Adu opens up about his career, still holding out hope for World Cup

Freddy Adu Bahia (Bahia)

By IVES GALARCEP

Freddy Adu has seen his career hit another state of limbo, with a training stint at League Championship side Blackpool the newest development in his roller coaster career.

In a recent interview with the club, Adu opened up about the state of his career, his aspirations, and he even revealed that he hasn’t given up hope on the World Cup.

Here is Adu’s interview:


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123 Responses to Adu opens up about his career, still holding out hope for World Cup

  1. Todd T. says:

    Career yes…I am always rooting for him….World Cup…he is delusional!!!

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      If he signs and plays well for Blackpool, he would be in the same position as any other American in the Championship vying for a spot I think.

      • solles says:

        he wont be able to get a work permit surely? agudelo couldn’t and his USA resume is a lot fresher than Adu’s.

        • Kingsly Alexander says:

          Yeah I know, you’d think. But maybe because of his name he might receive some special consideration. The English FA can be just as willy-nilly as MLS regarding “rules”

        • Josh D says:

          I think because he’s played there before (in Europe) that he would qualify easier.

      • brad says:

        He sounds like he has a great head on his shoulders. Amazing for what he has been thru in the past 10 years…

        • MN Footie says:

          I would agree with you, but would qualify it by saying “it sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders *now.*”

          I don’t think he did before (and he might even admit it at this point) given his well-documented previous tendency to phone it in in practice.

          Regardless, best of luck to him. This new-found self-awareness can only help his career.

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      How different his career might of been if he would of signed for Inter Milan instead of MLS

      • Nate Dollars says:

        true. we might never have heard of him.

      • Kosh says:

        So this is MLS’ fault now?

        Even after hearing that he was not mature enough and ready after joining Benfica at age 18? Yeah, you must be right – this is MLS’ fault.

        In other news – Freddy was a young man who tried to secure a decent financial future for his family, got caught up in the hype machine and didn’t do the work and now has gained some perspective from it all and still has a good 10 years of playing time ahead of him. I’m rooting for him. Good luck Freddy – you can be a leader in Russia at 28 years old.

      • RB says:

        …might have.., …would have… not might of or would of
        errors occasionally also found in others’ replies

    • Dennis says:

      He is still young enough that he could do well, but like Todd T. think that WC 2014 is not in the cards for him. He played for the Union in MLS and was not the guy any teammates looked to. I got the impression they were reluctant to give him the ball because he would too often try to make something out of nothing and lose possession. For the Union, he often came back deeper to get the ball and that made his first choice, dribbling forward himself, even more difficult. If he were on a team that could feed him the ball around the 18, his ability to dribble and then shoot or pass to a teammate (or even dribble and get fouled) would pay dividends. That was not the Union and it is not the USMNT.

      • Elite Hunting says:

        Freddy fell out of favor on the Union because he was lazy in training and difficult to deal with. That’s been his tale in many other places, too.

    • michael f. sbi mafia original says:

      Bob Bradley should sign him in Staabreckwhatever.

  2. irandandirave says:

    The “right people”, Ha!
    They have no clue.

    • AristotleTimVickery says:

      i still remember how he made everything happen during the last USA v Mex gold cup final in Pasadena in the first 30min. The US looked scared, especially michael bradley and dempsey. Adu was threatening, however, after 30 minutes he stopped playing. The guy had potential.

      • Jose S says:

        Freddy didn’t stop playing. Mexico smartly took him out of the game.

        They brought in Torres Nilo for an injured Salcido and then in the second half Freddy was double teamed any time he touched the ball.

  3. Kingsly Alexander says:

    “I understood as a child, I thought as a child; I felt as a child, I reasoned as a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things; now that I am become a man, I have done away with childish things…”

    As a fan, I can only hope

  4. Lost in Space says:

    He needs to focus on finding a club situation where he’ll actually play before he even thinks about national team recognition/call ups. Don’t see it happening for 2014, but if he were to find a club who’ll play him he could be back in the picture for 2018.

  5. adu2altidore says:

    If jurgen would add Freddy to the team we will beat Portugal and Ghanna and maybe go real far in Brazil. We have no players with Freddy’s great skillz.

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      Ha. I wouldn’t put it all down to Freddy Adu, that’s pretty insane.

      He’s a pretty dynamic player, I’ll say that much.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      In A team games I think Bradley, Mixx, Holden, Davis, Donovan, and Zusi can hit a more incisive senior level run of play pass, cross, or deadball than Freddy. Freddy has some ball skills but his ability to execute them declines as the quality of athletes and speed of play elevates from youth to senior level. I think he’s slightly less effective than Jones — without the legbreaker DM ability — or Kljestan at being able to handle a ball in traffic and distribute it meaningfully. I think he can hit coca-cola home run balls in a less frenetic situation where he is given time on the ball, but that’s not senior international soccer.

      The basic problem is he’s a slightly built guy with not a ton of speed or motor, not a lot of ups, no particular hard or long shot, basically nothing but slightly above average ball ability. Dime a dozen at the senior level, and he doesn’t have some accompanying physical or athletic trait to stand out, nor does he have the work rate to be a reliable role guy who does the lunchpail work for the skill players, or comes in to kill off games.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        He’s not skinny “slightly built,” he’s small and not the sort who bodies you off the ball.

        • Josh D says:

          He’s Messi’s build: low center of gravity, hard to knock off.

          • JoeW says:

            Except he’s very easy to knock off the ball. That’s part of the reason why people have used excuses like MLS/English ball is too physical, he’d do better in Spain or Brasil where it’s not as physical and the emphasis is more on attacking. Hah.

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        He’s pretty damn athletic, he just doesn’t have the speed and stamina

        He’s a 10 and a pretty good one (in fact I’d think he might be the only pure 10 we have right now unless you count Luis Gil), but you have to earn the right to have that designation and the responsibility of an entire teams offense, something he’s never done besides maybe when he was in the Turkish 2nd Div.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          He’s neither fast nor a motor guy who runs and runs and runs. He is fairly technical but not so much he can overcome the fact he’s not a two way type or a hustler or whatnot.

          I don’t think he has the motor to be the one handing out gifts to the forwards and that’s why MLS teams keep throwing him back. At DP cost he’s not productive enough.

          Now, if he’s a connecting player or guy off the bench, he’s talented enough. Role guy. Comes in, throws some jukes, tries to set someone up in a frenetic period when people are tired. I do see him make some isolated nice plays. But running your offense through him for 90? Not unless he becomes magically faster and fitter.

      • Josh D says:

        Adu would create more in Dempsey’s role than Dempsey does. What Dempsey does better is score. Not saying Adu is better, but he delivers the kind of passing most of our others players dream of.

        Watch what he does for the team in the Gold Cup. He’s just a different player, and unfortunately for him, he’s the kind of player you have to build around. He’s just not worth building around for a full season, hence his lack of playing time.

        IF he latches on to Blackpool soon and starts and contributes, he can earn a spot in camp. But he has to start now.

        • Kingsly Alexander says:

          Yeah I agree with everything your saying

          Dempsey in the hole is like a second striker versus a 10 which is why our formation can look like we’re playing with two strikers.

          I just wanna remind ppl of his impact when he came in versus Panama : link to m.youtube.com

          Also, his performances for Philly versus NY and Toronto with him playing, more often then not, as a winger or striker in the midst of no one on the coaching staff having his back

      • Gary Page says:

        When I read a comment like that I wonder if you have ever seen him play. His ball skills are unequaled in the US.

        • GW says:

          Mr. Page,

          I’ve followed Freddy since he was at DC and your assessment of his ball skills is untrue.

          He has been a pro for ten years and all anyone can talk about is 30 minutes against Panama and a humiliating 90 minute loss to Mexico. That amounts to practically no production for ten years worth of work.

          • Roy says:

            You’re right. If people have to direct us to a few YouTube videos, what does that really say about his ability? Not much, ability that is.

            Sometimes I think Freddy should play for whatever Harlem Globetrotters of soccer we could make. He’s a trickster.

          • Kosh says:

            + 1

            Thank you, GW.

      • Nate says:

        But when has Mix, Holden, Davis, or even Klestian produced the type of game breaking play you describe in a senior USMNT match that mattered? Not one of those guys can claim anything close to the game breaking pass Freddy made (40 yards into space, curved into donovan’s run, hitting him in stride and– in the run of play I might add) against Panama– a game that mattered. There was a reason BB decided to start him (over Kljestan) in the final against Mexico.

        • Kosh says:

          I think Mix did well in the last GC, his first in which he may not have made that one sexy pass but did build up a decent body of work. But you’re right – he didn’t make that one sexy pass so yeah he can’t claim that ONE thing.

          Not to get off topic on this but I find it really funny that folks love to tout Freddy’s GC work as the keystone for what he brings to the USMNT and beyond but also use that same level of play as the reason why guys like Wondo, Beckerman or an EJ would not be good enough against teams outside of CONCACAF. Funny that, no?

          • 1st Time Caller says:

            agree to some extent, except on Wondo. In the specific Gold Cup you refer to (last year, 2013 iteration) he scored against lowly inferior competition, shriveled when it started to matter more and was replaced by the obviously better equipped GAM. The dude (Wondo) is like Twellman, Ching, Buddle or Gomez. Just not good enough to produce against quality opponents.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      It’s true…. even Adu doesn’t have Freddy’s great skills.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        I say this meaning what would benefit Freddy more than anything is a completely fresh eye, a clean slate removed from the public persona/legend/ all the baggage and expectations from the past. To be viewed as a 24 year old with potential that has to be developed and nurtured. Seems as though he has come to a place where that is possible from his perspective… the hard part I suppose is to get a team/manager/environment where it is. Perhaps it is with Blackpool, but as we see from the questions in this interview its a tall order… no matter where you run… there you are. (and your past)

    • KillerInstinct says:

      I wouldn’t go that far, but with that being said, Freddy has always been solid when playing with the USMNT, even though he has struggled at club level. It’s crazy that he is still one of our most techinal players. People may laugh, but I wouldn’t mind bringing Freddy as a super sub at the WC, especially in a time of despiration. He definitely brings a diffrent dimension to the teams attack.

  6. quozzel says:

    I actually really like what Freddy Adu can do as a CAM/false 9 and I think he’s got a skillset and ability to create that no other player in the US pool can offer.

    Klinsmann seems particular to the 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1) and Adu would fit very well in the hole…if he can get a groove and start getting regular playing time.

    I know I’m rooting for him.

    • JayAre says:

      +1 Freddy needs a system that removes all defensive pressure from him. Something like that u-20 World Cup where szetela and Bradley cleaned up after him nicely.

      • user222 says:

        Bingo! however, in Jurgens team nobody gets a free lunch… everyone has to hussle.

      • Andrew says:

        A team that where he won’t have any pressure? That team and that league doesn’t exist.

        • JayAre says:

          Actually they still do especially in Spain where most teams have a rigid defensive mid that allows their 10 to act freely that’s the difference between Arsenal Ozil and Real Madrid Ozil

    • beachbum says:

      get your point, I root for him too, all the Americans, but if Freddy can be considered an option in a role for the USMNT because of the formation we’re pushing out there, maybe a different formation would be good? to put the players actually on the team in their best positions to succeed? maybe Klinnsman is already doing that? fun to talk about

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      It’s all tactical. It’s a 4-5-1 if their siting back, playing direct and wide or a 4-2-3-1 if their pressing high and really pushing the game into the opponents half. Or it could look like a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-4 at times depending on adjustments.

      Adu really operates well in the hole as a 10 though.

      Playing in English football might really command that he emphasis more defensive work though, depending on the system.

      Does anyone know what formation they use at Blackpool? A 4-4-2?

  7. JayAre says:

    If that’s how it works then I’m waiting for waiting for Jurgen to give me a call or shoot me an email I’m very capable of playing and trying to dribble thin air. All jokes aside thou. Thinking back to it that Benfica squad he joined was really really good what was he thinking? He was in way way way over his head. He was lucky to even play 11 games

  8. Curtis says:

    Cool interview. Seems like he “gets it” a bit more in terms of some bad decisions/mistakes in the past. I am torn on Freddy overall: great talent and we have all seen the flashes of brilliance, but the talent just doesn’t seem to translate in the day-to-day.

    Still only 24 years old, and 2018 could be a reality if he gets in a stable situation and gets consistent playing time. This is the key, right? Consistent playing time.

  9. solles says:

    if he was a “normal” us player who’d gone through a college program, he’d be a first or second year pro this year in MLS. there is still time for him to have a decent career, he just needs to adjust his attitude toward professionalism and his wage demands. If Blackpool’s training intensity is something he’s not used to then he needs to adjust his expectations. If he does that, any number of MLS teams would sign him, of that im certain. Who knows maybe he could eventually work his way back into the national team picture, but not or 2014. No way.

  10. Jay in Florida says:

    Seems like a very humble guy. I’m the same age as him and I couldn’t imagine coming forward and being the bread winner of my family at age 14. That’s a lot of pressure in itself. You got to respect that. He certainty has talent and as a fan, I am rooting for him. I hope he gets his career on track. We all know by now he’s not the superstar every one predicted but if he get just get consistent time and contribute to a team and maybe play a role on the national team, that would be great. I am hopeful that he can but only time will tell.

    • BBB says:

      My thoughts exactly, Jay. Contrition doesn’t come naturally to most people, but Adu seems to have a realistic view of things, including past mistakes.

  11. midwest ref says:

    I always thought that Freddy was a good underaged player. He had excellent ball control and skills, as well as a good insight into the game – meaning, he seemed to be a good distributer of the ball, and could open up a defense with a pass or a run.

    I always thought that Freddy was a bit undersized and not athletic enough to be a solid and consistent pro. In the MLS, or in any English league (or god forbid Scotland), Freddy is not big, strong or fast enough to hold off an opponent.

    He was great at the U-whatever teams, playing with similarly sized and aged players. However, on a day to day or week to week professional circuit, he just can’t keep up physically with bigger, stronger and faster players, regardless of their skill level. What’s the old maxim – you cant teach speed or size.

    That being said, there should be a league or style of play that would suit him. Maybe Spain’s second division?

  12. Brett says:

    In international soccer, there’s only room for one player who doesn’t play a fair amount of defense unless you have such a dynamic attack that teams sit back in fear and allow you to keep numbers upfield or such a strong defense that can cover with fewer players. We have neither.

    The fact that Freddy hasn’t caught on ANYWHERE since the hype machine sputtered to a halt tells me that there’s something more to his situation than lack of talent or opportunity. I might believe that one manager didn’t like him, or one team didn’t have a spot that he fit into, but several clubs have had opportunities to see him up close and none have given him the vote of confidence that even unremarkable players receive. He either doesn’t mesh well with others, doesn’t follow instruction well, or simply shows too little effort in training. Whatever the problem, there’s no room on our national team for a guy who can’t get minutes.

  13. William the Terror says:

    Put Mr. Humble in a situation where he actually needs to learn to play and practice with a little humility. Maybe a USL team where he makes less than 30k and has to hold down a day job and wash his own uniform. Maybe then he can prove himself on the field and earn his way up the ladder.

    • Jamie Z. says:

      What is this, ‘Billy Madison’?

    • away goals says:

      Such a bizarre disconnect in this country between our sporting philosophy and our capitalist leanings.

      • William the Terror says:

        Actually, I’m a socialist. Somewhere to the left of Chairman Mao. But, the fact remains that baud is and always has been far more hype than achievement. Soccer is merit-based and he has never earned anything at any level beyond the juniors.

        • William the Terror says:

          Adu, not “baud.”

        • away goals says:

          Cheers comrade.

          Adu worked hard enough early enough to make himself a commodity that several organizations decided to invest in. He has earned every dollar.

          • William the Terror says:

            Earning money and earning playing time are two entirely different things. Yes, several clubs “invested” in the early hype and Adu got paid for that. Did Adu “earn” that money? i guess, in the same sense that Bernie Madoff earned his. those teams will all tell you that it Turned out that their investments were all uniformly bad. Now, Adu is out of contract, has no recent playing history that would warrant anyone making anything other than a minimal investment, and he is left to plead his case to the media. He stinks. But hey, this is just my opinion. I could be wrong.

            • away goals says:

              The madoff comparison is off. Adu didn’t lie or misrepresent himself. He was good enough that teams invested in his potential.

              But yes, I agree that investment turned out poorly and he certainly hasn’t earned a callup for the national team.

              • Nate says:

                Benfica decided to invest in Freddy based on his performance at the 2007 U20′s, where he scored 3 ( tied with DiMaria, Pato and Dos Santos, outscoring Chicharito, Cavani, Suarez and Sanchez) assisted 2 and made the all tournament team.

  14. JP says:

    I feel for Adu…Keep in mind that he couldn’t crack the starting line up of a Bahia squad in the relegation zone of the Brazilian league. Then he talks about the nationals?

    He still thinks like a child…

    • Gerard D. says:

      Uh, he was never playing for Bahia. In fact, Bahia will be lucky if they’re a club next season. They had a scandal that involved half a dozen front office people being charge with crimes, the coach being fired and then a whole bunch of other nonsense.

      He was a salary dump for Kleberson.

      • William the Terror says:

        And Kleberson was also a salary dump for Adu. And he is gone from the Union the same way Adu is gone from Bahia.

  15. Micah says:

    FREDDY HAS TO MAKE THE WORLD CUP!!!! (NOT COPYING FRANK)

  16. Jordy says:

    Well I hope he at least starts playing somewhere and maybe he can turn things around. Would love to see him back in MLS, but definitely wouldn’t shell out a DP spot for him. It’s crazy though that he’s only 24 still, plenty of time to get back into it.

    And I’m not sure exactly how the one time switch works, but is he still eligible to play for Ghana?

  17. NASL to EL Paso TX says:

    Am I the only that thinks Freddy will end up in LigaMX with some rich contract. There is a lot of loaded teams in LigaMX with lost of money that are now looking for top US talent and the teams are,
    Club America
    Pachuca
    Leon who has an american goalkeeper
    Monterrey Tigres who has gringo torres
    Monterrey Rayados
    Querretaro who has Vancity Camilo
    Puebla who has besley
    Tijuana who has a lot of american talent

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      I don’t know if they’d trust a “gringo” to run an offense

      • Charles says:

        As long as they can play Mexican fans have shown that they have no problems with American players.
        The reason Adu is not going to Mexico is because they have tons of players better than him.

        • Kingsly Alexander says:

          Play yes, but run an offense, basically a face of the team, idk. The critique he’d face every day in the media would be something else.

          • chuck says:

            No decent LigaMX team would spend a foreign player spot from the quota on him. He’d have to come free for a struggling team and spend some time there in order to attract the big teams. Much like Beasley, who started to have better offers just last season break.

  18. Ali Dia says:

    47 year old man.

  19. JoeW says:

    First, that Adu would talk about the possibility of the WC shows he has no chance. That’s b/c his talk about this shows he has no concept of what international play is about or what would be expected of anyone on the WC team.

    Second, forget this nonsense that says he’s a pure #10. He’s a terrible #10. Think of world-class #10′s like Riquelme (who was never a defender or ball-winner, not fast or impressive physically). But Requelme had a great eye for the game and did a superb job making decisions…something that has NEVER been a strength of Adu’s (in fact, the opposite, it’s a major weakness in his game). Also, the great #10′s don’t go on “walkabout” and disappear for stretches of the game. People may try and mark them out of the match and make it difficult for them to get the ball. But the great #10′s are guys who do what they have to so they can get the ball….they make runs off the ball, they anticipate, the put themselves in positions where a team trying to deny them the ball gets stretched positionally. They don’t fricking disappear for 20-25 minutes at a time. Watch Adu’s games against good competition (i.e.; not youth ball or Olympic qualifiers) and you see a player who disappears for stretches at a time…not b/c teammates aren’t passing to him, but his head seems to fade out of the match, he stops showing for the ball. And then he’ll have a game where he has some electric moments and then the next match he’s totally out of the match. I don’t expect greatness every game. But to be a #10, you need to be a guy who the coach and teammates trust to RUN THE GAME. And that’s the last thing Adu is capable of doing.

    Third, for those who argue that Adu would be more productive than Dempsey in Deuce’s role with the NT….Dempsey is a fighter who never gives up. Adu is the antithesis of Dempsey in that regard. Dempsey seizes chances, he forces mistakes at times. Yes, Dempsey is hot and cold on the field, isn’t great at distribution. But don’t confuse Adu’s skills with ability–his ability to control a game and control tempo is terrible.

    Last of all, if you look at the formations and roles that Klinsi has utilized with the NT, it just boggles the mind that Adu would look at that and think he has a chance. The most gaping hole right now for the NT is a goal scorer (given how so many key forwards like Altidore are out-of-form). And no-one would confuse Adu with a goal scorer/target. He’s deluding himself if he thinks he’s the #10 in a 4-3-3. And he’s never shown the work-rate or ability to defend to play midfield in a 442 or 433.

    • Gerard D. says:

      Really, Deuce is a fighter who never gives up?

      REALLY????????

      • Anthony says:

        Yeah…I think this romanticized. I have seem many times when he lollygags and doesn’t hustle back to defend.

        • beachbum says:

          interestingly stationed on the left under Bradley he played some hustling ball, required for that position, and he did it. I used to call him out before for not busting but not anymore and depends on his role too imo, why it might be interesting to play him out wide and see how he responds? vs. playing him underneath looking to find the pockets inside and having to transition to D from that

          from out left he can cut inside to his right or crash the box to find service and be a target

    • Anthony says:

      I am not going to say the Adu is a savior/saviour (frankly, I do not believe that he is), but he and Dempsey are 2 different types of players. Dempsey does not create, but when he is on, he is an excellent striker (no. 9) or withdrawn striker. He is not a play-maker. Donovan is more a play-maker and scorer. Dempsey cannot create like Donovan, but Donovan can score like Dempsey. This is coming from a guy who loves Dempsey more. I like his grit, I like his chip on his shoulder and I like his appetite for risk (Donovan’s major fallback was his aversion to risk/discomfort).

      Adu is creator, not a scorer, but he is not fined tuned/refined enough. He did not go through an elite player development and (more importantly) he has not gotten significant enough playing time to become refined.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      In his defense, he didn’t bring up WC unprompted. He was asked a question, said of course WC is important….. yes of course…. that he had to concentrate on playing and doing well…. yes and that…. you never know. Hardly the most optimistic pronouncement…. in fact, pretty subdued and what most folks say when they throw a few bucks on the lotto with 1,000,000:1 odds.

  20. Yusef says:

    He has mostly performed well on the field when given a shot at every level, but quickly wears out his welcome. I wonder why that seems to be. Would be great if his old DC United teammate, Earnie Stewart gave him a shot at AZ Alkmaar. Not sure if Freddy would be willing to play for Eridivisie wages though.

  21. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    This whole comments section has made my head explode. Adu will not play in England. He won’t qualify for a work permit, and English clubs arent looking for 30 yr olds who cant get playing time anywhere else. 2nd….I’ve seen those trick skills teams perform, and those guys have plenty of skill….but does that mean you want them starting on the National team?? Wake up people. The man has great ball skills and zero everything else.He will never play for the US again.Period.

    • Gerard D. says:

      Freddy Adu is 24.

      Zero everything else? So you’re okay just readily admitting you haven’t a clue what you’re on about?

      It’s probably you who needs to “wake up.”

  22. Tiny says:

    Don’t know why he’s waiting so patiently to sign for a team if he truly wants to be considered for the World Cup, when klinsmann was pushing for guys like Dempsey to even keep playing to go on loan , and how it is so important to be sharp and keep playing

  23. petro4ever says:

    The headline and blurb probably overstated things a little. His answer to the National Team question was more along the lines of “hey, if you play well for a couple of months, you never know what can happen.” That’s fairly accurate — if Edson Buddle and Hercules Gomez could come from nowhere last cycle to make the team for South Africa, anything can happen in the next couple of months.

    Freddy has a lot of physical limitations (lack of both size and speed), and has certainly burnt out at a lot of clubs, but it’s hard not to root for him — at least a little bit. He does have a unique skill-set, and if he’s ever able to stick with a club and get consistent playing time, his passing ability would make him a great asset within the National Team player pool. Here’s to hoping things work out for him. Both for his sake and for U.S. Soccer.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      In fairness, Edson & Herc’s inclusion came on the heels of season-long tears

      • Lil' Zeke says:

        (rhymes with “hares”)

        • petro4ever says:

          Fair point.

          Realistically, even if he caught on with Blackpool now (and given that this is just a training stint, it’s not really all that likely), I doubt he has enough time to raise his stock by much. I think, though, that his underlying point in the interview — that once you actually have a team and are getting minutes, anything can happen — is more-or-less sound.

          To be honest, I’m more interested in him for the 2018 cycle. His disastrous club history means that you can’t really pencil him into the player pool like you can other players in his age group (I mean, seriously, who knows which corner of the world he’ll pop up in next?), but our player pool will likely be losing 3 of our 4 best midfielders (Dempsey, Donovan, and Jones), plus there’s a good chance that Fabian Johnson will transition to LB full-time (if he doesn’t do it prior to this World Cup). We’ll have lots of openings in the midfield, both centrally and on the wings, so he’ll have his best shot at breaking into the pool full-time.

          Whether or not he can actually cut it at the international level is an open question. Can he develop enough physical strength to play centrally? Can he compensate well enough for his lack of speed to play on the wing? Will he hustle enough at either position to meet Klinsmann’s requirement that guys play both ways? But, assuming he gets his club situation stabilized this year, he’ll have a fair shot at it, and we can put the Freddy Adu question to rest once and for all.

  24. Brain Guy says:

    For all his undeniable skill, Adu has never really shown that he can be a productive professional. He admits in this interview that he got “caught up” in the hoopla and may not have trained as hard as he shoud have. He also notes that his family’s financial needs were the biggest reason for his decision to turn pro at such a young age. He talks a lot here about learning lessons from his past mistakes, but he still sounds so naive and so raw. He reminds me of a high school/AAU basketball phenom who skips college, gets drafted by an NBA team, and then for whatever reason — bad advice, naivete, too many people telling him how great he his — never learns the myriad on-field and off-field skills that a professional needs. His earnestness is appealing, but I don’t think he knows, even now, what’s missing from his game. The only past mistakes he references have to do with which clubs he chose. But unless he just got unlucky, repeatedly, with the coach or club or whatever, the problem goes way deeper than that.

  25. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Poor guy. I feel sorry for his career. Jealous of his bank account though.

    On a more lighter note, he should consider turkey n greece again. He thrived there. Gotta restructure that deal tho.

  26. Raul says:

    He is currently tearing it up for me in MLS in FM2014. Yeah, hes on a DP contract. I got him on a free before the 2014 season.

  27. ATX_Colin says:

    Does anyone know when Blackpool would make a decision on whether to keep Freddy or not?

  28. Lloyd says:

    I’ve always liked Freddy and I do believe he has a lot of skill. The problem is I think JK has turned his back on him that it would take a lot to get him to take another look. Once you go on the NO list, you’re pretty much gone

    I do wish he would at least get called into camps. If only to see how he mixes. He is certainly better that Sacha or Shea and they have got many, many looks.

    JK needs to give the kid a break

    • beto says:

      Really? Ya he should have been calling the unemployed Adu in over who?…

      When Freddy is in any sort of decent club situation he will be very quickly part of the national team’s plans… Until then nope.

  29. beto says:

    Once again another Adu transfer and the same round of fustraited yet optimistic comments…

    At least he sounds like he is more matured and level headed now.. I would have thought that Bahia was the place for him but maybe the ridgity of English football can be his spot.

    How amazing would it be if he found a club, anywhere in the world, and just stayed there for 10 years and became a full time player.

  30. ZTom says:

    Go to Holland, young man. If Mikey can score there, than not only can Freddy Adu, but just about anybody, too.

    • beto says:

      Adu at AZ would be VERY entertaining!

      At this point anywhere that can take him should be fine.

    • John says:

      Perhaps but where would Adu fit in a 4-3-3?

      • beachbum says:

        good question. would say it would have to be on the flanks, then the team could stress pushing up that side thru him but the midfield would have to be mindful to cover for him on that side defensively…something like that perhaps? US played like that in Olympic quails, need a good holding midfielder to make that work, Freddy is slow and challenged defensively since last I saw him in those quails…perhaps he changed? idk

  31. RBNY says:

    The more he says “I’m only 24″, the less I’m inclined to believe him lol. He’s a good player, but will be a defensive liability wherever you try to fit him in. I love his vision and passing acumen, but he doesn’t score enough to play that second striker role in the 4-4-1-1.

    He has the same problems that we had trying to find a place to play LD years ago. Donovan simply started to produce wherever you put him on the field. As second striker, out wide, inside midfield, it didn’t matter. Adu needs to get into that mindset. Get more positionally aware and play your role within the team and make plays.

  32. John says:

    Freddy has always been pretty good at saying all the right things. You can copy and paste most of what he says here with what he said when he signed for the Union. I still root for him and hope he finds a situation that works for him but lets just see what happens.

  33. Fredy's Friend says:

    It is just sad. He cuda bin a contender. But it is now too late. He can still be a better than average MLS player under the right circumstances; he seems to be fragile physically, beaten down; and -at least in this interview– psychologically exhausted as well. Having said that, I like him as a person watched him play at 14-15 and wish the very best for his career. Mostly, I wish I am dead wrong in how I view him as a soccer player.

    BTW another lost talent is Mr. Szetela, Fredy’s teammate of old. He cuda bin much better too.

  34. MikeG says:

    Play Adu as a forward and he becomes the first defender in the final third when losing the ball. Adu needs to forecheck and come back to the middle circle and play deeper on defense as necessary. He is not the two way winger other coaches have tried to play him at.

  35. UclaBruinGreat says:

    I wonder why a player like Adu can get interest in Holland but Adu can’t. Holland would be perfect for him.

    On another topic, if I were Klinsy, I’d roll out the German-American red-carpet for Julian Green. To be more specific, I’d make sure I have all of these players in camp: Jermaine Jones, F. Johnson, Danny Williams, Terrence Boyd, Alfredo Morales, Joe Gyau, Andrew Wooten and Timmy Chandler (injured or not). He will feel right at home considering the similarities in both youth (except for J Jones) and national-origin.

    • UclaBruinGreat says:

      I meant to say “a player like Agudelo … “

    • GW says:

      Have you ever seen Juan Agudelo play?

      If you had you would not be asking that question.

      • GW says:

        In other words someday soon, with a little luck and a lot of hard work, Juan is going to be a scoring terror and my guess is that will happen a lot sooner than someone building their team around Freddy.

  36. Neruda says:

    I don’t see Freddy in the US shirt as long jurgen is in charge. If adu started playing for a quality club and producing JK would change his mind but as long as he club hops and there are guys like Julian Green and a slew of very exciting young talent coming up, the US will move forward without the enigmatic adu.

  37. Justin says:

    Freddy Adu kind of reminds me of Jeremy Tyler (NBA) Tyler is the kid that skipped college to play pro in Europe for a year before he was draft eligible, it amounted to disastrous results. He is still very young and is finally getting regular minutes with the Knicks after stints in Israel, Japan, Golden State, Atlanta, D-League etc.

    I think there is still time for Freddy to become a decent pro, he’s only 24! But there is not enough time for him to be considered for the 2014 WC squad, I’m sorry, there just isn’t.

    He needs to take his work ethic a little more seriously, seeing as his “skills” will not carry him against players that are physically more dominant than him. If he can develop better work habits, fitness and strength he will most definitely be a mainstay for a club somewhere. I think we can all agree on that. Whether or not this happens isn’t contingent upon the system or role he plays on a team. It rests purely on his shoulders and it is up to him if he wants it.

  38. GW says:

    Freddy and Landon are two sides of the same story.

    Both landed big money, long term contracts as teenagers and then went to Europe.

    The difference, other than the fact that Landon can actually play and it remains to be seen if Freddy can, is that once it became clear to LD that he might have to sit for a while at Leverkusen and perhaps endanger his 2002 World Cup chances, he forced a loan back to MLS where he knew he would get the playing time he needed. And for this you called him Landy cakes.

    Faced with a similar situation Freddy went on a series of loans to unpronounceable places where, for whatever reason he got very little playing time.

    The two had different career objectives.

    Donovan is a USMNT player, first and foremost, who plays at clubs to stay in shape for the World Cup. As a kid the World Cup was the ultimate to him. He has said as much.

    For Freddy it seems his ultimate dream was to wear a Man U, a Milan, a Barca shirt. His ultimate was to play for one of those big clubs in the champion’s league and score the winning goal at San Siro, the Bernabeau, or Wembley in the Champion’s League final. So for him staying in Europe and getting on a European team was the ultimate.

    I think Landon simply looked at MLS as a means to his USMNT ends while Adu maybe thought that if he came back he might not get back to Europe. MLS of today is a very different animal than what it was even three or four years ago when Freddy was trekking to every hellhole in Europe.

    Plus he still had that outrageous Benfica contract that no MLS team was going to match. No sense in cutting that short.

    Given how much criticism he draws, it is ironic that Landon is probably going to the World Cup for a record fourth time because more than anything he loved playing for the US while Freddy is not because he didn’t love playing for the US as much as he loved playing in Europe.

    It’s ironic that USMNT fans demean LD so much while championing Freddy’s “cause “.most likely for another four to six years.

  39. Ryan says:

    hahahah 24. he’s 28 years old man, it was all a publicity stunt to have a 14 year old play pro.