Freddy Adu is free right now. According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, two MLS sides are offering him trials. That's how far he's fallen from the glory of 2004-2006. His last start was with the Philadelphia Union in 2012, and since then he's faded even further. With Brazilian club Bahia and Serbian side FK Jagodina, he played a total of 168 all-competitions minutes.
He's cheap, and yet there is still promise. At only 25 he has a history as a good MLS player with a few great USMNT moments, who failed almost totally and completely in Europe and South America. The list of clubs is long - Rizespor, Aris (with Eddie Johnson), Belenenses, Monaco, Benfica, Real Salt Lake, D.C. United, as well as previously listed clubs.
That list should include the Seattle Sounders. Not because of nostalgia, not because I wrote the same thing in 2009.
Adrian, Garth and Sigi should bring Adu in on trial for a minimum value contract, maybe with some incentives, because he fits an on-field need and this organization can help him end his career with trophies and with a glimmer of that hype he once had.
The reasons he fits are multiple;
- Seattle needs another winger, his most common position in the last few years.
- Sigi Schmid coached Adu on the 2005 U20 World Cup Roster.
- Three former Sounders (Ianni, Sturgis, Ochoa) and two current (Evans, Barrett) played with him then.
- As Likkit notes in comments he played with Evans, Marshall, Cooper and Perkins in the 2009 Gold Cup, including scoring in a certain CenturyLink Field.
- Dempsey and Hahnemann know him from 2010 World Cup Qualifying.
- Clint also played with him at the 2011 Gold Cup.
- Sounders have "rescued" careers of other MLS->Europe->MLS players (EJ, Pappa).
- They also "fixed" players that were considered finished by previous teams (Rosales, Pineda, and Ochoa).
- His signing here would be less of a story in Seattle than it would be outside of Seattle, since he wouldn't be close to the most famous player on the team.
- Sounders 2 would give him the opportunity to earn playing time
Seattle does not need to get into a financial bidding war. It would be silly to do so. Seattle has other options for trialing wingers in Kamper and Cohen. If Adu gives any indications of not being humble, the Sounders' leadership moves on quickly.
They do not need a second chance. He needs a fourth chance (fifth? sixth?). But in Seattle there is a professionalism to the organization, a rather soft media in general, familiar players/coaches and an opportunity.
Will a nearly 26-year-old flame-out be the answer in 2015? Almost certainly not, but it was only 2011 when his promise was fully displayed with the USA. He has years of play left in his legs, and Seattle has 39-50 first team games and a couple dozen second team games this year.
If there is a better fit out there, he can find it. But this is a place where he does fit, if he'd accept the tiniest of contracts and the chance to join a list of players who made their money with and after their time in Seattle.