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Posted at 4:14 PM ET, 01/30/2011

Freddy Adu headed to Rizespor in Turkey

By Steve Goff

The next stop for Freddy Adu: Turkey.

His agent Richard Motzkin told the Insider on Sunday that the nomadic American midfielder-forward will go on loan to Rizespor, a Turkish second-division club. Adu, who was born in Ghana before moving to the Washington area and signing with MLS at age 14, will turn 22 in June.

Since leaving D.C. United after the 2006 MLS season, Adu has been with Real Salt Lake, Benfica (Portugal), Monaco (France), Beleneses (Portugal) and Aris (Greece), but unable to secure regular playing time in Europe. He trained with both Danish club Randers and Germany's Ingolstadt this winter and remains under contract with Benfica, which purchased him from MLS in the summer of 2007.

Rizespor is in third place with a 9-5-4 record, two points behind Orduspor and Samsunspor.

Adu has two goals in 15 U.S. national team appearances.

By Steve Goff  | January 30, 2011; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, Turkey  | Tags:  Freddy Adu, Rizespor  
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Turkish second division is about the equivalent of NVSL Division I.

And the moral of this story is...?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | January 30, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I still remember all of those posts from others talking about how Nowak was just jealous of Adu, about how once he got to Europe and was surrounded by players with good skill who could take advantage of his brilliance, then we'd see the REAL Freddy Adu.

This kid has a unique skill set. But he needs to get playing time and he needs to get a more rounded game.

Posted by: JoeW1 | January 30, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

After years of disappointment with Adu's loans, I'm sure this loan will work... and quick!

Posted by: BooThisMan | January 30, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

This is really incredibly depressing, isn't it.

Posted by: amoffett1 | January 30, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Good luck Freddy. Deep fry that Turkey baby!

Posted by: DadRyan | January 30, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I have been a big Adu fan and regularly defended him -I even said he merited a look for the World Cup roster ahead of Beasley- but this is just sad. Adu better tear it up or at this stage it is not beyond the possibility that by the time he is 26 he will be out of the game. Basically, since leaving MLS, Adu has played in about 10 games with Aris.

The worst thing is when the USMNT lost to Spain in 2008 he was the best player we had on the field.

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 30, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mcnessa | January 30, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

He's a one trick pony that hasn't developed. Best of luck to him.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | January 30, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping he does well. Unfortunately, given all the young midfielders in the USMNT pool, his chances of getting called up are slim. I agree with those who have written (on other threads) that he is better off in MLS. At least he would be called into camp when the Euro-based players are busy. Very sad story.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 30, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

would he even be a productive MLS player at this point?

Posted by: VTUnited | January 30, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

VTUnited: very good point. The league has evolved a lot. I'm sure there are a few teams that could use him, and he might do all right, but that may be iffy at this point given how things have gone for him.

Posted by: nairbsod | January 30, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I probably was a little harsh. I am sure that his contract with Benfica makes moves problematic. However, when his contract runs out this summer I think he should give MLS a serious look; I-270 has a compelling point. In adittion, I actually thought he was dangerous on the left wing for Aris. Get some games Adu and come back home and reinvent yourself like Donovan. Heck, if DC goes with a 4-3-3 this season I would give Adu a shot at the right price.

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 30, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

First, I'm not sure there is a single MLS team that he'd have a strong chance of starting for at this point. He doesn't have the workrate and ability to defend even modestly to play outside midfield in MLS. He could be a candidate for only two positions: withdrawn forward or attacking midfield. He wouldn't start at either for DCU: McCarty or Boskovic (are two likely Central Mids) are both ahead of him by significant amounts. I don't think he'd rate ahead of Wolff or Pontius at this point and isn't the proven finisher we'd want at the other spot at forward. Maybe, just maybe he'd be a forward for NE or Philly. Maybe he'd be an A-mid for Columbus. But that assumes he'd fit into their styles of play (and Columbus just ditched Schelotto in part b/c of his inability to provide a good workrate over 90 minutes), he sure doesn't seem like a Nicol kind of player with his ability to play within a system and stay to a specific type of role. Any other team in MLS you can think of he'd be a fit for as a starter? And frankly, coming back to MLS would do him little good unless there was a good chance he'd get a lot of PT. And that assumes any MLS team was willing to pay his salary--fat chance.

Sad. Very sad.

Posted by: JoeW1 | January 30, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't rate Bosko very highly based on last season. We'll see how he does with a solid preseason.

Freddy needs to remember how to play, and he better start for a second division Turkish club.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | January 30, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

It seems like just yesterday he was anointed as 'The One', the next Pele', etc. That's what happens when you put those expectations on a 14 year old kid. Who knew what he'd be when he actually grew up? Well, he's settling in to the backwaters of soccer. 10 years from now, he'll be one of those 'Where are they now' features in Sports Illustrated. Hopefully, he saved some of that sponsorship money that he received early on when his star still shone bright.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 30, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to him. If he gets significant playing time it could be a useful move. If he goes to a team where the coach won't even put him in the 18-player lineup it will be bad. Hopefully he gets a chance to prove himself.

Based on the team's wikipedia page there are only 2 foreigners on the roster (from Nigeria and Egypt) so Freddy will have to adapt well to the Turkish environment.

Rize is in Northeast Turkey on the Black Sea not too far from the Caucasus so Freddy won't be in a huge international city. Hopefully he will dedicate most of his time to improving his game and helping his team win.


I'm not as down on Freddy Adu as JoeW or VTUnited but he has to find a team that can use him as a withdrawn forward or attacking mid. And keep working on his defense and meshing well with his teammates tactically. I'm pretty sure he could still contribute significantly on the field for DC United and many other MLS teams but his salary demands are currently too much for most MLS front offices.

He hasn't lived up to the hype but the hype was always ridiculous. But I don't expect MLS to stop ridiculously hyping it's supposedly more marketable players instead of focusing on trying to develop teams that can play well.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 30, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I'd disagree with JoeW1 that he only has two positions. In a 4-3-3 Adu could be useful on the left. That's basically where he played for Aris and he had some good games.

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 30, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I remember ESPN a couple of years ago and the sick U.S media making it look like he was so gifted. This kid is well below average on the world scale. He is a loser, he couldnt event make it in europe with average leagues. I love it how the media pumped him up at the age of 14. What a joke/

Posted by: orangebee6 | January 30, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Give Petr Nowak his props. He was right and deserves an apology from Freddy Adu, Freddy's mom, ESPN, MLS, Sierra Mist, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Ruben Sierra and all the other leaches who forced Freddy onto him. If Petr had his way, Freddy would probably know how to play defense right now and might be getting some burn with a quality side somewhere.

Posted by: ddd001 | January 30, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

If nothing else, he could help fill some seats for an MLS squad that needs a boost in attendance. And of course get some regular playing time.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | January 30, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

How many times are we going to have to hear: "This is a great move for Freddy. Now he can play and get back into the international scene"?

Anyway, this is a good move for Freddy. Hopefully, he can actually play and maybe turn his career around.

Posted by: DrBeaker | January 30, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I'll try to avoid piling on, but a second division side in Turkey is definitely a disappointment. At least, they're in the top 3. Maybe they'll hang on to him if the team gains promotion. Not that I'd that impressed with his playing for a newly promoted first division team in Turkey, but any playing time is an improvement. Turks put a value on guys with good technical skill. Maybe it's a good place for him. All-in-all, I wouldn't be stunned if he did wind up with United when his contract is up -- since United sits at the top of the allocation list.

Contrary to the last comment, I don't think Adu would fill a lot of seats for most MLS teams, but he might get a good, curious reception from DC fans. Of course, that's assuming he's realistic in his salary demands -- remember that Heath Pearce nearly had a Turkish first division and returned to MLS instead. Adu couldn't expect to get much more than Pearce, who was battling for a national team spot.


Posted by: fischy | January 30, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

DCU lost big with Nowak's departure. In retrospect it is even more amazing how he was able to handle the Adu situation. I agree 5 years with Nowak and Freddy is a much different player. Not that either one of them was sticking around with DC...

Posted by: dcalize | January 30, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Orangebee really laid into him. I imagine Orangebee probably was a NSCL D3 washout.

Fischy, you think Adu qualifies for the allocation list? When was the last time Adu got a call up? The 2009 Gold cup? I would give Adu a chance here on a 95-100k salary with some incentives laced in. If he is on the allocation list, do we prefer Beasley or Adu? Or what happens if Cherundolo wants to come home?

I'm gonna say it again, a creative smart coach could probably get something out of Adu. I am a fan of actually hiding your playmakers on the wings and letting them drift in -it might actually give Adu the space to preform.

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 30, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

With the benefit of hindsight we continue to get an improvingly clearer picture of Freddy's story.

No one except Piotr did him any favors. Arnold Tarzi, Mrs. Adu, Motzkin, Payne/Kasper, Nike, Garber all were complicit in ruining what could have been a promising career. If all of these self-serving egotists had just let Piotr do his job and quit making things complicated for him as a coach, Freddy might have developed into a player that would have grown into MLS stardom and perhaps found his way into a better position in Europe than he finds himself now. He also might have also gotten more than the mere sniff of the USMNT that he did get.

The problem was that all those syncophants
did nothing but fill a teen-ager's head with how great he was and relieved him of any personal or professional accountability. Piotr was the only one to stand up against those forces, having the audacity to suspend him before the start of the postseason (give me another example in any sport of a coach doing that to a player - I cannot honestly think of one) and make Freddy accountable for his performance and work ethic.

A favorite DCU/Moreno moment came when finally fed up with all of Freddy's crap, Jaime picked him up and deposited him head-first into a trash can in the locker room. It was hilarious, seeing Freddy's legs sticking out of the can waving all around.

He'll be back in MLS soon. A focus group will make contriving that story irresistible for the marketing professionals at Nike and MLS. If Bobby Convey can make it back, so can Freddy.

Posted by: lgm6986 | January 30, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Igm. I actually enjoy your insight. I just wish I knew how you knew this information/explain yourself. My biggest question, are you still an employee?

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 30, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Freddy's going to be playing in some places where not a lot of Americans go. I'll be curious to see what sort of reception he gets. I'm guessing there's a big difference between being American in Istanbul/Ankara and the sort of cities that are in the 2nd division—much less cosmopolitan and Westernized.

Posted by: benonthehill | January 30, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Are you looking to refinance your mortgage? Best way is to contact at least three to five lenders for input on mortgage programs and rates. Also search online for 123 Mortgage Refinance since refinanced my loan to 3.29% with my OK credit history.

Posted by: dansmith124 | January 31, 2011 2:06 AM | Report abuse

The failure of Freddy Adu is a story demanding to be told. Goff, if you know the reasons for the failure, please write the story. If not, we'll have to await a tale told by SI, Soccer America or some enterprising freelancer.

Two facts stand out: Adu has shown flashes of talented play at various levels -- and he can't hold a job. Why? Is he a head case? A boozer or druggie? An arrested adolescent stuck in fame-at-14? A free spirit who can't be bothered by a work ethic?

I'm hoping someone will detail the story of why this man -- he's no longer a young teenager -- hasn't developed into the player his talent deserves.

Posted by: runningcloud | January 31, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

@dansmith -- Wow -- YOu must be really thrilled with your experience with that obscure mortgage company, if you're coming into this soccer blog to share that blessing with us. I"m going to rush right out and buy a house just so I can go to them and refinance it asap.

Posted by: fischy | January 31, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"He's a one trick pony that hasn't developed. Best of luck to him."

Posted by: mbyrd28

And his one trick is to take a dive whenever someone breathes on him.

Maybe the reason he hasn't come back to the US is because none of the MLS teams has any interest in him; which could be why he is stuck in this nomadic journey through 2nd division teams in Europe.

Posted by: timmy6 | January 31, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

There are those who have questioned whether Adu really was 14 years old when he turned pro. It is one possible explanation why he hasn't developed into a better player.

Posted by: nonot | January 31, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Adu is 21 years ago, about the same age as the typical college senior. He's accomplished more than nearly all of the collegians who were recently selected in recent MLS SuperDraft (U17, U20, Olympics, etc.). Should they all be written off, too? And although there was a lot of hype on the part of the league, United, his agent, and others at the time he was first signed, there was also serious interest in him on the part of Inter Milan and other top European sides.

Posted by: universityandpark | January 31, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Make that "21 years old."

Posted by: universityandpark | January 31, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Good point, universityandpark. If a career were a middle-distance race like the 800 meters, he went out too fast and finished poorly. The good news is that for professional soccer players, it's more like a half-marathon. And when you start as early as Adu did, it's really a long road. He has time to get back into the pack and then see about moving up.

Posted by: WorldCup | January 31, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

No U&P, neither college seniors nor Freddy should be written off. The difference between them, however, is that Freddy has been a pro for eight years. So it is reasonable to have higher expectations for him at 22.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 31, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I havent really seen much of Adu lately. From a couple years ago it still looked like he was the same size he was when he was 14. Has he grown? Is this part of the problem. Probably part of the hype when he was 14 assumed some amount of physical growth. Has that just not happened?

Posted by: makplan20002 | January 31, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Yo Thor don't sell NVSL D1 short!

Posted by: lovinliberty | January 31, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

rize is small city but has a wonderful natural beauty. rize has a new, small but modern stadium and classy trainnig grounds. rizespor is in third place in second division, but the competition is so excited. last week rizespor was the leader and one win make us leader again. so a competetive league and team are waiting for adu. fans are so excited about this transfer. adu is known because of the manager games. so fans are aware of adu's abilities... this transfer shouldnt be thought as a failure i think. we can say re-birth of adu...

Posted by: colystapha_53 | January 31, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I first worked with 123 mortgage refi more than a year and recently I refinanced my loan, again with 123. Both times I scoured the field for other options, and I found no-one better than 123. The process was very professional and straight forward; all estimates were in writing.

Posted by: sarahmarci135 | February 1, 2011 4:48 AM | Report abuse

sarahmarci135 - I've heard the opposite about 123 mortgage - they employ morons who go around spamming blogs with their bullcrap. Not exactly the sort of ethics I want in a company that I would do business with.

Posted by: nonot | February 1, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

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