The Tampa Bay Rowdies are hoping a reunion with former coach Thomas Rongen is enough to boost Freddy Adu back into productivity.
Adu, 26, joins his 10th team since leaving Real Salt Lake in 2007. After time in Portugal, France, Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, Bahia and Finland, the once next big thing will hope to reclaim his status as a productive player.
[ MORE: Trace the winding career of Freddy Adu ]
There are no quotes from Adu in the press release, but Rongen’s words certainly carry a lot of weighty understanding of what lies ahead: the massaging of a player who’s gone from future megastar expectations to a loan in Finland’s fourth tier.
“Freddy and I have always respected each other,” Rongen said. “He’s a very unique player, very gifted. He’s a difference-maker. He’s got superb technical ability and field awareness. He’s a guy that I’ve always enjoyed being around on and off the field. He’s got a wonderful sense of humor and is a good teammate. He can make any team better.”
…“I’m someone he relates to and someone he feels comfortable with,” Rongen said. “I like daring, creative players and Freddy has those qualities. His signing has immense upside for a club that is already making its mark in the NASL.”
This could be Adu coming out of the darkest portion of his career, one that saw him loaned from Finland’s top flight to its fourth tier, playing in near-empty stadia.
Adu becomes the second player with U.S. national team experience on the Rowdies, joining Gale Agbossoumonde.
Rongen has worked wonders with several players careers, and is currently coaxing several former big name prospects into production (See: Corey Hertzog). Honestly, this might be the fix to help right the good ship Adu, or at least bail out the water.