Adu is only 23 years old and may well have a second and more successful stint in Europe (a la Landon Donovan), but it would be hard to classify Adu’s stint in Europe as anything other than a failure.
The most well-documented of the many youngsters who have suffered as a result of the American hype machine, Adu’s European career spanned five different teams in five seasons.
After signing with Benfica in the summer of 2007, Adu endured four different loan moves—to French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, Portuguese side Belenenses, Greek side Aris and finally second-tier Turkish side Rizespor.
Although he attained some moderate success with Aris and Rizespor, it is notable that Adu could not find a long-term suitor among the seven teams he played with in Europe, including his training stints with German second-division side Ingolstadt and Danish side Randers.
In total, Adu made 34 league starts over four years in Europe, the vast majority coming in the Greek league and the second division in Turkey.
Adu returned to MLS in the fall of 2011.