Nobody who had seen Freddy Adu play during his debut with D.C United would have expected that America’s next rising superstar, now at the age of 26, would be struggling to land a professional contract. Dubbed as America’s ‘Pele’, Adu was the future of US soccer. But, as they say, anything can happen in the game of football. And it did. And now the once famous star returns to Tampa Bay Rowdies, a club associated with Northern America Soccer league; a failed prodigy donning the jersey. This will shockingly be Adu’s thirteenth club, having failed to get a contract in various clubs all around Europe. America’s now rising star Julian Green will be hoping his professional career does not end that way.
To be frank, Adu is now an unknown “has-been” figure lurking behind his very promising past. But still, the fan base Adu has will shock many people. Many US soccer fans are still aware of the natural skills and talent the young Ghanian born striker had. No one can forget that he declined a professional contract with Inter Milan when he was fourteen years of age. Milan was readying for a 1 million move, but Adu instead opted to play as a regular in the Major League Soccer. How much he regrets this decision is not known, but Adu’s professional career gives us at least one key lesson – should a youngster be pressurized with too much hope, the sheer requirement to fulfill those expectations will hinder the very growth of the individual.
Even if Adu had been signed up by a mediocre European club, unless he could have been as great as the American version of “Pele” or a top scorer in the league, he would still be criticized for failing to live up to the expectations of the world. And as he begins his MLS campaign, there is no doubt that, should he perform mediocre, fans will not at all be disappointed. Any expectation from him by the US soccer national team has long gone away. Now, the expectation has passed on to another player. When the deal was announced, many Adu fans were seen on Twitter encouraging the long forgotten hero that he could still resurrect his football career.
When he was young, many people questioned whether Adu had lied about his age and hence was better. As they say, it’s easier to play against fourteen years old when you’re sixteen. But when you’re 25 and the opponent is 23, age doesn’t matter one bit. Given the lack of development Adu has had in both weight and height, it seems to be a fine reason. Nonetheless, when Instagram had photos of him unveiled in his new club’s jersey- no one really cared if he reduced his age or not. Adu has been long forgotten.
From dating American singer JoJo to failing to impress in a trial at second tier club Blackpool, Adu has seen and lived it all. Yet, when we remember his performance at the Gold Cup and Olympics, there is no doubt that he is extremely talented. We hope that this season, he revives his long lost success story.
P.S. Adu and former girlfriend JoJo still are said to be good friends. Gossip gossip!!!