Photo: Otto Greule Jr., courtesy Goal.com
Freddy Adu is out.
Adu will not join Philadelphia Union when the club opens its preseason camp next week, Union manager John Hackworth said Thursday.
“Freddy is not coming into our preseason,” Hackworth said Thursday during an interview scheduled to air Friday on the KYW Philly Soccer Show. “He is not in our plans.”
Hackworth said he would provide more details during a news conference next week.
The pronouncement appears to put an end to Adu’s tenure with the Union, who open training camp Monday in Wayne, Pa.
The club’s highest paid player has recorded seven goals and two assists in 35 games since joining the club in August 2011. Originally tabbed to slot in as the club’s key central playmaker, Adu proved second choice to Michael Farfan and spent most of his time playing on a wing. At season’s end, he found himself relegated to the bench, partially due to his play and partially due to internal team conflict.
Few expected Adu to return with the club in 2013, but the issue has lingered unanswered since the regular season ended in October. With a salary of $400,000 and a history of underproduction, Adu appears unlikely to have many teams interested in taking a chance on him at that salary.
What remains to be seen is just how Adu and the Union will part ways. The most logical move is to loan Adu out, sell him to another club overseas, or trade him within MLS, although it’s unlikely the Union will find a willing partner without paying part of his contract. Should the Union release Adu outright, the team would likely be obligated to pay out his full contract, the full details of which are not known. The possibility also exists that Adu could sit out the season while contracted to the Union.
Should the Union clear his full salary, it would open up $400,000 within the team’s salary budget, potentially allowing for the signing of new players.
Adu is the only designated player in the Union’s three-year history. He is 23 years old.