To those of us who chose to waste our time playing Championship Manager instead of revising for GCSEs, the name Freddy Adu brings back some special memories.
Not only was he shit-hot on the 2003/04 version of the game, there was also a considerable amount of hype around the lad in real life too.
Inking a deal with D.C United in 2003, Adu became the youngest American to sign a professional contract with a major sports team and at the age of just 14, he was being likened to Pelé. When he made his debut for the US aged 16, it seemed Adu was destined for greatness.
Things didn’t quite pan out that way.
Despite being handed a trial with Manchester United in 2007, Adu didn’t do enough to convince Sir Alex Ferguson that he was worthy of a contract. Instead, when he eventually made the move to Europe, he was signed by Benfica. Having failed to make a noteworthy impact in Lisbon, he was loaned out to Monaco.
Again, he failed to impress in the Ligue 1 and after three further unsuccessful loan deals, Adu moved back to Major League Soccer, with Philadelphia Union. Since then, he’s endured further doomed spells at clubs in Brazil, Finland and Serbia.
After heading back to the States to join brilliantly named second-tier club, Tampa Bay Rowdies, he found himself confined to the reserves.
It’s now emerged that an invite to a preseason training camp with MLS side Portland Timbers has failed to yield a contract.
“Freddy is no longer with us,” Timbers coach, Caleb Porter – who worked with Adu when he represented the US under 23 team – told The Oregonian. “He had two weeks and we were up front and honest with him about where we’re at. More than anything, you look at the depth, there’s just not going to be a spot.”
We can safely say that Freddy Adu probably won’t be matching Pelé’s accolades now.