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Changes for Adu

[updated with quote]

Freddy Adu, who has been with L.A.-based super-agent Richard Motzkin since signing with MLS at age 14, is in the market for new representation.

Adu, who turns 19 in June, has decided to end his relationship with Wasserman Media Group and is in the process of interviewing potential replacements. The leading candidate is apparently IMG, the world's largest sports marketing firm which runs the IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Adu spent a couple years at the U.S. residency camp in Bradenton before signing with MLS and joining D.C. United. My sources did not know the reasons for the change.

"From the beginning of his career, WMG has provided exemplary service to Freddy and we are proud to have represented him," Motzkin told the Insider. "Freddy is a great talent and we wish him well in all future endeavors."

Another prominent, young U.S. player, Jozy Altidore, is also looking for representation after leaving WMG.

Motzkin and D.C.-based partner Dan Segal joined forces with WMG two years ago. With them, they brought a large share of the U.S. player pool, including Adu, Landon Donovan, Bobby Convey, Eddie Johnson, and Tim Howard. WMG also handles current and former MLS coaches, including Bruce Arena, global soccer stars such as Michael Owen, Adriy Shevchenko and Steven Gerrard and many NBA players (Tracy McGrady and Antawn Jamison among them).

Perhaps the agent change will lead to a new career course for Adu, who has not received much playing time in recent months at Benfica. With U.S. friendlies against England, Spain and Argentina on the schedule and the Olympics approaching, he will return to the international spotlight this summer and could attract interest from clubs eager to buy him from Benfica.

By Steve Goff  |  April 14, 2008; 2:02 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Morning Kickaround


The other young player must be Jozy. I really hope he gets to Europe this summer...there was a Barca rumour circulating last week. We shall se.

Posted by: Erick | April 14, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

updated with Altidore leaving WMG as well

Posted by: Goff | April 14, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm picturing Jerry McGuire but with Freddy instead of Cuba.

Posted by: bbarrie | April 14, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Do we know what has precipitated this?

Posted by: Logan Circle | April 14, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Changing agents will not provide Adu with any different opportunities abroad. I am sure WMG made the appropriate contacts to clubs throughout Europe. Freddy is a known commodity.

There simply must not have been much interest in Freddy elsewhere or he is not up to a standard where teams want him. He has been on the bench for a reason. That reason surely is not who is agent(s) are.

Posted by: Agent007 | April 14, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Besides the physical dimension to his game, Freddy is quality through-and-through. I can't see how that can be questioned. It's probably a case of the player being in the wrong situation - I mean isn't Benfica going thorugh the nth manager just this week?

Posted by: Kosh | April 14, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dd | April 14, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Why would it surprise anyone that Freddy has not played much this year? Aside from the fact that he's behind Rui Costa, every american player of quality that has gone to a top flight league in Eurioe has taken a season of little or no playing time to adjust...Beasely, Dempsey, McBride, Convey, Reyna...all were virtually invisible their first year despite becoming very influential players with their clubs shortly thereafter.

Posted by: Matt | April 14, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I think people are going overboard on Freddy's playing time.

Right now Benfica is fourth in the Bwin Liga, and in a dogfight for a Champions League spot. They're three behind Guimares for auto-group stage, and one behind Sporting for qualification.

Simply, Freddy isn't getting any playing time now because Benfica feel they can't risk it. I'm sure Freddy will get plenty of playing time next year.

Posted by: Dr. Rockzo, the Rock n' Roll Clown | April 14, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: its meee | April 14, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Please scroll down to #44, No clue if this infor is reliable or anything but it is from April 4th.

Posted by: its meee | April 14, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone think that keeping a bobble head of Adu in original pack, be worth anything later???? If not I'll just take it out of the box and let my 2 year play with it :)

Posted by: yo its me | April 14, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"Changing agents will not provide Adu with any different opportunities abroad."

You are underestimating the influence of some player agencies.

Posted by: LaLa Land | April 14, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

How much longer will Adu and Altidore be under contract with their respective clubs? Would these clubs be interested in dealing, and on what terms? I can see NYRB dealing with Juventus (if this rumor is credible) at the right price, because the very idea that someone on the Pink Cows roster is worthy of Juventus' attention would garner a heap of publicity. But does Benfica need the cash that much right now, or did they make a deliberate decision to invest in the future with Adu?

Posted by: tri-village | April 14, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse


Are you nuts? Motzkin is a hack who deals with nothing but B-Level soccer players.

IMG is a the gold standard in Sports Talent agencies.

Adu to IMG from Motzkin would be like upgrading from a Toyota Camry to a Bentley. I'd hope youd be able to tell the difference between the 2.

Posted by: Hobie | April 14, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Can you tell me one other player IMG represents in the soccer industry? They are established in other sports but soccer is not their strong point.

When you have a player of Adu and Altidore's stature the teams call the player's agent or club to get a deal. They do not need to seek out anything.

Why do you say Motzkin is a hack? I don't know him personally but he does have a large amount of MLS players. WMG obviously did something to piss Jozy, Freddy, and even Dempsey off to leave.

Posted by: Agent007 | April 14, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Dude don't we have another DP slot?
Let's get Freddy Back!
He's obviously got the ladies lined up for him in DC...

Posted by: BroBrah | April 14, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

No offense, but no way in HELL! would i get freddy with a DP. It would just bring him back to a place where he wouldnt want to be, he wouldnt perform. He is in a right place in Benfica where he wasnt expected to do big things and where he was looked at as a novice with a big future ahead of him at that club.

With Rui Costa retiring, i think they want to use adu more in that play maker role, now whether he is frustrated wtih his playing time, and he dropped his agent as a sign for change in his career... we will never know unless he does go somewhere else.

Personally i like adu at benfica, not too big of a club, a famous name, a good league to groom young talent, and they always play in the Champ. League, so he could get a chance to shine in front of europe if he stays.

If he's smart, he'll stay at Benfica. But if he does incredible this summer with friendlies and a big club dishes big bucks for him then i could see why he would.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | April 14, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

It's entirely possible that IMG is trying to upgrade their presence in the soccer world and is actively poaching clients whose biggest paydays are still ahead of them.

Posted by: bbarrie | April 14, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

IMG is the premier Sports agency on the planet. They run the premier Soccer training facility at Bradenton that almost every national team player from Damarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu. The also produce a ton of the television content that the English Premier League televises.

Altidore, Adu & Dempsey All left Motzkin- clearly Motzkin is doing something wrong, and cannot handle elite athletes. I guess miserable failures like Alexi Lalas & Bruce Arena are the type of people that like Motzkin as their agent.

If I were Adu, I'd rather have an agent who represents top athletes in top leagues like IMG than minor athletes in minor leagues like Motzkin

Posted by: Hobie | April 14, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

"I guess miserable failures like Alexi Lalas & Bruce Arena "

Uh, Bruce Arena is a miserable failure? Because things didn't work out in NY? Did more for USA soccer than every coach in this country combined (UVA, DCU, National Team). Mentioning Arena in the same sentence as Lalas ain't exactly fair, now is it?

Posted by: Er | April 14, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

In other news, we've waived Justin Moose. He cleared the waiver wire, and Vancouver can now negotiate with him.

Posted by: J | April 14, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

My cousin BroBrah was actually joking about bringing Freddy back to DC.
We both know he's way too much of whiner and he needs to have his ego stroked.
He is good though and look forward to seeing more of him in the years to come Repin' the ol' USA and improving his game wherever he plays.
Totally off topic but my daughter started choking while her mother was feeding her this early evening and to make a long story short I may have saved her life.
We took some training when my wife was pregnant and have been meaning to review our choking and cpr routine.
Please everyone out there give yourself a refresher on these techniques, you really won't realize how important those skills are until they are needed.
I performed the back slapping technique correctly and it worked but not immediatley and it was probably the scariest moment of my entire life.
She's fine now and sleeping soundly. Even if you are not a parent or married you'd be a heck of a lot cooler if you knew how to help a choking victim.
Vamos United!

Posted by: Dadryan. | April 14, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Good for you and your little one, SuperDad!

Posted by: garbaggio | April 14, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Thank you garbaggio, I hope no one has to go through crazy stuff like that, but it's kinda like wearing a bicycle helmet, you never really know how usefull they are until you REALLY smack your head.
New level of awareness reached? Check!

Posted by: Dadryan. | April 15, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

I've only been in bicycle and car accidents when wearing helmets and seatbelts.

Conclusion: Seatbelts and helmets cause accidents. I'm going to publish a paper on my experiences soon.

You have been warned.

Posted by: viv | April 15, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

I've heard that before Viv. I've been a bike courier for years and am still one of the few in DC who wears a helmet.
Seatbelts and helmets don't cause accidents, idiotic, innattentive drivers cause crashes. Generally when they are either talking on their cell phones, texting on them, or reaching for some food laying on the passenger seat.

I was just spreading the gospel of learning choking, and CPR techniques so that when your 11 month old daughter is choking you don't just call 911 and let your kid get braindamaged waiting for an ambulance.
I was thinking about writing a paper about how much better I am at driving home drunk because I am afraid of getting pulled over.(Jus' Kiddin')

Posted by: Dadryan. | April 15, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

"I guess miserable failures like Alexi Lalas & Bruce Arena "

"Uh, Bruce Arena is a miserable failure? Because things didn't work out in NY? Did more for USA soccer than every coach in this country combined (UVA, DCU, National Team). Mentioning Arena in the same sentence as Lalas ain't exactly fair, now is it?"

I wholeheartedly agree that the Bruce bashing that has seemingly become hegemonic since Germany '06 is ridiculous. He took a team of players from mid level clubs (at best) to within a whisker (and a bad penalty call) of the second round. Oh and along the way, in the group stage, fighting to a draw (in Europe) against the eventual World Champion. He was a success at every level he coached at in the states---and, actually, we'll never know what would've happened with more time at Red Bull come to think of it.

As for Lalas... I'll go against the grain here, as I also think the bashing of him is over the top. (Course he's not the GM of my fave team...) Sure his management hasn't worked out to this point...but Tony Meola rightly pointed out in a interview recently, that although 'Lexi's lack of experience is a hinderance at the management level--- he gets calls returned from around the world that better "general managers" would not. Also... let's not forget he was a pioneer and a true personality of the game (something we could do with a bit more in the game currently---humor and fun). A serviceable centerback in his day who scored some timely goals for the USMNT and the first modern era American player to play in Serie A---even helping keep Padova up one year with a goal! Let's not hate on him so much. Plus his album Ginger absolutely rocked...(I kid).

Posted by: todd11 | April 15, 2008 3:54 AM | Report abuse

"...could attract clubs eager to buy him from Benfica."

What clubs would that be? Charleston? Cleveland? The New Jersey Ironmen?

Posted by: MJ | April 15, 2008 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Wow, a lot of venom on here for Adu. The guy has played barely 300+ minutes and scored six goals, a good amount of those either drawing Benfica even or putting them ahead.

I think he's going to stay there and he'll be just fine.

Posted by: Brava Rookie | April 15, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I think Adu is just fine, as well. Sure, he could get more PT, but when he has played this year -- Benfica, U20 -- he has excelled.

There's an empty 10-shirt at Barca, though ;)

Posted by: RK | April 15, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

So is The Bruce going to sprout up as the new Philly or Seattle coach? Any word on what he is currently doing besides watching his son play?

Posted by: Where is he now? | April 15, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

He was in the booth for a KC game the other week...

Posted by: RK | April 15, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

10002-goal scorer Romario has (finally) retired, from Vasco de Gama...

Posted by: RK | April 15, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I think that Seattle and Philly would do well to find an MLS understudy to help them get started.

It's been proven time and again that guys need to have an idea of the league and its structure and unique demands to do well.

Bruce, for all his successes and failures should step away. I wouldn't mind if he took the reigns for finding ways to help the US identify and develop talent at the youth level. Whether he's the defacto commisioner of the reserve league or working for USSF in some capacity where he can help people find the young Americans who can really change the face of our league and our national team.

But Seattle and Philly should look at some of the younger guys in MLS and let them cut their teeth as they build up teams that have their business part buttoned up well at present.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | April 15, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Er, 1002.

Posted by: RK | April 15, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

On the original issue, losing clients is part and parcel of the agent business. Scott Boras lost ARod, David Falk lost Allen Iverson, Aaron Goodwin lost LeBron James, and none of those guys went out of business.

In US Soccer, WMG lost Adu, Altidore, Bocagnegra and Dempsey. Proactive lost DeRosario, Twellman, Beckerman and Mastroeni. First Wave lost Guzan and Rolfe. IMG, who have almost no soccer clients, lost Onweyu. These are all established companies and they will all continue to get and lose clients.

Posted by: Rocky | April 15, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Good lawd, there are some ridiculous comments on here. Those of you who dog Freddy left and right are too blind to see the obvious: he's quality and will be perfectly fine. Of course, some United fans are still bitter because he wasn't Pele and couldn't be shaped into a Brian Carroll clone.

Bottom line: he just dominated the competition in our U23 qualifiers, will lead the team in the Olympics (whether he's wearing the armband or not), and will soon feature prominently for the senior squad. At Benfica, he scored five goals in very limited action. His time has dried up immediately before and now after his U23 stint, and that makes perfect sense: he's likely exhausted and why should Benfica risk running him into the ground? He'll have a shortened off-season because of the Olympics. He needs a break. Benfica, frankly, could use him, though. They're really struggling. But the fact is he's behind superstar Rui Costa right shame in that for a teenager.

Haters, keep it up!

Posted by: Reston, Va. | April 16, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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