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Adding to the Freddy Adu discussion as his time at Philadelphia looks finished

Nov 6, 2012, 11:10 AM EDT

Philadelphia Union v Seattle Sounders Getty Images

There is something important thing to remember in the ongoing Freddy Adu debate, something that gets left out of these conversations too frequently.

(Sudden thought: man, how many years now have we been able to have a rip-snortin’ Freddy Adu debate?)

Plenty of fans and some members of the media want to see more of Adu around PPL Park. Domestic soccer’s former wunderkind started 20 times and played 24 of 34 matches overall.

So some supporters just are not certain Adu got a fair shake, that the 23-year-old attacker had enough time to grind that groove, enough opportunity to perk up a Philadelphia Union attack that was generally every bit as dynamic as a bowl of broccoli.

And fair enough. But … here’s the thing:

Fans and media tend to think in terms of what a player can do, what elements they add to the collective, what good and productive deeds to spring from the man’s golden boots on game day.

Coaches tend to think in terms of what players can not do,  what elements are missing, what they are not doing, what bad habits and deficiencies are derailing the club in daily practices and on game day.

And it’s hard to blame them; mistakes lead to losses and losses cost jobs. (Is it an overly cautious, negative approach? Maybe … but that’s a longer debate.)

So if a player does not track, if he hands off defensive responsibilities too often to teammates, if he doesn’t make the selfless runs or offer support in the right place on the attack, it all becomes damaging to the bottom line.

But then a player throws highlight-maker of a head fake, swivels the hips just so, opens up a defense with a killer pass and makes a big moment once or twice a contest, and the great unwashed throw up their hands and say, “See there! The coach is bat-stuff crazy if he doesn’t play this guy more!”

Any-who, think about all that as you listen to Philadelphia manager John Hackworth and his latest comments on Adu, whose future around PPL Park looks tenuous at very best.

The reality is he has to focus, to change some things in order for him to reach that full potential.”

And …

We don’t want any part of a player that doesn’t understand all those demands. He does and now we are trying to in our exit interviews have very clear communication of what will make sense for us and what will make sense for Freddy.”

That does not sound good for his future under Hackworth, who goes way back with the young attacker and has always seemed to be fond of Adu personally.

But this isn’t personal. It’s business. To  wit: Adu makes north of $500,000. That’s darn good money in MLS. In fact, it’s DP money. And DPs who don’t make the 18-man list do not last very long.

  1. jmansor - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Point taken, but it would make more sense if the team wasn’t so much better with him.

    You can’t have 11 players on the field that run for 90 minutes without much ability to score or create scoring chances. Hackworth is threatening to take the team in that direction. Danny Cruz, Michael Lahoud and Antione Hoppenot …MLS requires more than speed and endurance these days.

  2. firewolf777 - Nov 6, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Adu still needs the chances is hate to see him go. As an SOB this could be a terrible offseason. Unload adu for nothing. Bring in LeToux which will be a huge mistake.

  3. footballer4ever - Nov 6, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Freddie adu is overated! The fact he came back to MLS , “humbled”, from Europe shows there’s more lacking for him to be a reliable footballer. In the end, his mind is European leagues, yet he hasnot been able to excel in MLS and not for lack of opportunity. He gives me the feeling that he’s too good for MLS, but noone else wants him either. RIP Adu. Not everyone is made to play football at the high level.

  4. bishopofblunder - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Freddy Adu is the Tony Romo of MLS. (but he is still young enough to make something of his career)

  5. footballer4ever - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Adu can make a career out of polishing other footballer’s boots.

  6. sdbeisbol - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Adu would be a better fit at a place like RSL or Seattle where they tend to play the ball on the ground more often which suits his style of play better. Those teams are already built and not in a transitional period like Union seems to be. But what do I know? lol

  7. footballer4ever - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:24 PM


    What do i know? All I know is I know nothing. Having said that, join the football/futbol club blog.

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