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What happened to Freddy Adu?

Whatever happened to Freddy Adu? It’s a question we’re often asking. Whatever became of the young man who was tipped not only to be the future of American football, but also to be the next global superstar.

Of course, it didn’t work out like that and now Adu, after a peripatetic existence that has seen him criss cross Europe in search of a stage befitting his talents, is currently playing – albeit infrequently – in Brazil with Bahia. This helpful article fills in most of the gaps in his eventful, but ultimately disappointing career.

Although it seems like the Ghanaian-born footballer has been around for ever, Adu is still only 24-years-old , and therefore still of an age where he must think that his big break may just be around the corner. The signs don’t look  promising though, and with a career trajectory that looks to be on a permanently downward spiral, the fear must be that Adu will be less the poster boy for US soccer and more a reminder of what happens to those we push too hard too soon.

As the article notes, during his early development, US coach Bruce Arena was one of very few to sound a note of caution.

“Freddy’s without a doubt the most talented kid we’ve ever seen at that age,” he said. ”But who knows where he’ll be two years down the road?”

The article concludes, admittedly with the benefit of hindsight, with the following lines:

“It is more than tempting to wonder if, had he been treated with more patience and less constant adulation, the boy from Ghana might be playing for the European giants he still dreams about.”