Where are former FM Wonderkinds today? #1 – Freddy Adu


Freddy Adu

When a then 14 year old Freddy Adu broke into the scene at DC United, becoming the MLS all time youngester goalscorer, big things were expected of the youngester, including talks of numerous call ups to the national team, being the “next Pele”, but this once FM wonderkid has never truly lived up to his potenial…

Freddy Adu was born in Ghana, and played soccer agaisnt men THREE times his age – yes, three times his age. At the age of eight, his mother won the Green Card Lottery (winning a US green card), and he moved to Maryland in the States, and at the age of 14, he became the youngester American to sign a major league pro deal when he was first pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft by DC United. He even trained with Manchester United for two weeks, but couldn’t get a work permit.


In 2006 DC United traded Adu to Real Salt Lake, where he only made 11 apperances scoring one goal, but this was enough to persuade Benfica to pay $2 million for him in July 2006, but he never really locked down his place and was loaned out to AS Monaco, Belenenses, Aris, Caykur Rizespor before moving back home to sign for Philadelphia Union.


Terms were not disclosed as per league policy, but it isn’t thought he was a DP – which surpised many people. He played for two seasons for the Union before he departed America again to move to Brazil to play for Bahia, but he was only there for a matter of months.


A numerous number of trials followed – Blackpool, Stabaek, AZ Alkmaar – but none would offer him a contract. In fact, it wasn’t until nearly a year later, he got his next club when Serbian club Jagodina signed him, but he only stayed there for a matter of months as well.

adu bahia.jpg

KuPS signed him in March 2015, only for Adu to excerised an option in his contract to terminate the deal in July 2015.


Once again, Adu came home to play for Tampa Bay Rowdies in the North American Soccer League (NASL). It was his 12th professional club. He last with the NASL side for the 2015 and 2016.
Prior to the 2017 season, Adu did train with Portland Timbers of the MLS, but was dropped from the trial pretty early in the proccess. He is currently a free agent.


Adu, despite his career never really living up to his potenial, did get 17 caps for his national team.


Adu celebrating with USMNT (far left)

A player that had so much potenial never lived up to the expectations and instead turned into a journeyman. In the early years of FM, this certain wonderkid got over 100 caps for the USMNT, won numerous trophies, but in reality, he’s never lived up to what anyone expected of him.

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