By Jack Beresford
Big things were expected of Freddy Adu after he made his Major League Soccer debut as a precocious 14-year-old way, way back in 2003.
Optimistically dubbed the ‘New Pele’, Adu was supposedly the prodigal son supposed to take US Men’s National Team to the next level. The attacking midfielder even earned a two-week trial at Manchester United where he impressed Alex Ferguson.
“Freddy has done all right,” Ferguson said at the time. “He is a talented boy. He’ll go back to the US and we’ll keep a check on him. When he is 18, we will have to assess what we can do next.”
Fast forward almost 15 years, however, and it’s fair to say things haven’t quite worked out for Freddy (or Team USA, for that matter).
The US are preparing to sit out their first World Cup since 1986, while Adu has endured a nomadic footballing career that took in short spells with Benfica, Monaco, Bahia in Brazil, Jagodina in Serbia and Finnish side KuPS.
Forget Pele – Adu has basically become a well-travelled Trevor Benjamin.
Arguably the most humiliating chapter in the ‘Freddy Adu: Fall From Grace’ saga came earlier this year when the American rejected a move to Polish side Sandecja Nowy Sacz after the club’s manager, Radosław Mroczkowski, forgot the 28-year-old’s name a day or two after his arrival and then branded Adu an “old vacuum cleaner” in a bizarre introductory press conference.
The next chapter in the continuing story sees our Freddy returning to Scandinavian football for a third time. Indeed, according to Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet, Adu is closing in on a move to Oskarshamns Allmänna Idrottsklubb.
The forward had previously been linked with IFK Gothenburg and Syrianska FC – both far bigger prospects in the grand scheme of things – but may have to settle for a move to Oskarshamns AIK, down in the Swedish third tier.
Should the deal go through as expected, it would mark Adu’s 14th club in an increasingly underwhelming career.
Founded back in 1924, with a stadium boasting a capacity of 2,000, Oskarshamns AIK most notable former players include Amar Drndo, Viktor Niklasson and Kawaar Betkari.
No, us neither.