Freddy Adu is one of the most enigmatic players in the United State’s National Team player pool. His inclusion may seem mind-boggling to most, but it is a great move by Bob Bradley.
Bob Bradley is a coach that has shown that loyalty is part of his character. He gave the advice to Adu to find a club and get some minutes. So in January when Freddy Adu moved to Turkey's second division, many fans and critics wrote him off. Bradley certainly did not. He took notice to how Freddy dealt with a very tough situation in Greece with Aris Thessaloniki FC, as the club alienated him and tried to push him out. Bradley also saw Adu listening to his advice to find a situation where he can just get playing time.
Bob Bradley sized Freddy Adu up as a maturing player. He said, “Typically, playing in the second division in Turkey doesn't bring you back into national team contention. He has shown abilities in the past, and we never thought that the story was over with him. There are still challenges for Freddy to show what he is capable of. It is a gut feeling that now is a good time to size him up again."
Bradley is spot on. Freddy Adu is one of the most known soccer players in the United States. He has helped his current club Caykur Rizespor into the promotion playoffs. He may just take them to the Turkish first division before he joins the US National Team. His success may make some cringe, but those are the ones that have written Freddy Adu off as a bust already at the young age of 21. He is still very young and has many years in front of him.
Freddy Adu has a skill set that makes him an exciting offensive player. He made his choice to go to Caykur Rizespor because they would allow him to have the keys to succeed. They allow him to play as a center attacking midfielder instead of a winger. This allows for him to grow using his natural abilities. He has a flare that many players do not have. He has an eye for goal and can distribute to players to kick-start the offense.
Freddy Adu succeeding with this opportunity is a win-win for Adu and the United States National Team. If he proves that he has matured, the US now has a viable option as a sub and someday in the starting 11. He may not be the savior of US soccer like many tagged him as when he was 14, but he still has time to prove himself as a star player.
If Adu succeeds in grabbing this opportunity and making the most of this chance he was given, it will drastically improve his professional situation in the eyes of club teams in Europe. His parent club Benfica may not recall him but an Adu resurrection on the international stage could find him in a better situation. Freddy Adu, if he can prove himself, can be the offensive distributor that the United States has been searching for.
Freddy Adu has played for the United States at many different levels and excelled and shown potential to be a game-changing player at the youth levels. He has not shown this same kind of potential at the senior level but he has also never shown this kind of hunger and maturity in his young seven-year career.
Bob Bradley and Freddy Adu both have something to prove this summer at the Gold Cup. If this test works out, Freddy Adu may prove to be an important factor in the 2014 World Cup cycle and Bob Bradley will continue to pick him.