Adu Bids Adieu to USMNT

So, after a night of stepovers, multiple touches and perhaps little else, Freddy Adu left the US Men’s National Team today to rejoin his teammates at Benfica in Portugal, where he will use the preseason to either find more playing time or show well enough to drum up interest elsewhere.


Adu is rejoining his club team.

Adu scored in the 4-0 win over Grenada in the opening game of the Gold Cup, but looked a bit overwhelmed by the moment last night during his 63 minutes in the 2-0 win vs. Honduras. When he got the ball in dangerous position, he often took one, two, or five too many touches and worked himself into trouble.

His series of stepovers in one sequence led only to a non-threatening shot that hit the outside of the side netting to the Honduran goalkeeper’s left.

Adu didn’t have a bad game. I’m not sure that anyone in a US uniform had a bad game last night – and hell, I think even Bob Bradley did a good job. But for all of us, myself included, who had been calling for Adu to see the field and get minutes throughout the Confederations Cup, it was perhaps a dose of reality that in fact, maybe he’s not quite ready. There are skills he certainly brings to the table, and the door to the National Team shouldn’t be shut on him forever. I think he can still play a valuable role in the team going forward.

Whether that role is going to be featured in the 2010 World Cup is another matter. It sounds from Bradley’s quotes in the linked article that this departure was planned. That seems understandable to me for a player who has struggled recently to get club minutes. And with the US having gained maximum points from the first two matches, there’s little need to keep him here for the Haiti match on Saturday.

But it’s a critical time for Adu. There are still skills and such he needs to learn, and there’s something – I’m not quite sure what it is, to be honest – that isn’t quite there yet at the National Team level for him to succeed. He needs minutes. This move is a bit of a gamble, because if things don’t work out for him and he doesn’t see significant time for his club (whatever club that may be), and he’s missed out on US games in the process, then it’s the worst of both worlds.

I hope it works out for the best. While there are particular things you can fairly question about his game last night, I am still in the camp of believing there is potential there and that Adu can be a significant player on the US scene for years to come.

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14 thoughts on “Adu Bids Adieu to USMNT

  1. “There are still skills and such he needs to learn, and there’s something – I’m not quite sure what it is, to be honest – that isn’t quite there yet at the National Team level for him to succeed.”

    Yeah, it’s called maturity. He’s still playing like he was when he was with DCU. He’s got to grow up and realize he might not even have a spot on the 2014 WC squad if he continues like this. Maybe he’ll luck out and find a team with a coach who’ll take him under his wing and make him a respected threat.

  2. He plays like Cristiano Ronaldo when he first came to United. I know the comparison isn’t really fair, but sometimes he dribbles too much and loses possession. He needs to mature like the poster above me said. If he realizes he cannot take on the whole other team by himself.

  3. Kenn:

    I think that’s me you’re talking about. Ed wrote this piece.

    That said, I resemble that particular remark.

  4. Serious question, how many time did Robbie Rogers and Brian Ching dribble and get the ball stolen yesterday? Now to be candid, since that’s such a important part of his game it’s worse when it happens to him but I’m always amazed when it get’s a 10x multiplier rather than the 1.5x multiplier it warrants.

  5. It’s one thing to dribble into trouble if you have no other options. Play your cards, take your chances.

    There’s one instance I can remember last night where Adu had two open teammates in close range where only simple passes were required, and he took 5 touches, going nowhere, and lost the ball. He’s not the only player ever to make that mistake. It just shows that he A) needs minutes, and B) needs to take advantage of those minutes to mature, as a previous commenter said, and be sharper for his next National Team action. And I do think he will get more National Team minutes.

  6. He won’t be missed.

    I don’t believe he should get more minutes in National Team unless he warrants them from performance in his club team. There are too many other players that deserve a shout over or as much as him.

  7. I was one calling for more Adu minutes as well… but to be honest, he was in slow motion in this game… he had neither the pace nor toughness to keep up with the run of play…

    Too bad… but yes, back to club for him and get some time in – if not Benefica, then hopefully a decent loan where he can get quality minutes…

  8. I want him to succeed so bad, but if he doesn’t earn it in 2010, i don’t want it given to him.

    If you assume players like feilhaber, clark and rogers show progess this season, he has no chance of making the team.

    The Brazil game showed the roster has to be 4 deep at the CM/holding mid position. If you list Donovan and Dempsey as mids it leaves you with two likely outside/CAM.

    To me, torres is ahead of him after rogers.

    However, none of these guys mentioned will likely lead their team in scoring/assists, if Adu can lead in such a statisic for 1st division team, he could move up quickly.

  9. If Freddy really wanted to help the uSA he would play with the U-20’s in their World Cup. Time to set ego aside and give help where its needed.

  10. He made numerous passes that advanced our possession, a lot of neutral passes, and only a few negative plays. He showed tremendous creativity on a number of touches, including two great flick-ons, one in each half. In all, he provided a lot of control for our side, more than I’ve seen from a US squad in a long time. Since creativity and control have been in short supply on the US MNT, he represents excellent value.

    You and other critics often mention that Adu makes flashy moves with little pay off. What you’re missing are his many very simple positive touches and passes. No effort or time wasted. Just the helpful play made in the moment. This “small” skill is so rare in the US that it’s hardly recognized as a skill. Maybe you and the other critics were so blinded by the early hype that you don’t see this part of his game.

    I hope Freddy sees lots of time in the rest of the run to the WC and then in SA.

  11. Definitely not blinded by early hype. I watched Adu participate in United training sessions some seven years ago. He’s not an unfamiliar presence and his strengths and weaknesses are pretty clear.

    If you’re looking for someone who was part of the hype maching calling him the next Pele – you’re barking up the wrong tree.

  12. Sorry people, but his skills are not that much different then your typical South American player.

    He’s not going to make it far. He lack two important variables… Size and Speed. He’s going to need one of those to succeed. He’s got talent, but that alone isn’t going to cut it.

    ThE USNT lacks tactically. ADU may seem like a dribbling GOD, but he’s no prodigy. Prodigy’s have all the stars aligned (Speed, talent, vision, maybe size).

    He’s being promoted like Beckham. Both are not GREAT players, but are being paid like they are because of the marketing involved. Beckham at least had vision, size, but his talent was very unique. Becks can’t dribble well, but his vision and passes are spot on. But everything else about the man shouldn’t make him more then a Professional soccer player.

    Anyways, you all need to wave goodbye to ADU permanently. Theres hundreds of players that have better dribbling skills in South American and Mexican leagues, but their lack in speed and size won’t get them a european contract.

  13. Im hoping Adu earns a spot with Benfica (me being a huge Benfica fan) I want to see him succeed. He has huge potential and is capable of becoming huge in places other than USA if he is coached and developed properly. Dont forget he is still young so hope is no where close to being over for this kid. Benfica has a new coach who is very promisiing and already has Benfica playing great soccer 2 games into preseason so let’s hope Adu starts training soon and is given a fair chance to shine. I have faith and confidence in this kid.

    Forca Benfica and Adu!!!

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