The Freddy Adu experiment in Philadelphia is officially over.
The Philadelphia Union announced Monday afternoon that they reached a contract termination by mutual consent with the attacker and acquired veteran Brazilian international José Kléberson on loan from Esporte Clube Bahia. Kléberson, a World Cup winner, will join the team as a Designated Player and will occupy an international roster spot pending reception of his P-1 Visa, International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and a medical examination.
The departure of the 23-year-old Adu, who has signed with Bahia, signals the end of a disappointing chapter in his career. Adu joined the Union under former head coach Peter Nowak in August 2011, but only scored seven goals while assisting on two others in 35 league appearances. He did not make a single appearance this season after head coach John Hackworth refused to include him in his plans.
"We would like to thank Freddy Adu for his service to the Union over the past two years and wish him the best of luck as he continues his career in Brazil,” said Hackworth in a statement released by the club.
In the 33-year-old Kléberson, the Union are getting a midfielder with extensive success on the international level. He earned 32 caps with Brazil and featured on their winning teams in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, 2004 Copa América and 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, while also being selected to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Kléberson's career has seen him spend time playing in some of the top leagues around the world. He had stints in the English Premier League, Turkish Süper Lig and Brazilian Série A, while making appearances in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches. He should be a natural fit as a deep-lying central midfielder alongside captain Brian Carroll.
"We’re excited to have a player with his kind of experience join an already talented roster,” Hackworth said. “Kléberson has had success at the world’s highest level of competition – both on a club and international level – and we hope he can add another dimension to our team.”