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VIDEO – Freddy Adu still hoping for World Cup chance with USA: “You never know”

Feb 17, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

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Can you believe it, 10 years ago next month a 14-year-old U.S. soccer superstar hyped as ‘the next Pele’ made his debut in Major League Soccer for D.C. United.

Freddy Adu… remember him? Of course you do.

We all know his story, too much too young, burnout and poor career choices that have derailed the next best thing into a player that is now without a club and training with Blackpool in the English Championship.

But it was while training with English second-tier side Blackpool Town that Adu sat down with the Seasiders media staff and was asked about the World Cup this summer and playing for the USA.

Adu was adamant that he must find a good playing situation at a club to have any chance of making Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans.

“You never know,” Adu said. “You play well for the next couple of months and you’re in camp for the World Cup. You just never know. You have to make the right decision and you have to do what you have to do to get on the field and play and when you get on the field, you have to make a difference on the field and stay there.”

Fans of soccer in the U.S. and the national team have always had, and probably will always have, a soft spot for Adu. To think that he is still only 24-years-old is mind-boggling and really makes his story seem even more incredible. From D.C. United to Benfica, a trial with Manchester United, a spell with the Philadelphia Union and difficult loan stints in Greece and Brazil, it has been a bumpy old road for Adu in the past few years.

(MORE: Adu to be released from Brazilian club Bahia due to “technical deficiencies”)

He spoke about that, and the pressure of being in the spotlight at such a young age and how that changed him as a person. Plus the young American also discussed his plans for the immediate future and how he is in no rush to sign for anyone, after previously making bad decisions on which clubs he signed for. Adu spoke fondly about his experience at Blackpool so far, as he managed to set the training stint up via his agent having a contact with the former Premier League side.

Whatever your feelings are on Adu, watch the video above to see where he is at right now. I still think there are a few chapters left in his incredible life story.

But will that include a stint back in the U.S. national team camp?

  1. midtec2005 - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Good luck to him. A second tier team like Blackpool may be just what he needs. It looks like he finally realizes that what he needs is PT, more than anything else.

  2. rafibomb10 - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Great interview! Glad you were able to find this JPW.

    I wrote a paper my senior year of college about Freddy, and others who burst on the MLS scene at an early age and the outcome. I’d be happy to send it to you JPW.

    Its great to see that this kid is still writing his own story though. Hopefully he joins the right club!

    • Joe Prince-Wright - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Of course, would love to read your paper. Send over to: Joseph.Prince-Wright@NBCUni.com

  3. hughmauberley - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    I think of everyone on the Olympic team that failed to qualify, he was hurt the most. I remember him taking that El Salvador game by the scruff of the neck and doing everything to pull the US back in front after going down. Then that last minute goal happened and he was completely devastated. It was gut-wrenching stuff. I think things would be a lot different if that team had qualified.

  4. digbysellers - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    I certainly am not rooting against Freddy Adu, but I think common sense pretty much dictates he has no shot whatsoever of going to Brazil. Hopefully he lands somewhere decent and can play regular minutes in hopes of resurrecting his club career first…then maybe (MAYBE) he could entertain thoughts of 2018.

  5. danielofthedale - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Adu needs to just find a club team and play week in and week out. He really had no shot at going to Brazil. Now if he is playing alar a good level for the next year or two he could work his way back into the National Player pool.

  6. mkbryant3 - Feb 17, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Delusional

  7. godsholytrousers - Feb 18, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Everybody say a prayer for Freddy, the Prodigal Son.

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