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Nearing MLS first kick, Freddy Adu still stuck in bad place

Feb 24, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT

Philadelphia Union v Seattle Sounders Getty Images

We are all talking a lot about Major League Soccer this week, league previews and predictions dropping like late winter snow in New England. You sure can’t look at this blog without seeing our latest outlook piece on what to expect from Major League Soccer’s 18th season.

Interesting, however, is the name that isn’t being mentioned: Freddy Adu.

He’s clearly a midfield talent that some club could use. It won’t be in Philadelphia, however, as manager John Hackworth has long made it clear that Adu, still just 23 but somehow in a career crisis moment, isn’t in the PPL Park plans.

The problem is Adu’s salary, more than $500,000 this year. That is proving quite problematic in trade talks within the league; everyone understands the bad place Philadelphia is in here, so they want the Union to foot a big portion of Adu’s high salary.

Philadelphia can buy out the contract, but that has turned into a big game of chicken. Adu and his representatives are taking a hard line, hoping to pin down the Union and get Philly to pay off the entirety of the contract at more than $1 million.

Philadelphia, far from the richest of clubs, is playing hard ball, too. Until further notice, Adu is just working out on his own – doing nothing to improve his value in finding the next taker, the next club that figures Adu’s talent makes him worth a potential risk in terms of chemistry and how he impacts the salary structure.

(MORE: Union team preview from ProSoccerTalk)

On Fox Soccer Channel’s Goals On Sunday show, Grant Wahl reported this morning that Adu has already turned down moves to Ukraine and South Korea, and that opportunities Mexico may be in play soon, but aren’t at the moment.

(Ukraine and … South Korea? It’s come to that for young Adu?)

Philadelphia doesn’t need Adu, now blessed with two options at playmaker in Michael Farfan and Roger Torres. But the Union could certainly use the cap relief. And they certainly don’t want to keep paying Adu’s guaranteed salary if they can possibly avoid it.

  1. philneezy - Feb 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    If it was one of the many great teams in the Ukraine, Adu should’ve been biting off their hand.

  2. bellerophon30 - Feb 24, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    I’m with philneezy, the Ukraine Super League, or whatever it’s called, is pretty good. It’s certainly better than MLS at this point.

    • crnelson10 - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:32 AM

      Certainly? That’s a very strong word.

      • bellerophon30 - Feb 25, 2013 at 8:45 AM

        Shahktar Donetsk, if I’m spelling that correctly, is in the Champions League round of 16, and would likely go undefeated in MLS. Look at the UEFA coefficient for these leagues, it’s up there.

        I’m not knocking MLS, per se, it’s a rising feeder league. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s still a very young league. But the point of the story is that Freddy needs to get on the field somewhere, and I wholeheartedly agree.

  3. crnelson10 - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    South Korea’s league isn’t exactly Vietnam, and a trip to ‘Nam did Lee Nguyen some good.

  4. cwimmer77 - Feb 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Wow, just about a year ago he looked great with the USMNT during the Gold Cup. He is so confusing.

  5. mvktr2 - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    I’ve long felt a trip down to a Mexican side might be what Adu needs to get straightened out. Heck perhaps even a 2nd tier team might help to humble him. The attacking style would fit him to a T, he presumably already has some Spanish language skills, and well… all else has failed so time will tell. Don’t hold your breath!

  6. jmansor - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    M. Farfan or Roger Torres as playmaker…that should go well!! Torres can’t go 90 and Farfan refuses to take control of the game.

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