When Freddy Adu was 13 years old he was the highest paid player in MLS. Now he is having trouble catching on at any club. With rumors that Adu could return to the States a move to the NASL, the second-tier league in the U.S., makes perfect sense. His presence would be a public relations win for the team that signs him and it would allow Adu to play without pressure.
Many pipe dreams have had Adu coming back to a team in New York with NYCFC coming into MLS next year and the New York Cosmos rebirth in the NASL. The Cosmos took the NASL title after starting play last fall. However, Sports Illustrated reported today that the Atlanta Silverbacks, 2013 NASL runner ups, are interested in Adu.
Atlanta technical director and former USMNT player Eric Wynalda expressed interest sighting Adu’s efforts in the 2011 Gold Cup and knowing that ego is not a problem. Adu’s abilities will continued to be questioned given his nine clubs over the last ten years. Wynalda, who will manage the Silverbacks on game day, said that Adu needs to go where he is wanted and he wants him.
Atlanta and New York face each other on opening day this year and Pele is expected to be in attendance. Adu was once touted as the next Pele. The Cosmos signed Pele in 1975 and he played with them for two years until retirement. Meanwhile Adu was recently training with Blackpool but was not offered a contract. He made four appearances with Brazilian side Bahia in 2013.
If Wynalda wants Adu that means a contract for the player in need of one. He can take his time learning the team and only be accountable to them. Over the years he surely felt the pressure that went with the hype that was created. Now is the time to take an opportunity with less pressure and try to find his game once more. It is also good that Wynalda does enough to steal the spotlight already. Adu would have a chance to just play in the NASL, especially Atlanta.