By FRANCO PANIZO
As far as players who resonate in American soccer go, few can match up to Freddy Adu and that is why NASL commissioner Bill Peterson is not against the idea of seeing the youngster playing in North America’s second division.
Peterson touched on the topic of Adu potentially joining NASL on Thursday in the wake of comments made by Atlanta Silverbacks head coach Eric Wynalda to SI.com earlier in the week. Peterson said the addition of Adu to NASL would be positive for the league, but stopped short of saying much else about what the 24-year-old playmaker.
“He’s a well-known player and I think it would mean a lot to the Altanta club to have a player like that,” said Peterson. “Our teams, our owners are responsible for their own success on the field, so if they feel like that’s something that’s going to help them win games first and if it helps them promote their club then that’s great as well.
“I’d love to see guys like that, too. I’d love to see a lot of different people in this league. We’ll see what they decide to do.”
Adu, is currently a free agent after having seen his deal with Bahia expire in December and Wynalda said earlier this week that he wants to bring Adu over to Atlanta, where the former striker will serve as head coach this season.
Sources tell SBI that Adu’s next move will almost certainly see him stay in Europe. He is currently training with English League Championship side Blackpool, and sources tell SBI that Norway and Turkey are possible destinations for Adu.
What is going in the Silverbacks’ favor is that they do not operate under a salary cap like clubs in MLS and could afford to pay Adu his high salary demands. That, and their desire to add him to the roster.
“I think he can still play at a high level,” Wynalda told SI.com. “He proved to me he was capable of that against Mexico in the Gold Cup final (in 2011). His ego can’t get in the way because the level will be questioned, but he needs to find a team that wants him, and I want him.”