Can you believe it, 10 years ago next month a 14-year-old U.S. soccer superstar hyped as ‘the next Pele’ made his debut in Major League Soccer for D.C. United.
Freddy Adu… remember him? Of course you do.
We all know his story, too much too young, burnout and poor career choices that have derailed the next best thing into a player that is now without a club and training with Blackpool in the English Championship.
But it was while training with English second-tier side Blackpool Town that Adu sat down with the Seasiders media staff and was asked about the World Cup this summer and playing for the USA.
Adu was adamant that he must find a good playing situation at a club to have any chance of making Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans.
“You never know,” Adu said. “You play well for the next couple of months and you’re in camp for the World Cup. You just never know. You have to make the right decision and you have to do what you have to do to get on the field and play and when you get on the field, you have to make a difference on the field and stay there.”
Fans of soccer in the U.S. and the national team have always had, and probably will always have, a soft spot for Adu. To think that he is still only 24-years-old is mind-boggling and really makes his story seem even more incredible. From D.C. United to Benfica, a trial with Manchester United, a spell with the Philadelphia Union and difficult loan stints in Greece and Brazil, it has been a bumpy old road for Adu in the past few years.
He spoke about that, and the pressure of being in the spotlight at such a young age and how that changed him as a person. Plus the young American also discussed his plans for the immediate future and how he is in no rush to sign for anyone, after previously making bad decisions on which clubs he signed for. Adu spoke fondly about his experience at Blackpool so far, as he managed to set the training stint up via his agent having a contact with the former Premier League side.
Whatever your feelings are on Adu, watch the video above to see where he is at right now. I still think there are a few chapters left in his incredible life story.
But will that include a stint back in the U.S. national team camp?