Freddy Adu
Getty Images

American Exports: Adu, Rizespor stay in 2nd division

It was a day of disappointment for two Americans playing for promotion to the top flight leagues in Turkey and the Netherlands.

Freddy Adu and Rizespor hosted the second leg of their playoff final against Oduspor with a 4-0 mountain to climb but failed to chip away at the lead with the visitors netting the first two goals in a 3-3 tie.

Adu, who is on loan from Benfica, played the 90 minutes and now heads to Cary, N.C., to join the US national team camp for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

With Rizespor stuck in the second division for another season, it is unclear what Adu’s future holds in store with Benfica holding his contract through the end of the upcoming European season.

Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond Sport’s hopes of earning promotion to the Dutch Eredivisie suffered a severe blow after a heavy 5-1 defeat at home against a dominant Excelsior side in the first leg of the promotion/relegation playoff final.

Kazlauskas played just one half and left Helmond Sport down 1-0 at the break. The changes on the back line did not help much as visiting Excelsior went on to score four goals in the second half for a nearly insurmountable lead heading into the second leg on Sunday.

Life didn’t get any easier for two Americans anchored to the bottom of the Swedish Allsvenskan. Ryan Miller played a full 90 for last-place Halmstads BK in a 2-1 home loss to middle-of-the-table IFK Göteborg. The visitors were boosted by a brace from Tobias Hysén, including the game-winner with nine minutes remaining.

Just above Halmstads in second-to-last place in the Swedish table but with the same measly point total are Djurgårdens, who also lost at home to Elfsborg on Thursday. Despite Gale Agbossoumonde’s 90 minutes in central defense, the Blue Stripes were shut out 1-0 and still have just one win in 10 matches. Meanwhile, Elfsborg moved within a point of first place.

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.