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How Are You, Mr. Adu?

Just killing time here in suburban Chicago.....

In case you missed it yesterday, Freddy Adu became the youngest American to appear in a European Champions League match when he entered in the 61st minute of Benfica's gripping 1-0 victory over visiting Celtic.

From Soccer America magazine:

At 18 years, 4 months, Adu broke the record for the youngest American to play in the Champions League held by Jonathan Spector (18 years, 11 months) set when he came on as a sub for Manchester United against Turkey's Fenerbahce in 2004.

Film below. Freddy is wearing No. 30. The kid is alright.

By Steve Goff  |  October 25, 2007; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  World  
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Next: USSF Coaching Done Deal(s)


Good to see the kid getting some time.
Pretty specific prediction in your preview Goffinho!?!
Chicago claims the opener, 1-0, United takes Game 2 by the same score, forcing 30 minutes of overtime and then penalty kicks, which D.C. wins, 4-3."

Posted by: jgildea | October 25, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that mr. adu is "supposedly" 18 year, 4 months old.

Posted by: Skeptic | October 25, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Skeptic, that's on the list of things that are incredibly tired and constantly expressed by American Soccer fans. Please refrain from the following:

(1) Michael Bradley is only playing in the USMNT because of nepotism.

(2) Freddy Adu is (insert age much greater than 18). The documents and his maturity level indicate that he is what we thought he was - 18.

(3) Serie A is "boring" and "unwatchable" and the the EPL and La Liga are so much better. I'm not saying that Serie A is absolutely a better league - but it has the highest goals/game average of those three leagues and a very high technical level from top to bottom. Go ahead and watch a Fiorentina, Roma, Palermo, Napoli, or Inter game and tell me Serie A is boring.

I'll admit that (3) is a bit of a personal bias, but I call for a Soccer Insider moratorium on the first two at a minimum ...

Posted by: tmc | October 25, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Greg Oden and LeBron James look 40!

Posted by: jgildea | October 25, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Just killing time here in suburban Chicago.....

Goffinho, Have you tried the big soduku puzzle?

Posted by: jmr | October 25, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It's great how the stadium is completely removed from one of the nicest cities on earth (IMHO) and put it by the airport. Shame

Posted by: Kev | October 25, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

what section should i buy to sit with dc fans tonight?

Posted by: toyota park | October 25, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Steve, what's the weather like in Chicago? Field conditions?

Posted by: Chico | October 25, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Great play from Benfica.

Cardozo's sweetest of touches were unlucky to be denied by the woodwork twice and Boruc once.


Posted by: d | October 25, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have any idea of how Freddy played generally? I see that he participated in the goal (in hockey that's an assist).

I hate not being able to see those games . . .

Posted by: NamelessFaceless | October 25, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Re: Freddy.

He might not start for the senior for awhile, but he can easily spell someone for 20 minutes on either wing, up top or withdrawn.

I'd hate to have to defend him after 70.

IMO, he owes Nowak/DC a lot. Maybe one day he'll acknowledge that.

Posted by: FORZA UNITED! | October 25, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I have my own source that says Osorio is looking at taking the Colombian National Team Position.

Posted by: jgildea | October 25, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Weather Channel for Midway Airport at game time tonight...

Mostly Cloudy

Sounds like a nice night to play/watch

Posted by: Kev | October 25, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have any idea of how Freddy played generally? I see that he participated in the goal (in hockey that's an assist).


solid if not spectacular, had one or 2 giveaways in the middle of the field, earned a couple free kicks...looked like he belonged on the field. Benfica seemed to perk up a bit after he cam on, but there were other subs about the same time as well.

Posted by: Matt | October 25, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

just killing time?
I'll take you out to lunch in Oak Brook if you've got nothing going on. I'm just a soccer nut with a sales job and would love to talk turkey for a half hour.

Posted by: sidenetting | October 25, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that you didn't touch this story on the Insider.

Seems like a sitter, so when I didn't see mention of it on the blog I thought might not have heard about it (which I doubt since you are Steven Goff).

Posted by: Duke | October 25, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Killing time? Why not throw out some spectacular but unsubstantiated rumors, goddamn it.

Posted by: cubicle | October 25, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

wow where is the crowd?

Posted by: pat | October 25, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

A "best saves" highlight reel, same day post with the earlier Schalke keeper disaster.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think a bit of the Serie A bias is based on the lack of familiarity many Americans have with the non-superstar players. Italian soccer has long been a springboard for talent, and even the role-players are excellent, but there's often a bit of an impasse in games between mid-table teams, and in many big games, there is a bit of a cautious approach-- solid midfield play, but a lack of the "killer pass."

But words like "catenaccio" just should be retired. I don't see teams locking things down and being boring.

It's very sophisticated soccer, with teams often taking similar tactical approaches. There's such a thing as a gripping stalemate, and I see that often in Serie A.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | October 25, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse


Tell me that part of your time wasting involves some Chicago dogs and that pizza with the garlic cloves baked in. I don't care what the wife says about your gut (they do that), get yourself a Chicago dog, extra everything. (On a side note, anyone know a placein DC for good Chicago dogs, uh...and where everyone there talks about soccer?)

Posted by: T. Henry | October 25, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"Go ahead and watch a Fiorentina, Roma, Palermo, Napoli, or Inter game and tell me Serie A is boring."

Man, have I tried. I have Fox Soccer and Gol TV, and most Serie A games are just unwatchable. Watched a couple Roma games this year, and one Inter game, which were better than most. But still, I just cant get into it.

What I have been enjoying is more Bundesliga matches - generally Bayern and Bremen. But even Rostock was fun to watch the other day.

Posted by: the cheat | October 25, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Note to Rangers: Freddy Adu has NEVER lost to Celtic.

Posted by: Kim | October 25, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

WTF? Burch wasn't even on the team with Adu. That's not money.

Posted by: RK | October 25, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Agree, I don't understand the hate. Italian soccer is certainly different from the English game, but is no less exciting for that.

They won the world cup for god's sake.

Posted by: viv | October 25, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Goffito, how are confirmations on those two rumours coming along? Anything?

Posted by: Soy United! | October 25, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Poor form by Burch.

It is possible to know the teams, players and coaches in Series A and still not like watching it. It doesn't mean you're unsophisticated.

Posted by: JkR | October 25, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

In all fairness Italian soccer is not doing itself any favors what with the rampant corruption, bought officials, diving, etc... I mean the second you acknowledge that the top 4 play to a diferent standard of referreeing than the rest, you've lost me.

Posted by: DCAustinite | October 25, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

You can't tell whether a league is boring or not by watching one or two games. How many EPL snoozefests have you seen? What if those were your only samples?

I agree that this topic should be banished. I'd also extend the exile to similar comments on women's, PDL-2, high school soccer, and pick-up soccer.

And then we get so damned sanctimonious when a gridiron fan calls our game boring.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 25, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

At the time they won the immigration family and came to America (i.e., before anyone had an inkling about Freddy's athletic prospects), the Adu family had nothing to gain and everything to lose (like getting kicked out of the country) by giving bogus information to the immigration authorities. Further, I don't believe there has ever been anyone who actually knew the Adus in Tema, Ghana who has ever raised any questions about his age.

Posted by: Section 410 | October 25, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Oops, make that "immigration lottery."

Posted by: Section 410 | October 25, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

My earlier point was not to state that Italian soccer is without problems, because that is clearly not the case. And I think that you have to give credit to Pierluigi Colina for coming in and trying to get the referring situation sorted out and improved. There have been some controversial calls this year, but so far it would be fair to say that there has been a marked improvement.

And to say that Italian soccer is poor because of diving is unfair. I mean there is going to be an amount of diving in soccer, regardless of whether we are talking about EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS or the international games.

And as far as referring - two significant incidents come to mind in EPL this year. The controversial decisions in favor of Liverpool during the derby match vs. Everton this past weekend and the Chelsea players bullying/influencing the referee into the cards from earlier this year.

I've followed the Serie A closely for a long time, beginning with my time studying abroad in Italy. I just think that American fans are missing out with the consistent dismissive attitude towards "boring" Italian soccer when it is anything but the case. Could it better, and could it continue to improve? Yes, and as a fan I am hoping this is the case.

Posted by: tmc | October 25, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Adu for DP!

Posted by: Logan Circle | October 25, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

You might have an easier time finding Chicago dogs if you knew that they are called "hot dogs" in these parts.

Posted by: Terp | October 25, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Marc Burch was on the Junkies 2 days ago... Funny stuff, plus interesting comments on Freddy. Look for 10/23 Segment 10. Pretty long.

Posted by: plc | October 25, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if this is one of the 2 rumors, but looks like the Eastern Championship Game is set for Thursday, Nov 8

Posted by: emanon | October 25, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Serie A is great, but has its share of problems, just like any European league. Lets just say that everone is entitled to their own opinion.

Of Serie A

I'm a ROMA fan.

Mr. Jon DeNunzio of is a Juventus fan.

I don't hold that against him at all.

Love ya Jon!!!

Posted by: FORZA ROMA | October 25, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

You might have an easier time finding Chicago dogs if you knew that they are called "hot dogs" in these parts.

Posted by: Terp | October 25, 2007 02:46 PM

Then you might have to ask for a hot dog, on a poppy seed roll, with relish, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, mustard and celery salt.

A lot easier to go to Ben's and get a chili half smoke!

Posted by: Kev | October 25, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I get half smokes at Ben's all the time. I am a nationwide conoseur of the hot dog, dog, red hot, frankfurter, etc. I say, if it once might have been meat but now is in a tube shape, slap it on a bun and eat it. Just sayin'.

Posted by: T. Henry | October 25, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The only decent thing ever to come of LA Galaxy games? The bacon wrapped hotdogs in the parking lot of the HDC. Yum...

Is it 8:30 yet?

Posted by: Chico | October 25, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Is it 8:30 yet?

Posted by: Chico | October 25, 2007 03:24 PM

It is in London

Posted by: Kev | October 25, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Section 410: great response to the suggestion that Freddy is older than they say. Diversity Visas (the "lottery") are investigated closely for fraud and as you said, they had nothing to gain at that point.

I'm a little curious about the "youngest ever" in a Champions League. He played in the Champions League match against Copenhagen in August. Provided Einstein's theories still hold up, he would have been younger back in August, right?

I was at the game last night, by the way. he and Angel Di Maria subbed on at the same time and the attack immediately sprung to life. Adu has been subbing for Di Maria in other games, but they are well suited to be on the field at the same time. Given that Di Maria is also 18, they could be a force together for years. just seconds in, Adu put one just over the crossbar; minutes later, Di maria hit the crossbar. Di Maria had the assist on Cardozo's goal, by the way.

Forca Benfica! SLB, SLB, SLB...

Posted by: Troy | October 25, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps alzheimers is setting in early. did he play in that Copenhagen game? I was there (I haven't missed a match this year) but I'm second guessing... Anyone know how to work this here internet thing to find out? I'll check the SLB site.

Posted by: Troy | October 25, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

OK, the Copenhagen match was in the qualification round, not the group round. Personally, i still think that counts, but perhaps statisticians tracking such things feel otherwise.

Posted by: Troy | October 25, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps it is not Einstein's theories, but Dylan's, that are pertinent: "I was so much older then; I'm younger than that now."

Posted by: Section 410 | October 25, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Does CL qualifying not count? Freddy played against FC Copenhagen on August 14th.

FC Copenhagen

Posted by: hummersport | October 25, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Mmmm...bacon wrapped hot dogs at a soccer game. Awesome. Do you guys remember that Cosby show where Cosby was grilling bacon-burger-dogs? I think I need to write a letter to RFK suggesting the bacon burger dog for DCU home games.

Posted by: T. Henry | October 25, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey tmc...I don't think people are saying little Bradley should not be on the team. However, if you are trying different lineups, why not try other combinations at midfield (Clark, edu, etc.). Bradley should not own that spot as he does now...Even if we had Makalelee and Riquelme, one of those would sit due to Nepotism!!!!

Posted by: 2legit | October 25, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Now you're just being silly.

Posted by: Mike | October 25, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Allow for the "friend of a friend said" factor as desired, but notice USSF has always moved Freddy up in age groups early. Hedging their bets in case their own investigation missed something?

Posted by: stuck in 200's | October 25, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

With regard to the Adu age question, it's irrelevant. It doesn't matter who was the youngest to play in a Champion's League match, get a nats cap, score a goal in MLS, whatever. Just play well. So, I agree with you on that point. Let's all drop the subject.

HOWEVER, with regard to the nepotism on the nats, that DOES matter. I don't think Bradley is a terrible player, but I have some problems with seeing him in the lineup as much as he is. First, I think he's considerably less sophisticated than Feilhaber in his vision of the field, his passing accuracy, and his footskills. Second, he makes far too many rash, and even two-footed, challenges. To see Feilhaber on the bench or on a flank, preferring Michael Bradley in the defensive mid role, is nepotism.

I would make the argument again here that your holding mid needs to have the kind of sophistication that Feilhaber exhibits. He must attack and generate chances in support of, and at times in place of, your attacking mid. He cannot simply be an enforcer style player. Bradley does not have those qualities to the same degree that Feilhaber has, while Feilhaber has shown competence and bite on the defensive side of the ball.

So, it's certainly a matter of opinion, but to say you want to post a moratoriun on the suject is not really fair. In my mind there is a very real debate on the issue.

BTW, if you want a moratorium on a subject, it's a good idea not to initiate the topic in a thread that has nothing whatsoever to do with that topic in question in the first place.

As for Serie A, no complaints there. It's all good. Different, no doubt, but I have no problem watching.

Posted by: Matte | October 25, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

100% agree with you mattie. i think there is clear favoritism when you look at the fact that in every possible opportunity, bradley has played in that role (even when there are other holding mids playing). he gets paired with mastro and he got paired with mo edu when they all play the same position. the only way feilhaber gets a shot is when one of the other c-mids are sacrificed. there is nothing that bradley has exhibited that feilhaber can't do, while there is clearly plenty that feilhaber has that bradley doesn't. I think bradley is very, very good and deserves his share of PT, but he should NOT be #1 on the so-called "depth chart."

Posted by: el diablo | October 25, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

qualification games do not count towards the champions league record books. They do not count goal total's from the qualifying rounds or any other stats. This is why is is called the champions league proper once a team enters the group stages. Also, if they did count qualification games Jonathan spectors debut would not have come against fenerbache. Instead he would have made his debut in the second leg at old trafford against steaua bucuresti, a Romanian league team.

Posted by: really tired | October 25, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Celtic supporter, so I was slightly conflicted. Adu did seem to add energy to the attack (but wasn't involved in that darn 87th minute goal). He didn't seem to fit at DC, we've all moved on. He's in Europe and we're in the playoffs. Wish him success, he seems to be coming of age (whatever age that may be), and that can only mean good things for the National Team.

Go DC United. 5:04pm!... time seems to be going sooooooo slowly.

Posted by: gallegoscot | October 25, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Freddy was involved in the goal. He made a pass to Di Maria at the top of the box, then ran through, giving Di Maria a ton of space to turn and pick out Cardozo with a beautiful dink pass. I think in MLS, Freddy would have gotten the "secondary assist."

Goff, what's going on at the SJ Earthquakes news conference tomorrow?

Posted by: Metzeng | October 25, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Adu was a part of the buildup.

Posted by: Mike | October 25, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Serie A is boring? EPL is the most boring of the big 4 (5 if you count France, which I don't--yet) I can only watch centerbacks pumping long balls over midfielders who have nothing to do for 80 minutes for only so long. Arsenal and United are the only exceptions to that rule in England.

Call me nuts but I like to see a team that can show, ya know, technical and tactical prowess. 2 qualities that EPL has a paucity of.

Posted by: papa bear | October 25, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Obviously just my opinion, but I don't think Mark Burch comes off looking very well in that interview. Apart from the fact that I think the Junkies are idiots, Burch really let himself be led down a rabbit hole he should have avoided. Perhaps Burch needs to mature as well.

Posted by: teamn | October 26, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

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