Can Freddy Adu make the World Cup team?

The 2010 World Cup is 111 days away and, at the moment, the U.S. national team has its share of questions.

Will Clint Dempsey, Oguchi Onyewu and Charlie Davies be healthy enough to contribute? Will there be room on the roster for Brian Ching, Jose Francisco Torres or Edgar Castillo? Will Jermaine Jones get healthy and pull on a U.S. shirt sometime this year?

While all of these questions are important to the red, white and blue’s trip to South Africa, it may be time to ask another one:

Can Freddy Adu win a spot on the plane?

Adu is a polarizing figure in American soccer. A quick scan of a message board or comment list on any story involving him reveals a wide swath of opinions.

Depending on the perspective, he’s over-hyped, under-used, immature, waiting to explode or either the greatest hope or disappointment in the last five years.

He’s bounced around some, to be sure. He’s been on six different clubs since 2004, never scoring more than eight goals in a season – a number that’s a bit light for a player that favors flair over defensive effort.

His national team showings have been hot and cold, including a goal in the opening game of the 2009 Gold Cup, followed by a lifeless effort in the second game.

Considering the glut of options the U.S. has at his position – Landon Donovan, Dempsey, Torres, Benny Feilhaber and so on – it’s easy to overlook Adu.

But there are reasons not to do so.

He’s made four starts for Aris since his loan move from Portugal last month. In those starts – three league matches and one more in the Greek Cup – he’s netted two goals and added two assists, including one to fellow American vagabond Eddie Johnson.

So what, some might say.

It’s a fairly new league, but the Greek Super League ranked 10th in the UEFA coefficient at the end of last season, squarely between Russia and the Czech Republic.

Is it the same as Donovan standing out in the EPL? No.

But his form is better than it has been in a long time.

It’s tough to remember than the guy can’t buy a beer here yet. He’s won’t turn 21 until a few days before the World Cup.

As a guy that’s been under a microscope since he was a teenager, it’s possible that he had some growing up to do. It’s possible that he’s only now discovering the path to success relies less on talent than it does on hard work.

He’s got eight league matches left and Aris is also still alive in the Greek Cup, so there will be another match or two before the season winds up in mid-April.

Is that enough time to turn Bob Bradley’s head?

If he continues to score goals in Greece – a talent that might be in short supply when the U.S. team plane takes off for Africa – can we afford to leave him off?

His Twitter feed, the source of some angst among members of Sam’s Army, had an interesting entry on the day of the World Cup draw:

“Im gonna say something right now. I have never wanted to be a part of something as bad as i wanna be in this world cup. Work and prayer”

Maybe he wasn’t kidding.

Is he deserving?

Time will tell.

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19 Responses to Can Freddy Adu make the World Cup team?

  1. Deron says:

    Can sizzle and smell make you feel full?

    Everyone scores in Greece.

  2. Adam Edg says:

    I want to want Freddy as a member of the USMNT. Too bad he’s never shown up for a game with the senior squad. Maybe he is finally maturing. A trip to the hinterlands of European football (aka nobody club in Greece) may have been what the doctor ordered. Maybe it’s time for another look…

  3. Charles says:

    Can he make the World Cup team ?
    Sure, but not in 2010.

  4. AngelUSAfan says:

    We all been really hard on this kid for a long time. Remember that this kid was great in the U17 & U20 he was the main guy. With the USNMT he is just another kid who is behind of Donovan, Dempsey & Beasley. It is hard for him to start because Bob Bradley feel comfortable with this guy and even tho Adu has the skill to control the tempo like Torres does is not Bob Bradley style of playing. I think now that Adu is getting playing time and Bob Bradley said it bofore that “Adu need more playing time” He will call him up for the USNMT. Plus he is way better than Robbie Rogers. Bob Bradley took him to the Confederation Cup along with Torres why not take him this time again. My guess is that Bob Bradley will take more midfielders in to this world cup instead to Forwards Cause he can use Donovan, Dempsey, Beasley or Adu as a Forward. I think Adu is going..

  5. evan eleven says:

    if he keeps playing sharp and scoring i think he could be a great option as super-sub, maybe better than Rogers, Torres or Beasley…

  6. Steve says:

    We have enough spots to bring Adu and not nessicarrily play him. I think just being part of the squad will be important for him. Remember, he’s only 20. How many of us were even close to doing what he’s done from age 14-20. He’s finally gaining maturity and learning that his skills can’t carry him forever. I think he’ll make it this year somehow and in 2014, he’ll tear it up. Come on Adu, get yourself together.

  7. Music says:

    Adu has consistently been one of the best players for the USMNT when he’s gotten on the pitch. His great performances against Spain and Argentina stand out clearly. The only reason he hasn’t been getting call ups is because of lack of playing time. Now that he’s back on the pitch, he should be back contributing for the national team.

  8. Eric Altshule says:

    I am thrilled Adu is getting some playing time finally. However, two goals and a few starts in the Greek league does not qualify him for anything yet. The fact that he has spent the past three years floating around the Iberian peninsula going nowhere has some meaning. Until he can play for a full season somewhere consistently and show how he can perform in a variety of settings, he really is not on the radar for something like the World Cup.

  9. return of dude says:

    This guy was caught in a vicious cycle for a long time. He couldn’t get a sniff for his European teams, regardless of how he played in limited minutes (he did get a few goals for Benfica, and earned a PK for Monaco by juking the bejesus out of a Juventus defender). Because of this, Bob didn’t play him much; but then, Bob frowns at offensive potential that he can’t quite measure. Basically, nobody had confidence in him, and he grew rusty and desperate.

    Who knows, maybe it’s for the best, as he now seems to be highly motivated. But denying him when he’s playing well and scoring goals (which none of the players in camp currently are doing) is both impractical and mean spirited. Give him hefty minutes against the Netherlands while injuries are heavy. If we don’t believe in him, why should the world believe our next crop of “prodigies” are worth a damn.

  10. jleau says:

    Is this even a serious question? No, he has no business on the WC roster. Is inability to get a game for 2 years far outweighs the last month.

  11. Gene Williams says:

    Two goals and two assists in less than a week. Name one other US player who can say the same. Give him a chance!!

  12. dennycrane says:

    His biggest mistake was signing of the MSL, instead of letting Sir Alex take him under his wing. By now, we would know if he had it.

  13. hawk says:

    he’s not a forward of a midfielder. freddy is a player! Donavan didn’t learn how to play until the last couple of years.

  14. Slate says:

    You know what? I say the US team should give Freddy a chance. What’s the worst that could happen? The team loses. Hopefully, this will not be the case if he’s picked to go to South Africa…; but we should also remember that some of the greatest sport victories and triumphs manifested themselves as a result of giving a chance to a player who the once downtroden but now elevated team thought was not good enough but nevertheless gave an improbable player a chance to not only succeed for himself but to put the team on the world’s map. I say again, I urge you to give Freddy a chance. Please incorporate Freddy into the 2010 pick so that through a team effort we will be able to witness history. Think about it for a minute. America will win this summer’s world cup. What a picture to embrace in the mind and to eventually be realized in the final game. I accentuate: give a chance a chance because chances involves risk and we all know that life is nothing but taking risks and hoping for the best. Peace out.

  15. Soccer from the NASL says:

    So many people are missing Freddy’s vision. He see’s the game in the way I have seen only a hand full of players. His passing weight is matched only by Donovans, as far as American players go. He has been given an unbelievable gift. I believe he will make all of the critics, believers if given the chance on this team. His creativity is sorely missing from the U.S. squad. Dempsy wants to be the kind of player that Freddy was born to be. Wake up Bradly. This is our chance to not be humiliated, as we were in the last World Cup. Don’t forget Benny as well. Another player who knows how to show up for big matches. As Pele said in his fairwell speech,,,,,LOVE.

  16. First of all, the guy still can’t drink legally in the USA yet.

    The real issue is that Don Garber has Bradley on speed dial, texts him incessantly, and is always trying to get him on IM crying about lack of MLS representation on his squad.

    Bradley, however, remembers fondly the 5-1 destruction of his MLS squad by Mexico in the Gold Cup last summer – the last time he caved to Garber demands.

    Stand up Bob. MLS imposes mediocrity on it’s own teams, and guarantees pt. Freddy has had to fight for every second. Give the kid a chance.

  17. edem keane soshie says:

    It unfortunate a talent in the person of Adu is being left to fade out.i think Adu deserves a place in the usa team at the world cup b’cos there was no player of his calibre in the team at the last world cup. .Eventhough he refused to play for ghana,we still love and support him,besides ghana is abound with better tallent than him.I wish him the best of luck.

  18. Leonard Nicholson says:

    I still believe that freddy Adu is a much better player that given credit. If you do not play him how else will we ever see his greatness. I do not know how Landon Donavon made this US Team. He has passed his prime. It was a sure example of what that German Team did to Australia. Sad to say this Us Team will not make it out of the conference and remember I said so!

  19. Henry W. Hilger says:

    It seems that everyone thinks Adu was or is a gifted soccer player. He was unable to be productive as a player with the team who purched his services, consequantially was transfered to Monaco, then played with club Ari in Portugal, and not even a low rated Swiss club wanted his services, that pretty much tells you what he is worth as a player.Eventhough he has some skill, but not of what is required of in a professional league. Rest assured, in Europe you have always scouts an the scene to look for players, but Adu just could never impress them enough to be even recommended. He would do well in MLS, which compared to Europe is equivalent to a 3rd division. We have youth player in Europe, much better than Adu ever was or will be. Send him back to the USA and let him be a STAR there.

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