Posted February 26, 2014

Wynalda: NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks interested in signing Freddy Adu

Freddy Adu, Grant Wahl, NASL, U.S. Soccer
Eric Wynalda

Atlanta Silverbacks manager Eric Wynalda is interested in bringing Freddy Adu to the NASL club. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

The NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks are interested in signing Freddy Adu, Atlanta technical director Eric Wynalda tells SI.com.

Adu, the one-time sensation who became MLS’s highest-paid player at age 13 in 2003, has been training at English second-tier club Blackpool. But Blackpool announced on Wednesday that it will not be signing Adu, 24, who has played for nine clubs in 10 years.

Atlanta was the runner-up last year in the NASL, the U.S. second-tier league, falling to the New York Cosmos in the Soccer Bowl. The two sides open the 2014 season against one another, with former Cosmos and Brazil great Pele — Adu was hyped as “The Next Pele” in some circles  – slated to be in attendance for the April 13 curtain-raiser.

“I think he can still play at a high level,” Wynalda, who will be managing the team on game days, says of Adu. “He proved to me he was capable of that against Mexico in the Gold Cup final [in 2011]. His ego can’t get in the way because the level will be questioned, but he needs to find a team that wants him, and I want him.”

Adu’s last team was Brazil’s Bahia, which did not renew his contract at the end of 2013. Though Adu has yet to establish consistency at the club level, he has had some positive moments playing for U.S. national teams, including in the 2011 Gold Cup. He started the ’11 final against Mexico and was one of the best U.S. players in a 4-2 defeat. He has not played for the U.S. senior side since, though he did take part in the 2012 Olympic qualifying effort with the U-23 side.

6 comments
AndrewBrown1
AndrewBrown1

This is a terrible idea. The US lower divisions do not suit his game. If you're a skill player you better be 6' tall and thick or you're going to get your legs broken. Freddy was never a 'hustle' player. The NASL and USL-Pro are all about running like a chicken with your head cut off for 90 minutes. He should head for a lower division Mexican team. 

Davos1
Davos1

This is what we call hitting rock bottom. Going from the American Pele to playing along side guys making 20k a year who have second jobs.

JohnHoward
JohnHoward

Grant, a minor correction. Adu is 40, not 24.