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Freddy Adu
FreddyAdu 20060614.jpg
Freddy Adu, while with D.C. United, before a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against the Charleston Battery.
Personal information
Full name Fredua Koranteng Adu
Date of birth June 2, 1989 (1989-06-02) (age 20)
Place of birth Tema, Ghana
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Attacking Midfielder, Striker
Club information
Current club Aris Thessaloniki
(on loan from Benfica)
Number 11
Youth career
2002–2003 IMG Soccer Academy
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2006 D.C. United 87 (11)
2006–2007 Real Salt Lake 11 (2)
2007– Benfica 11 (2)
2008–2009 Monaco (loan) 9 (0)
2009 Belenenses (loan) 4 (0)
2010– Aris Thessaloniki (loan) 3 (1)
National team
2002–2003 United States U-17 ? (16)
2003–2009 United States U-20 33 (16)
2008– United States U-23 5 (4)
2006– United States 15 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 February 2010.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 July 2009

Fredua Koranteng "Freddy" Adu (born June 2, 1989) is an American soccer player who currently plays for Aris Thessaloniki in the Greek Super League, on loan from Benfica.

Adu was born in Tema, Ghana, before emigrating to the United States at the age of eight and becoming a citizen in 2003. He also occasionally plays for the United States national team.

He became one of the youngest athletes to sign a professional contract in the United States at the age of fourteen, after he was selected by D.C. United in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. On April 3, 2004, he became the youngest player to appear in a Major League Soccer (MLS) game when he came on as a substitute in a game against the San Jose Earthquakes. Two weeks later, on April 17, he became the youngest scorer in MLS history, scoring a goal in a 3–2 loss to the New York MetroStars.



Adu grew up in the port city of Tema, where he played soccer against men three times his age.[1] When he was eight, his mother won the Green Card Lottery, and his family moved to Rockville, Maryland, United States, where he attended Sequoyah Elementary School. In 2003, he became a U.S. citizen. Soon after arriving in the United States, he was discovered by a local soccer coach and began playing with boys several years older. Adu attended The Heights School, a private school in Potomac, Maryland, for several years.[1] At the age of twelve, Adu helped the Heights School's varsity soccer team win the Maryland state championship in the fall of 2001 in a sudden death penalty kick finish that saw him injured in the last two minutes of play. Adu had skipped two grades, jumping from seventh to ninth, thus qualifying for varsity at such a young age.

While playing with the U.S. Olympic Development Program in an under-14 tournament against the youth squads of such traditionally strong Italian teams as Lazio of Rome and Turin’s Juventus, Freddy’s team won the competition, he led the tournament in scoring, and he was named MVP.[1][2] Adu was noticed by Italian football clubs, including Inter Milan, who discussed a six-figure offer for him that was turned down by his mother on the advice of his agents. He was only ten years old at that time.

At age 12 in January 2002, Adu joined the IMG Soccer Academy, U.S. Soccer's full-time residency program in Bradenton, Florida. He made his professional debut in Major League Soccer in early 2004, at fourteen years of age.

Professional career

Signing with MLS

At the age of fourteen, Adu became the youngest American athlete in over 100 years to sign a major league pro contract in any team sport when he was chosen by D.C. United as the number one overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. He won the MLS Cup title with them later that same year. In order to allow Adu to play close to home, MLS assigned him to D.C. United on November 18, 2003, working a deal with the Dallas Burn, who owned the top pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. Dallas was compensated with a player allocation. Having already signed with D.C. United, Adu effectively became the first player selected in that draft, two months before it officially took place. D.C. United had previously signed American youngsters Bobby Convey in 2000, and Santino Quaranta in 2001—both aged 16 and the youngest player in MLS at the times of being drafted.

D.C. United

Adu in action against Charleston Battery in 2006

On April 3, Adu came on in United's first game of the 2004 season against the San Jose Earthquakes as a second-half substitute, making him the youngest player to appear in United States professional sports since 1887 (the next youngest was fifteen year old Joe Nuxhall, who played Major League Baseball in Cincinnati in 1944). On April 17, at the age of fourteen, Adu scored his first professional goal in the 75th minute of a 3–2 away loss against the MetroStars. He became the youngest player in MLS history ever to score a goal.

In his first season as a pro, Adu finished the year with five goals and three assists, while playing in all 30 regular season games. Although briefly a starter, Adu was relegated to a substitute when D.C. United acquired central midfielder Christian Gómez mid-season, and it was in this role that he appeared in United's MLS Cup victory. He played in three of four playoff games by D.C. United, assisting in one goal during that time.

Adu was criticized from a number of different angles in his first season as a professional. Some soccer commentators have suggested that Adu was too young to be playing professionally and that he needed more time to develop mentally and physically amongst players his own age. In his second season, he was suspended for one game[3] after he complained about his playing time in the media.[4] Continued development, especially of his defensive skills, helped Adu become a starting midfielder during the 2006 season. In addition, Adu had been chosen to take spot kicks during D.C. United's two penalty shootouts—scoring on both attempts.[5][6] He was selected to the MLS All-Star team twice, once as a commissioner's choice and once as the coach's. He was selected to the MLS 2006 semifinals Best XI by SoccerAmerica magazine. In 2005 he was nominated for FIFPRO Young player of the year.[7]

Manchester United trial

"I think so, he's only young but we have known of him for a long time. We tried to get him here some years ago but he signed for DC United and that stopped the progress of us keeping tabs on him."

Sir Alex Ferguson, on the possibility of signing Adu[8]

In February 2006[9] , Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson stated that he was not interested in bringing Adu to Old Trafford. However, it was later reported that Adu was set for a two-week loan, with the possibility of signing with the club during the next transfer window.[8] Without a work permit, Adu was unable to play in a competitive game, and only trained with several players from the Manchester United academy during his two weeks.[10] Ferguson thought highly of him prior to his trial, stating that the club had previously attempted to get Adu prior to his signing with D.C. United.[8]

Real Salt Lake

On December 11, 2006, D.C. United traded Adu and goalkeeper Nick Rimando to Real Salt Lake in exchange for a major allocation, goalkeeper Jay Nolly, and future considerations.[11] Adu made his debut for Real Salt Lake on April 7, 2007, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-2 tie with FC Dallas.[12] He scored his first goal for the club on May 20, 2007, converting a penalty kick in the 68th minute of a 2–1 loss to FC Dallas.[13] Adu went on to score his second goal with Salt Lake from another penalty in a 1–1 tie in an exhibition against Boca Juniors.[14] Adu was also captain of the U-20 United States men's national team in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. After the conclusion of that tournament, Benfica of the Portuguese Liga secured Adu's rights from MLS for a transfer fee of $2 million.


On July 28, 2007, Adu opted out of playing for Real in their regular-season match, and later that day, boarded a plane to Portugal to negotiate with Benfica.[15] On July 30, Benfica issued an official statement announcing that Adu had been transferred to their club.[16] The following day, the signing was completed and he trained with the team in Lisbon.[17]

On August 14, 2007, Adu made his debut with Benfica against FC Copenhagen in a UEFA Champions League qualifying match, coming into the game in the 37th minute as a substitute. It was reported that Benfica's coaching staff was impressed with Adu's skills and attitude in training and were planning to increase the young American's exposure during the autumn.[18]

AS Monaco

In July 2008, Adu joined French club AS Monaco on a season-long loan, with an option to join the Ligue 1 club permanently at the end of the loan. In May 2009, it was reported that Adu would be returning to SL Benfica at the end of the 2008–09 season, as Monaco had declined purchasing the young forward outright.[19]. On July 8, 2009, after participating in the Gold Cup game against Honduras, he returned to Benfica for training.[20]


On August 31, 2009, it was announced that Adu will spend the 2009-10 season on loan at Belenenses.[21] On October 13, Adu made his first league start in Portugal, a 1–0 loss to Nacional. Adu was injured just before half time, and was substituted at the half time interval.[22] On December 29, 2009, the Portuguese daily Record reported that newly-appointed coach Toni released Adu from Belenenses.[23].

Aris Thessaloniki FC

Adu signed an 18-month loan deal with Aris Thessaloniki FC on January 6, 2010[24], where he would meet with fellow USA international Eddie Johnson. He chose number 11 after Leandro Gracián's departure. He made his debut on January 31 and assisted on a 90th minute goal by Johnson. He scored his first goal on February 14 against Ergotelis.[25] Then on February 17 he netted the second goal of a 3—0 win for the black and gold in a semi-final game of the Greek Cup against Skoda Xanthi.[26]

International career

Adu has played for the United States in five international youth tournaments: the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland, the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates, the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands, the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, and the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Adu was called into the national team's training camp by coach Bruce Arena in January 2006 for a friendly match against Canada. Adu was capped in that game on January 22 (at 16 years and 234 days), becoming the youngest player to debut with the U.S. national team when he replaced an injured Eddie Johnson in the 81st minute at the University of San Diego's Torero Stadium in San Diego, California.

In January 2007 Adu captained the United States U-20 men's national team as it qualified for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada. By playing in the 2007 tournament finals, held from June to July, Adu became only the second player in the world to play in three FIFA U-20 World Cups.[27] On July 3, 2007, Adu scored a hat-trick in U.S.'s 6–1 victory over Poland in the group stage of the tournament. This accomplishment made him the first player to ever score a hat trick in both the U-20 and U-17 World Cups.[28] In the following 2–1 victory over Brazil Adu assisted on both USA goals by Jozy Altidore.[29]

Adu was invited by the general secretary of FIFA to participate in the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw as the North American representative on November 25, 2007, in Durban, South Africa. However, the ceremony conflicted with his Benfica game schedule and he was not able to attend.[30]

Adu made his first start for the senior international team in a friendly against South Africa on November 17, 2007.

Adu helped lead the U-23 men's national team in its campaign to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. He scored two goals from free kicks in the USA's 3–0 win over Canada in the semifinals of the tournament, which ultimately qualified them for the Olympics along with Honduras. He scored four goals in total in the three games in which he played, leading all players in scoring, and was selected to the tournament Best XI.[31]

Adu appeared as a substitute in an international friendly against England on May 28, 2008, which resulted in a 2–0 loss. The following week, on June 4, Adu started against Spain in a game the US lost 1–0. Adu then appeared as a substitute in the USA's game against Argentina at Giants Stadium which ended in a 0–0 tie. Adu played in both legs of the 2nd round qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup against Barbados on June 8 and June 22, 2008, starting in the latter. He provided the assist on Eddie Lewis' goal, the lone goal in the 2nd leg of the United States 1–0 victory (9–0 aggregate) in Barbados.

On July 15, 2008, Adu was named to the 18-man squad that represented the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[32] Adu played in the first two games of group play against Japan and Netherlands. He assisted on a Sacha Kljestan goal in the Netherlands match, but he, as well as teammate Michael Bradley, was then suspended for the final game of group play against Nigeria after each player earned his second yellow card of group play late in the Netherlands match.[33] The US team was eliminated from the Olympics after falling to Nigeria.[34]

Adu scored his first international goal (at 19 years and 170 days) as a member of the full U.S. national squad on a free kick in a November 19, 2008, World Cup qualifier against Guatemala.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 November 19, 2008 United States Dick's Sporting Goods Park  Guatemala 2-0 2-0 2010 World Cup Qualifying Third Round
2 July 4, 2009 United States Qwest Field  Grenada 1-0 4-0 2009 Gold Cup


D.C. United


Career statistics

Correct as of February 18, 2010.
Club performance League Cup League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
USA League Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup League Cup Total
2004 D.C. United Major League Soccer 30 5 1 0 31 5
2005 25 4 2 1 27 5
2006 32 2 2 0 34 2
2007 Real Salt Lake 11 2 0 0 11 2
Portugal League Cup of Portugal Portuguese League Cup Total
2007–08 Benfica Portuguese Liga 11 2 6 3 3 3 20 8
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Total
2008–09 Monaco (loan) Ligue 1 9 0 1 0 1 0 11 0
Portugal League Cup of Portugal Portuguese League Cup Total
2009–10 Belenenses (loan) Portuguese Liga 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
Greece League Greek Football Cup Greek League Cup Total
2009–10 Aris Thessaloniki (loan) Super League Greece 3 1 1 1 4 2
Total USA 98 13 5 1 103 14
Portugal 14 2 6 3 4 3 24 8
France 9 0 1 0 1 0 11 0
Greece 3 1 1 1 4 2
Career Total 121 16 13 5 4 3 142 24

Personal life

Adu dated American singer JoJo from May 2005 until September 2006.[35] A Washington Post article in November 2006 reported that the couple split after one year. JoJo mentioned on American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest that she and Adu were still good friends.[36]

Adu is sponsored by Nike Total 90.

Adu's younger brother, Fro Adu, currently plays soccer for George Mason University.[37]

Adu's favorite team as a child was Tottenham Hotspur, and he has expressed a desire to join the club in the future.[38]


  1. ^ a b c Wahl, Grant (3 March 2003). "Who's Next? Freddy Adu At 13, America's soccer prodigy has the world at his feet". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 11 May 2008. 
  2. ^ La Canfora, Jason (24 August 2001). "A 12-Year-Old's Amazing Feat". The Washington Post: pp. A01. 
  3. ^ "Fire, Adu-less United go scoreless in playoffs opener". 2005-10-21. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  4. ^ "Upset over playing time, Adu hints at leaving United". 2005-10-18. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  5. ^ "Looking back: Unforgettable in every way". 2005-05-11. Retrieved 2006-09-27. 
  6. ^ "FC Dallas use shootout to boot out D.C.". 2005-08-24. Retrieved 2006-09-27. 
  7. ^ "FIFPro Young Player Award nominations announced". 2005-08-18. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  8. ^ a b c "Ferguson confirms interest in Adu". BBC Sport. 10 November 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  9. ^ "Ferguson denies interest in Adu". BBC Sport. 13 February 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Adu starts two-week Man Utd trial". BBC Sport. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  11. ^ "Ready for Freddy! Real Salt Lake acquires teen phenom Freddy Adu from D.C. United". 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  12. ^ "Match Tracker: FC Dallas v. Real Salt Lake". 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  13. ^ "Match Tracker: Real Salt Lake v. FC Dallas". 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  14. ^ "Freddy Adu still in Benfica's sights". AP. 25 July 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2008. 
  15. ^ Major League Soccer: News: Article
  16. ^
  17. ^ Adu is going, going,...GONE ! (to Portugal)
  18. ^ The soccer stock report - World Soccer - Yahoo! Sports
  19. ^ Adu to return to Portugal's Benfica, 8 May 2009
  20. ^ Adu Returns to Portugal Soccer365, 9 July 2009
  21. ^
  22. ^ Adu's first Belenenses start lasts 45 minutes, Sports Illustrated, 13 October 2009,, retrieved 13 October 2009 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ - Pato and Adu on top
  28. ^ - Goal feast in the east
  29. ^ The Official Site of U.S. Soccer
  30. ^ Wasserman Media Group
  31. ^ Concacaf
  32. ^ 2008 U.S. Olympic Men's Soccer Team
  33. ^ "U.S. Ties Netherlands 2-2 Forcing Pivotal Match Wednesday Against Nigeria". U.S. Soccer. 2008-08-10. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  34. ^ "Down to 10 Men After Three Minutes, Valiant U.S. Effort Falls Short as 2-1 Loss to Nigeria Knocks Them Out of 2008 Olympics". 2008-08-13. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  35. ^ Argetsinger A, Roberts R (2006-06-02). "Freddy Adu Celebrates a Sweet 17". Washington Post. p. C03. Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  36. ^ Argetsinger A, Roberts R (2006-11-22). "Kramer's Tirade, Adding Insult to Inaccuracy. Love,etc.". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23. 
  37. ^ "Player Bio: Fro Adu :: Men's Soccer". George Mason Patriots. CBS College Sports Network. 
  38. ^ Bailey, Richard (2008-12-04), Adu reveals Spurs wish, Sky Sports,,19528,11661_4589542,00.html#, retrieved 2008-12-04 

External links

Simple English

Freddy Adu
Personal information
Full name Fredua Koranteng Adu
Date of birth 2 June 1989 (1989-06-02) (age 21)
Place of birth    Tema, Ghana
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Aris Thessaloniki
Number 11
Senior clubs
Years Club
DC United
Real Salt Lake
Monaco (loan)
Os Belenenses (loan)
Aris Thessaloniki (loan)
National team
2006-2009 United States

Freddy Adu (born 2 June 1989) is an American soccer player from Ghana. He plays for Aris Thessaloniki and United States national team.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League CupLeague CupTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
United StatesLeague Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup League CupTotal
2004DC UnitedMajor League Soccer30510-315
2007Real Salt LakeMajor League Soccer11100-111
PortugalLeague Cup of Portugal Portuguese League CupTotal
2007/08BenficaPortuguese Liga1126333208
FranceLeague Coupe de France Coupe de la LigueTotal
2008/09MonacoLigue 1901010110
PortugalLeague Cup of Portugal Portuguese League CupTotal
2009/10Os BelenensesPortuguese Liga30001040
GreeceLeague Greek Football Cup Greek League CupTotal
2009/10Aris ThessalonikiSuper League
CountryUnited States 981251-10313
Portugal 1426343248
France 901010110
Greece 00000000
Total 121141245313821

International career statistics

United States national team


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