Freddy Adu (full name:Fredua Koranteng Adu) (born June 2, 1989
in Tema) is a Ghanaian born American who has gained fame for his
prodigious soccer talent. At the age of 10, he was offered a six
figure contract from Inter Milan of Italy. At the age of 14, he
signed a professional contract with the D.C. United Major League
Soccer (MLS) team on November 18, 2003. Adu left Ghana with his
family in 1997, and is now a resident of Potomac, Maryland in
the United States and a U.S. citizen, where he went to The
Heights School. . Adu learned to kick a ball at the age of two;
soon after he was hitting rocks and refreshment bottles
barefooted like many African soccer stars before him.
At age 13, Adu joined the Bradenton Academy, U.S. Soccer’s
full-time residency program, in January 2002. Some major
European teams looked into the possibility of signing Adu but
did not due to employment legislation in Britain that states
players cannot join FA Premier League teams professionally until
they turn 17; before this they are limited to very low paying
apprenticeship contracts. Adu's agent opted for a contract in
the United States, partially because of the financial situation,
but also because joining MLS gave the young player the
opportunity to play professional soccer very near to his home in
Adu played for the United States in two tournaments in 2003, the
FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland and the World Youth
Championship in the United Arab Emirates.
In order to allow Adu to play close to home, MLS assigned him to
D.C. United, on November 18, 2003, working a deal with the
Dallas Burn who owned the top pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.
Dallas was compensated with a player allocation. Having already
signed with D.C. United, Adu effectively became the first player
selected, in that draft, two months before it officially took
On April 3, Adu came on in United's first game of the 2004
season against the San Jose Earthquakes as a second-half
substitute, making him the youngest professional sportsman in
United States professional sports history since fourteen-year-old
Fred Chapman played Major League Baseball in Philadelphia in
1887. On April 17, he scored his first professional goal in the
75th minute of a 3-2 away loss against the MetroStars.
With United, Adu joins the other young soccer signees Bobby
Convey (in 2000 at 16 was the youngest player ever signed by MLS
and did see action in his first seasons) and Santino Quaranta
(in 2001 at 16 years, four months of age, Santino Quaranta
became the youngest player drafted by MLS prior to Adu).
In his first season as a professional, Adu complained about
playing time, and finished the year with five goals and three
assists, while playing in all 30 regular season games. Although
briefly a starter, Adu was relegated to a substitute when D.C.
United acquired central midfielder Christian Gómez midseason,
and it was in this role that he appeared in United's MLS Cup
victory. He played in three of D.C.'s four playoff games, coming
off the bench each time; he tallied one assist in the postseason.
Despite his success, Adu was criticized from a number of
different angles in his first season as a professional. Some
soccer commentators have suggested that Adu is too young to be
playing professionally, and that he needs more time to develop
mentally amongst players his own age. Others have suggested that
Adu is in fact playing against players his own age, and that his
Ghanaian birth certificate was doctored; no evidence has been
found to support this conclusion, however.
Adu is an admirer of Brazil's Pele. Naming him as his favorite
player ever. His current favorite player in the world is
Ronaldinho of Brazil. Formerly it was Zinedine Zidane of France
Both Zidane and Ronaldinho currently play in Spain's top
division La Liga.
Freddy was invited to his first US senior squad by Bruce Arena
in January 2006 as Freddy sets his sights on a place in the USA
roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which he dreams of playing
On January 22nd, 2006, Freddy Adu became the youngest player to
compete for the United States Men's National Team when he
replaced an injured Eddie Johnson in the 81st minute of a
friendly against Canada. The game ended in a scoreless draw,
with Adu's major contribution being a yellow card in the 85th