November 18, 2003

Adu signs with MLS: Passing over European interest for now, Freddie will be the youngest major league player in any sport in more than a century when he steps on the pitch next spring for DC United. Can he bring something like the level of excitement LeBron did to MLS? The timing, days before the MLS Cup, seems calculated for maximum publicity. But why was he left off the US U20 FIFA World Youth Championships roster?

posted by billsaysthis to soccer at 11:05 AM - 37 comments

I'm wondering if, in the next three years, Freddie can step up and partner with Landon to take the US National Team further than the round of eight in the 2006 WC.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:08 AM on November 18, 2003

I think if the U.S. men make a run deeper than the round of eight -- and I have no idea how likely that is -- then we might see soccer (er, football) surge in popularity here. If not, I'm afraid it's not gonna happen. Which is too bad.

posted by jeffmshaw at 11:15 AM on November 18, 2003

Not only Donovan, but Beasley too. And Howard in goal? 2006 should be an interesting WC for the American team.

posted by scully at 01:21 PM on November 18, 2003

Wait a second - a fourteen-year-old is going to play pro immediately? I know there are some young athletes in individual sports, but how will he be integrated into a locker room? Will his mom be traveling with the team?

posted by dusted at 02:42 PM on November 18, 2003

This is awesome! This can only be good! I don't think he will be playing pro just yet. They'll put him in that Project 40 thingy probably...

posted by StarFucker at 02:51 PM on November 18, 2003

how will he be integrated into a locker room? Baby elephant walk, just like everyone else.

posted by yerfatma at 03:52 PM on November 18, 2003

Thanks, fatty. I'm going to have Dancing Homer in my head all day.

posted by Samsonov14 at 04:42 PM on November 18, 2003

He was left off the U-20 team for a couple reasons. The U-20 World Cup tourney, held in Dubai, was postponed because of the war. There was a set team ready to play, and to bring in a player who may or may not be able to contribute would've been unfair to the players that have played together all throughout the qualifiers. It's also uncertain whether or not he'd be able to work as a team member. (Last I heard that, one terrific player does not make a good soccer team) He did get called into a training camp last month in LA, and didn't standout (in limited minutes) in a loss against Japan's U-20 team in a friendly game. Also to debunk the mythology of Freddy scoring against the MLS Cup finalist Chicago Fire in a scrimmage against the U-17 team: The game was played in the pre-season, the players playing the Fire were end-of-benchers and players who were eventually cut. I want Adu to succeed, but more importantly I want soccer to flourish here in the US, and heaping unreasonable LeBron James-type hype on him doesn't help with the reality that he likely won't get a lot of playing time with his new team. A DC United team, mind you, that doesn't have a great track record developing young players compared to other teams in MLS. Too much hype and there is bound to be disappointment that some ignorant and naive fans would crow and potentially create a backlash that would resonate with the well-placed soccer-haters.

posted by GoDizzGo at 05:02 PM on November 18, 2003

a) The word "scrimmage" has no place in a discussion of football. Just saying. b) If he's 14 I'll eat my hat. c) He'll be playing for Man U in two years at most. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if they'd engineered this move.

posted by squealy at 06:14 PM on November 18, 2003

Dizz, DC United seems to be doing well with Bobby Convey. Terrapin, I see Beasley giving us width from midfield. I've seen him a few times, I think he has awesome speed to recover on counterattacks and help the defense. Squeals, I think it will be more like 3 or 4 years to the EPL for him (otherwise why not just go play with the reserve team now) but that's fine, USians get another player the opportunity to develop with a club at a level not possible here and a very large transfer fee.

posted by billsaysthis at 06:36 PM on November 18, 2003

per the article: "according to FIFA rules for non-European Union players, he would not have been able to play on those clubs' senior teams until he turned 18." But I think squealy may still be right. He can still go over and play in the academy.

posted by worldcup2002 at 08:17 PM on November 18, 2003

Oooh, that scrimmage comment was a bit harsh. I was drunk. No offence intended Dizz. 2,3,4 years whatever. My guess is that one of the major European clubs has got him locked into a future deal and wants him to gain some experience in his own country whilst he's still young. (However "young" he is). As the Imperial Lord Ferg has been clearly sniffing round the lad and his family my suspicions therefore point in the direction of the evil empire at the Theatre of Shite.

posted by squealy at 05:16 AM on November 19, 2003

No offence taken. After all, you're from England. The place where football was born. Every country has its own styles of football that it fosters, it's somewhat like language, culture and commerce. Everywhere does it a bit differently, and unfortunately for you and other fans of the England national team, there are teams that do it better. That could include the USA if you value the opinion of Sir Alex. Was that too low? Oh, I apologize, too many deep-fried Twinkies I suppose.

posted by GoDizzGo at 06:50 AM on November 19, 2003

What's wrong with scrimmage?

posted by mbd1 at 09:19 AM on November 19, 2003

Scrimmage is more a rugby term. And for helmet football. Also, in the US, and probably only in the US, practice or non-tournament soccer games are also called scrimmages. I think, in Association Football, in the rest of the world, the proper term is "friendly". Sniff. Too-da-loo. La-di-da. And tiddlywinks.

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:46 AM on November 19, 2003

Oddly, Mexico is playing Iceland in a scrimmagefriendly tonight at Pac Bell Park.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:13 PM on November 19, 2003

Apparently they agree to meet half-way. *ribshot*

posted by lilnemo at 01:53 PM on November 19, 2003

Nope, I don't value the opinion of that drunken Jock twat Fergie. In other news, Scotland are out of the European Championships barring a miracle. Stick that up your kilt and smoke it. ;-)

posted by squealy at 02:20 PM on November 19, 2003

Holy haggis, 4-0 to Holland (3-0), and it's just the beginning of the second half. Looks like Wales are up against it, too. 1-0 down to Russia, with about 30 minutes to go. The Welsh need to score two to make the next round. Unless Russia scores again.

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:48 PM on November 19, 2003

4-0 to Holland (3-0) that was (3-0 at half-time).

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:49 PM on November 19, 2003

Hate the bring back the topic up, but Adu was selected as a replacement for one of the injured U-20 players today. I imagine he'll be a late-game sub when a score is needed.

posted by GoDizzGo at 10:24 PM on November 19, 2003

he's on letterman tonight.

posted by goddam at 10:36 PM on November 19, 2003

I saw a picture of Adu for the first time, and I have to agree with squealy: If he's 14 I'll eat my hat.

posted by dusted at 11:53 PM on November 19, 2003

He was on Letterman?! Damn! I missed it. Does Letterman get rebroadcasted during the day or night?

posted by StarFucker at 12:24 AM on November 20, 2003

This is the benefit of living on the left coast. We get all the late night shows last. I'll be watching Letterman tonite. Fooker, Letterman reruns happen at night. You'll probably wanna have billsaysthis tivo it, tape it and mail the video to you. goddam, thanks for the tip. goddam!

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:09 AM on November 20, 2003

I saw an interview with him on FSW earlier yesterday. He really does look 14 up close.

posted by StarFucker at 03:56 PM on November 20, 2003

I watched the Letterman show last nite. Adu was quite composed and funny. Even made a joke about how his first real jersey was a Nike ... Anyway, all they had him do was a silly trick where he balanced a soccer ball on his back then proceeded to take off his soccer shirt (Nike!) and put it back on without dropping the ball. Well, at least for his intro, they did show a clip of him going through about six players on his way to scoring a goal. But his interview was so short. I think they had Alex Baldwin on for like half and hour jawing on about his "Cooler" movie and quizzing Dave about how he's adjusting to being a dad. I wonder how much time Cyndi Lauper got after Adu came on. I went to bed after Adu's interview. It was only like five minutes, tops. Damn.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:11 PM on November 20, 2003

So does he look 14 to you now?

posted by StarFucker at 05:28 PM on November 20, 2003

I never questioned if he was 14 until squealy brought it up. Hm. He seemed like he still had that fresh-faced look of youth. He's obviously very athletic (not like a lot of the high schoolers I see nowadays). I would say he's 14 or 15. It's hard to say. He was smaller than Dave. But Dave's like 6'2" or something like that, so most people would be smaller than he. Yeah, I'd say he's 14. Just a tough, fast, skilful, smart and mature 14. btw, he graduates next year. He started a year early, skipped a year, and did grades 10 and 11 in one year. Damn.

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:16 AM on November 21, 2003

They were talking about Adu on NPR today, and the reporter said this is a big deal only coz it's in America. In Europe, lotsa youth sign with pro teams at this age. They pointed out that Beckham signed with Man U when he was 13. (They just play in the academy and reserves until they're about 17.)

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:19 AM on November 21, 2003

Owen signed with Liverpool when he was 11. Still, how many of those European kids get comparisons with Pele when signing their first pro contract? Anyway, barring injury, his will be the first soccer career I can follow from beginning to end over a long period of time.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:40 PM on November 21, 2003

I think it's time we bid this thread Adu.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:41 PM on November 21, 2003

I think it's time we had a new category called "Adu". I'm miffed they didn't set up a little portable minigoal on stage on the Letterman show, and have Dave try to stop Freddy from scoring (watch as Dave takes a daisycutter in the nuts). Or just have Adu juggle the ball for a little a la those Nike ads. Or even set up a wall with three crew members and have Adu curl the ball around them and knock out Paul. I mean, they can set up a frickin' skate ramp for Tony Hawk or a tennis net so Dave can hit a few with Sampras (or was it McEnroe?) but they can't even let Freddy a-do some real soccer tricks.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:23 PM on November 21, 2003

Or even set up a wall with three crew members and have Adu curl the ball around them and knock out Paul. I would pay money to see Paul knocked out. That guy has ruined so many musical events over the past 15 years it makes me scream! I just saw one of the early SNLs, first season with Lily Tomlin, and he looked like such an incredible dork my eyes are still burning from the pain.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:29 PM on November 21, 2003

I have nowhere else to post this...(*sniff*) But i'm back in first baby!!

posted by StarFucker at 07:22 PM on November 22, 2003

Enjoy it while it lasts, baby! Coz I'm back ... down to sixth. Oh. Siiiigh.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:17 AM on November 24, 2003

btw, I just added 18 pts from today's Fulham v Portsmouth game alone, and there are still 45 minutes to go! YEAH!

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:10 PM on November 24, 2003

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