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14th Oct 2020

Former wonderkid Freddy Adu signs for Swedish third division side

Once dubbed 'The Next Pele', former footballing wonderkid Freddy Adu has secured a contract at Swedish third division team Osterlen FF

Alex Roberts

He’s back playing professional football for the first time since 2018

Freddy Adu, as I live and breathe…

The former football wonderkid – once dubbed ‘The Next Pele’ – has secured a contract at Swedish third division team Osterlen FF. They were recently promoted from the fourth tier, so at least Adu’s new club are on an upward trajectory.

Freddy Adu’s last professional spell came in 2018 with Las Vegas Lights of the USL Championship. The USL is the second-tier of American soccer.

He has most recently been working as a youth football coach in Maryland, back in the United States. However, it was while working in this role that he was approached with a view to signing for Osterlen.

Adu’s story has always been tinged with unfulfilled potential.

Together with his mother, Adu moved from Ghana to the United States when he was just eight years old. He shot to stardom at the tender age of 14, blitzing his way through the youth setup at D.C. United before beginning his pro career with them.

Adu was lauded as one of the best prospects on the planet when he broke into the D.C. United setup, becoming the youngest player to sign professional terms for a Major League Soccer (MLS) side.

Freddy Adu playing for D.C. United in 2005, aged 16. (Photo: MLS / Getty)

He scored 11 goals in 87 appearances for D.C., playing mainly as a midfielder.

He moved to Real Salt Lake in 2007 and then got a big move to Portuguese giants Benfica later that same year.

However, he struggled to break into the Benfica side and was sent out on loan four times, playing for AS Monaco in addition to teams in Greece and Turkey.

He enjoyed a brief spell of success back in MLS in 2011 with Philadelphia Union, netting seven times in 35 appearances.

This spell gave Adu a renewed sense of confidence to look for a move away from America – but it never really worked out.

Freddy Adu has scored twice in 17 appearances for the US national team.


Freddy Adu,MLS