Freddy Adu’s signing with Finnish team Kuopion Palloseura (KuPS) was supposed to rejuvenate his ailing career. It was a move that was supposed to remove the haters and critics, and once again put them on the side of support. That has not happened.
Four months since signing with his eleventh club, KuPS, Adu is nearing the exit door. Although the club haven’t said his time is nearly up, their actions have spoken loudly.
Unfit and unable to even make the bench for KuPS, Adu has found himself in the team’s reserve squad. The club’s reserve team, Kuopio Futis-98 (KuFu), currently play in the fourth-tier of Finnish soccer and it is a place Adu is expected to find some semblance of form in. Yet, that hasn’t exactly happened.
“Freddy is apparently nowhere near match-fit and the coach has refused to put him on the bench,” Finnish soccer blogger Rich Nelson told World Soccer Talk. “Despite some gentle encouragement from the board.”
While Adu’s play for KuPS has been nothing to write home about, he did tally his first goal for KuFu a week ago. It was Adu’s first goal since September 2012 while playing for the Philadelphia Union. And since arriving, Adu has shown very little of what made him so sought after a few years ago.
“From what I saw of his early games, he seemed to still have the occasional moment of class and excellent set-pieces,” explained Nelson. “But yes, definitely out of shape.”
Now forced into the reserve side by coach Marko Rajamaki, Adu may be the most well paid Finnish soccer player. The former media proclaimed “next Pele”, who was playing for the USA in the CONCACAF Gold Cup this time four years ago, is thought to be the owner’s signing. Hence, another reason Rajamaki has forced Adu into the reserves and the board’s considerable nudging to get the American back into the first team.
“I don’t know what his wage is, but I understand there’s a structured element based on games, goals, etc,” Nelson stated. “The average monthly income for a Veikkausliiga [Finnish first division] player is around €1800 a month ($2000). So, I’d bet he’s on a lot more than that.”
Adu’s chances of playing in the United States, if he wants to, are probably still quite high. Although, it is assumed that many Major League Soccer teams will think twice before signing the former child prodigy after his last stint with the Union. The North American Soccer League could be a place for Adu, but that is if his time in Finland has already run out.
Regardless, Adu’s not helped himself and someday soon, ESPN 30 for 30 will tell us all where it went wrong.
Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @Calciofarmer. Drew Farmer is a Manchester, England-based journalist/blogger that writes for MLSGB and World Soccer Talk. Drew has contributed to Forza Italian Football, Bleacher Report and Soccerly. Originally from southwest Missouri, Drew covers Italy’s Serie A, English football and USA soccer.
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