Many people would consider Freddy Adu’s MLS season, with his five goals and one assist, a failure. Many will point out that he does not command an automatic starting position on the Philadelphia Union, and if he can’t win a consistent starting role on an MLS team, why should USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann be bothered to be called up Adu to the full national team?
However, there is another side to the story. Simply watching this video shows that Adu’s paltry one assist this season has far more to do with his teammates inability to finish than it does Adu’s ability to create. And seeing how the USMNT has been devoid of attacking creativity in many of its recent matches, another look at Adu may be in order.
In Bob Bradley’s last games in charge of the USMNT, he called Adu up for the 2011 Gold Cup. In the tournament, when Adu finally saw the field, he was brilliant, setting up many chances for his teammates. However, after the tournament, Bradley was fired and Adu has not seen another call-up. While the upcoming high-stakes World Cup qualifiers may not be the time to experiment, certainly the November friendly in Russia and the January camp would be a good time to try and re-integrate Adu back in the USMNT picture.
John D. Halloran