Big publicity win for the Philadelphia Union who today introduced their new signing Freddy Adu from Sporting Lisbon on a free transfer
Hopefully the hype will not once overshadow what Adu does on the pitch. It is hard to believe that he is only 22, as it does not seem that long ago that he signed a professional contract at the age of 14 and was selected by D.C. United as the number one overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.
After making his professional debut against the San Jose Earthquakes on April 3 as the youngest player on a major U.S. pro team in more than 115 years, Adu was a member of Peter Nowak’s 2004 MLS Cup championship squad. The US international finished his first season with five goals and three assists after notching his first professional goal on April 17 in a 3-2 loss to the MetroStars, thus becoming the youngest goal scorer in MLS history. Named an MLS All-Star in 2004 and 2006, Adu scored 11 goals and added 17 assists in 87 appearances with the Black-and-Red.
Adu has never been able to live up to the hype generated by him turning professional at 14. Even when he made a rare U.S. national team appearance in the Gold Cup, the media immediately overhyped his performance and contribution.
That being said, this is a good signing by the Union. They get a player with talent who has bounced from club to club the last six years. Adu needs a steady environment where he can play every week and develop as a pro. He is only 22 and could develop into a really good player for the Union and Peter Nowak.