According to Freddy Adu, his departure from Serbian side FK Jagodina after six months with no appearances was the result of his contract ending, not any sort of termination. Maybe that’s just semantics.
Everyone is telling sob stories about Adu again today. It’s not that those stories are without value, but I’ve heard them all before and they all end the same way: Without hope.
I’m not of the opinion that anyone should feel sorry for Freddy Adu. Feel what you want. Believe me, I have — and will again — throw shots at Young Pelé. Clowning any DC United flame out is my MetroStar/Red Bull fan birthright. I’ve fired rockets at every weak spot in Adu’s armor: his age, playing time, the JoJo relationship, all of it. Funny things are funny.
(No hyperbole: One of the greatest soccer tweets of all time. In 140 characters, Freddy Adu unwittingly summarized his career.)
At some point, while still making fun of his situation, I started to root for Adu. I wanted to see him latch on to a club, to get paid – to just be alright.
It was probably the move to Greece’s Aris Thessaloniki that flipped the switch. In January 2010, Aris brought in Adu on loan from Benfica, about a week after they had done the same with one of my favorite players, who was also struggling in Europe at the time, Eddie Johnson.
Nearly five years and four clubs later, Adu is again searching for a home, but I get the sense that he’s not nearly as sad as we make him out to be, or want him to be. There are never stories or gossip about traveling down the dark path of “footballer lifestyle” temptation. There’s nothing to suggest a lack of success has broken him down. From the outside looking in, Freddy Adu is just fine, and that’s great. Considering all he’s endured in 11 years as a professional, his story could be in a very different place.
It’s hard to believe, but in the right situation, Adu could still be looking at another decade as a professional. Far be it from me to wish good things for the New York Cosmos, but this would be a perfect marriage. The Cosmos are starving for headlines and reasons for fans to buy tickets. Adu has probably burned his MLS bridges, but he would never be more appreciated anywhere outside the United States. Hell, people in Europe probably don’t know the Cosmos are a second division team. He can shine on Long Island and find his way back to Budapest or wherever in no time.
Let’s start a #BringFreddyHome campaign. Someone volunteer to pick him up at LaGuardia. Bring those Pelé comparisons full-circle and put Ferdua in the green shirt before it’s too late and he decides he’d rather just spend his money peacefully than deal with this soccer bullshit anymore.