24 Under 24: #19 Freddy Adu, Philadelphia Union

24 Under 24 (2012): #19 Freddy Adu (IMAGE)

Photo Credit: 
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

19. Freddy Adu

Pos: M | Philadelphia Union | Age: 23

Adu is only now emerging from the roughest patch of his tenure with the Philadelphia Union since signing on last August. First, it was a “team matter” which kept him out of a match earlier this summer. Then he came off the bench for two straight matches, which followed comments he made in the press about being regularly subbed out of games. As the Union continue to take shape under new manager John Hackworth, Adu’s evolving role on the team – both on the field and off it – will continue to make for an intriguing plot line.

What the TDs and coaches like: "His technical ability, his one-on-one ability is where he can beat players … He’s very good in the final third … He has that kind of ability where he can create for himself and also his teammates … When he gets by a player, he’s got good vision and passing ability where he can find the open player … He’s still got the ability to break games for you … Has a good left foot … He is quick enough and he’s technical enough. He can put you through, shoot from distance. He’s very good on free kicks … Freddy is very good technically. Good server of the ball … On the ball, he is [at his] best. Technically he is fantastic. He can beat almost anyone one-on-one.”

Where the TDs and coaches want improvement: “Show consistency … You’ve seen his ability but he needs the consistency of doing it more and more in the final third … Just needs to continue to get more competitive over 90 minutes. He’s grown in that: being more of a 90-minute player … He needs to be a guy that’s going to be a key guy for the team that’s going to score goals and get assists … He needs to have a bigger impact every game with the qualities that he has … Talented but he has to adjust to the league instead of having his teammates adjust to him. His problems now are the same as his problems back then … I still think he can eliminate guys on the dribble, but it’s picking and choosing when he does it and how often he does it. That’s probably the biggest drawback and explains why he’s bounced around in Europe … He needs to play both offense and defense. He shows up on the score sheet more often, but defensively he is still a liability … His coach has to find the best position for him because sometimes he’s on the left, on the right, in the middle. I’m not sure where he is most effective.”

Opta Says: Freddy Adu is tied for fourth in MLS this season with 15 big chances created (only behind Landon Donovan – 18, Felipe and Patrick Nyarko – 17).

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: #6
Fan Ranking: #4
Castrol Index (as of 9/11/12): #178

2012 Stats
Matches played: 20
Matches started: 17
Goals: 3
Assists: 1

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