Originally posted on Philly Sports Live  |  Last updated 10/28/12
As many of you have probably heard by now, it would seem as if Freddy Adu has played his final match as a Philadelphia Union player.  After being left out of the 18 man roster for both the match against Sporting Kansas City and the last match of the season against the Red Bulls yesterday afternoon, it is pretty clear that Manager John Hackworth is making a statement saying something along the lines of, ‘you have no place with this team.’  Dealing with consistency issues as well as being a disruptive force in the locker room, Adu has apparently run out of any form of faith the Union may have had left in him.  The question is, are the Union better off without him?  I don’t think so. While the numbers may not show it; the Union have 12 goals for and 18 against when he starts, while they are an even 13 and 13 when he doesn’t, Freddy Adu is tremendous at one thing, creating chances.  As an attacking midfielder who has played at right wing for most of the season, Adu has been a constant thorn in opposing defenses sides with his amazing footwork that has helped create many a goal this past season.  Sure, Adu is not the most defensive player that will evert take the pitch, but offensively, he has made things happen. When it comes to talking about Freddy Adu, the biggest point that comes about his play is his so called lack of consistency.  Sure, Adu has been inconsistent at times, but can’t you say that about any player?  There is not one athlete who plays at the same level of consistently every week.  It’s just not possible, and this is the case with Freddy.  No one is yelling at Messi or Ronaldo when they have an off day.  It is only because of the giant expectations that were heaped upon Freddy that his level of play keeps getting brought up. The Union have also tried to make it very clear that they want Adu to be a 90 minute player, but in the 24 games he played this past season, Adu only went 90 minutes in five of them.  If the Union wanted him to play 90 minutes so badly, why not put a little more faith in him and have him finish more games?  It’s impossible to say whether or not he would have contributed to more wins had he played all 90, but I’m guessing he might have.  Even three quarters of the way through a match, Adu has a presence on the field that is unmatched by most of the players that take the field along side him. As far as Adu’s supposed attitude and “disruptive behavior” inside the locker room; it’s not about what happens off the field, it’s about what happens when that whistle blows to start the match.  Every single team in every single sport have a player or two who may not be the most well liked guy in the locker room.  Maybe they don’t socialize or hang out with the team on off days, but who cares?  As long as you have chemistry on the field, that’s what matters.  Adu’s teammates sure seem to like him well enough when he scores goals. Unloading Freddy, which is going to be tough with his guaranteed $519,000 dollar salary, will leave the Union with another void in an already defunct offense.  Sure, you can play Keon Daniel, Zach Pfeffer or Jimmy McLaughlin in his place; all of those players have shown promise in the position, but Adu is a veteran who is already known for his playmaking.  The only advantage of moving Adu is the possibility of getting rid the financial strain his contract brings to the Union.  With that money, the Union could more easily afford a veteran striker, something Philadelphia strongly needs. Give Freddy another chance next season though, at least during the transfer period.  Give him a few 90 minute starts.  If you’re still not impressed, send him away during the window;, at least you gave him another chance.  Right now, all the Union and Hackworth are doing is giving up on a player who while considered a “veteran,” is still just 23 years old and has a whole lot more to offer. sources: www.philly.com picture: Soccer by Ives (Thanks to Richard McGovern for helping with the statistical information)
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