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Freddy Adu - From football’s hottest prospect to sadly unemployed.

Thursday 16th February 2017
If you were a keen fan of Football Manager in the noughties you would have inevitably googled ‘Best Football Manager Wonderkids' – and top of that list around 2005, more often than not, would have been a young American teenager called Freddy Adu, once tipped for success now he is desperate to sign a club after being rejected by several, he is just 27-years of age.

Adu made his debut for DC United at the astonishing age of 14, breaking nearly every Major League Soccer record in doing so, and was immediately swamped by pressure from the media and the general football world, which, I think, ultimately lead to his disappointing career.

He was tipped as ‘The footballing future of America' and even boldly compared to the Brazilian great Pele, who once plied his trade stateside, however, he quickly fizzled out of the limelight when his performances for DC United became constantly disappointing.
In 2007 the limelight was re-kindled for young Adu after he secured a move away from his homeland to play in Portugal with Benfica, however after an unsuccessful four years, including disappointing loan spells with AS Monaco and Belenenses, he swiftly found himself back in the MLS is 2011, still only 22 years old, with Philadelphia Union, hoping to revive his career.

He spent two2 years with Philadelphia and as is becoming inevitable, didn't achieve anything there failing to hold down a regular first team place and was released by the club at the end of 2013. After spells in Brazil, Serbia and for a brief stint in the third division of Finnish football, Freddy Adu was becoming to cement his tag of a journeyman after he ended up back in America playing with Tampa Bay Rowdies.

However, as is now surely invariable, his spell with Tampa Bay ended abruptly and unsuccessfully and was released in 2016 after appearing just 12 times for the American outfit. Adu is now desperate to find a club to try and make something out of his career and his trial with Portland Timbers, being his 13th professional club, ended after just two appearances with the club deeming that ‘after looking at the squad, there isn't a place for Freddy'. Who would have predicted that for America's Footballing Future 12 years ago?

Sadly for Freddy Adu, he is just another example in a long list of footballing tragedies who have failed to reach their potential, however, the main factor I believe was the unnecessary and unfair expectation heaped upon him at just 14-years old. I don't think that the media are completely to blame for his downfall because I understand thet there are a few attitude problems and I am sceptical about whether the former American International gave 100% at times, but I don't think him making a debut at 14-years of age warranted the comparisons to a player like Pele, or calling him United State's footballing future is hardly fair either. I think the expectation put on Adu's shoulders would have definitely unsettled his development of a footballer and would have no doubt affected him and ultimately lead to this disappointing career that he is now looking at.

However, at only 27-years of age, it is not completely over for Adu. I sincerely hope he does find himself a club and enjoy the last few years he can as a Professional footballer and put the past behind him. Come on Freddy.
Jack Read
Opinionated Football fan from Manchester. Venting my frustrations via means of Writing online.

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