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Fred Mania

Because nothing involving Freddy Adu can ever be simple, in the last 24 hours we've had all sorts of mayhem involving our young lad and his future plans. Thus, a brief timeline follows.

Yesterday, early afternoon: I get a random e-mail from someone I've never met warning me that Freddy Adu is about to sign an overseas contract. Not having any actual sources, I do nothing.

Yesterday, late afternoon: The masterful Steven Goff breaks the news on washingtonpost.com that Freddy will have a two-week training session with Manchester United. (That link is to this morning's story, but it's essentially the same stuff.) The Associated Press soon puts out a report of its own. Legendary AP scribe Joseph White may or may not have been wearing a beret at the time. Seriously, he wears a lot of berets.

Early this morning: Man-U puts a statement on its Web site shooting down Goff's report, which is never wise. British media outlets pick up the statement and run with it. "Despite the recent bout of speculation, the club's stance has not changed and Adu will not be attending a trial," the statement says, among other things. This also gives international headline writers an opportunity to write several variations on the "Much Adu About Nothing" headline, which must have made them mighty proud. Never woulda thought of that one. Good work, gents.

Later this morning: The club backtracks and so do the British media, now noting that Adu could sign with Man-U as early as January and pointing out that Man-U may have scored a coup with the training session. And they call Freddy a "starlet" and a "wunderkid."

Even later this morning: One blogger type says the saga caused "our beloved club's press officers [to] make a fool of themselves." Another blogger type uses the saga to criticize Man-U and think deep thoughts:

The possible arrival of Freddy Adu for a trial at Manchester United has already become a mini-saga, which at best exposes some pretty shambolic PR from Old Trafford.

However, was it just a case of crossed wires or an overkeen press officer looking to quash a story? Or did the Glazers suddenly prick up their ears and think - 'Not a bad idea that'?

The blogger type goes on to discuss Freddy's skills, possibly causing massive kitten death, if I'm understanding the kitten thing correctly:

The one thing [Man-U] haven't tried is to sign a genuine American star, largely because - unless they made a bid for Mia Hamm - there haven't been any until now.

Is Adu a genuine talent, or just a running, jinking, juggling bag of cash?

My conclusions:

1) Never doubt Steven Goff.

2) Wow, British people care a lot about their football.

3) I hope I eat my words, but this is Freddy Adu we're talking about, right? The guy who has 11 career goals in three seasons, and who, correct decision or not, was the first player subbed out of DCU's final game this year? All the speculation seems a bit much, no?

[P.S.....ESPNews now running brief clips of Freddy in conjunction with this story.]

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 9, 2006; 11:54 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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