crashing out in the first round of the Copa do Nordeste, the Northeast Divisional Championship, Bahia is currently playing in the Campeonato Baiano, the State of Bahia Championship. The team recently got rid of four forwards including Rafael, who was loaned to D.C. United. The Campeonato Baiano, which runs until May, should give Freddy the opportunity to get some decent playing time and get him ready for the Brazilian Championship, which runs from late May until December. A quick, left-footed winger with international experience like Adu should be able to find the back of the net and solidify his position in the team. Hopefully he will come through this time around.

  17. AP says:

    Good Luck, Freddy

  18. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Freddy’s problem with the Union were his paychecks. If Bahia can pay him without crying..then Adu should be able to help them. He has the talent. Just needs a good situation.

    • Brother Carlitos says:

      If Freddy had paycheck problems at Philly he is definitely heading in the wrong direction. Virtually all Brazilian teams have cash flow problems and EC Bahia is no exception. Last month two key members of the team told the press that Bahia did not pay their wages for December and January. A few days later the team was eliminated in the first round of the Copa do Nordeste. The bottom line is that the situation is tense at Bahia, and they are looking for solutions, not problems. Kleberson played in Manchester United, Flamengo, and two world cups for Brazil, but he still ended up in the bench at Bahia. Freddy is not doing Bahia any favors. If they are letting Kleberson go and getting Freddy in exchange, he needs to step up to the challenge and prove his worth.

  19. Diego says:

    I don’t follow soccer/football in the US, so I don’t know the current playing condition of Adu. This seems more like a marketing move for Bahia. If you look at the league champions in Brazil in the last 10 or 15 years, the champions are basically concentrated in Rio, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and occasionally Porto Alegre. The 2 dominant teams in Salvador – Bahia and Vitoria – do have a large fan base, but hiring Adu sounds like an attempt to attract media attention and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the teams from the South.

    • Fabio Vieira says:

      Olá, você esta enganado meu amigo Diego, o Adu é jovem e pode ainda ser útil, recente mente o EC Bahia vendeu o Gabriel jogador da mesma idade, mas com características diferente. O Bahia fez varias contratações como o argentino Rosales e quer ser campeão da Copa do Brasil. Sim pelo mkt pode aproveitar para fazer intertemporada no EUA no periodo da Copa das Confederações.

  20. Brian D says:

    “The move is also a welcome one for Adu, who had become persona non grata with EVERY TEAM HE’S BEEN ON.”

    Fixed that for ya.

  21. Sno Fro says:

    Adu is the Tim Tebow of soccer! If only teams/coaches would give him a chance and let him use his talents/skills he would be great. Managers want to win, if Adu could help a team win he would be on the field. Why would all of the managers he has played for, sit him if he was able to be in the starting 11? Maybe he just isn’t good enough, no shame in that.

    • Dan says:

      He’s more than good enough..problem is he knows it. Severe laziness, partying, and blaming everyone but himself was an issue in Philly (like everywhere else)..Typical spoiled millionaire brat @ 23..seriously hope he can one day ‘get it’ and excel. Until then…he’s just a waste.

  22. cerati9 says:

    The guy is still only 23. I really hope he flourishes, he’s shown signs of his talent when playing for the Nats, hell he was one of the better players at the Gold Cup, he just seems to elevate his game when playing for the red, white, and blue. He just hasn’t gotten as many chances as I think he should have. I for one am rooting for him, I think he will have a chance to prove himself.