Hackworth: Adu's injury healing "slower than we hoped"

CHESTER, Pa. – This past Sunday, Freddy Adu enjoyed one of his best games as a member of the Philadelphia Union, scoring two goals in a 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo before coming out with a quad strain.

Now the question is whether Adu will be healthy enough to duplicate that for the Union’s next game, a Saturday contest vs. the Crew at Columbus Crew Stadium (7:30 pm ET; watch LIVE online).

During his weekly press conference Wednesday, Union manager John Hackworth sounded hopeful but not enthused.

“Freddy is coming along slower than we would have hoped,” Hackworth said. “Hopefully Freddy can be available by Saturday but we’re not going to push it. He was able to get through a full workout today but he’s a little behind where we thought he’d be.”

Following Sunday’s game, Adu was both frustrated and excited – frustrated that a good performance was cut short but excited that he got his brace from a position he’s comfortable in.

READ: Snakebit Adu admits his frustrations following injury

Against the Dynamo, Adu played more centrally up top in a 4-4-2, rather than out wide in a 4-3-3, where he’s been for most of the year.

“I’m happy for Freddy, that he got to play that role he likes to play,” Hackworth said. “But I don’t care where he is on the field. He needs to play on that same level all the time. He knows that. I’m happy to see that and I hope to see it again on Saturday.”

GOAL: Adu puts away the penalty

It’s no secret that Adu’s tenure in Philly has been somewhat rocky and that he’s faced some harsh criticism this season and last. But if he’s able to get healthy and string a few more consistent performances together to close the season, will fans be singing a different tune heading into next year?

“I’ve known Freddy for a long time and I still think he has more to add to his game and his career, overall,” Hackworth said. “There’s always a lot written about him and a lot of the time, the expectations are a little unfair.

“This is now a season in which he has had consistent playing time and where he’s had some good performances. Being the first time he’d had that in his ten-year career, he can build on that – not only this season but in 2013.”

Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at djzeitlin@gmail.com.