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Hackworth: Adu “not in our plans”

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.


  1. Not that I don’t love this, cause I do. But this does open up some positions for us, in a bad way. Assuming Farfan gets the keys as a CAM, as he should, exactly who are our wide players?
    With all due respect to Cruz who is a decent player, I don’t see him as a particularly noteworthy wing player. And even with him, who plays on the other side?
    (This is where drafting a LB would have helped as it would make it possible for Gabe to play wide)

  2. Gordon Strachan says:

    Outside of CDM nothing about this midfield excites me. We need a playmaker on this team.

  3. David Moscow says:

    We will all realize what we had when its gone. Shame we’re getting rid of Adu…why is Hack still here?

    • Takes a shit lot for the Union to get rid of a coach. And Hack hasn’t done much to get fired. I think he’s been doing alright so far.

    • We just lost our best offensive and defensive players in Valdes and Adu. Awesome. Adu is 3 times more accomplished/talented as a player than Hackworth is as a manager. Can the Union get a legitimate manager instead of these morons?

      • Actually, we got our best offensive player back in December. Sebastien Le Toux leads the team in goals, assists, game-winning goals, multi-goal games. Yes, he had his ups and downs, but so has Adu. The difference is Adu comes with a much larger price tag. As for defense, Valdes will be missed, but Jeff Parke is a very capable replacement.

        And Hackworth’s accomplishments? He trimmed the fat left by Nowak (Lopez, Gomez, Pajoy, Perlaza, Martinez), rebuilt bridges (Le Toux), and brought in talented players with MLS experience (Parke, Casey), yet people are mad because he’s (possibly) going to cut ties with an overpaid, vociferous player who has yet to live up to his potential.

      • James Korman says:


    • U need to actually watch some games. Adu did nothing when he was one the field (other than new York game). Hack made nowakcs disaster of team respectable and he deserves a chance to play a full season with his own lineup

  4. People who defend Adu do not do a good enough job of reading between the lines. Aside from woeful underproduction, the guy sat out more than one game last year due to “coach’s decision.” From a player’s coach like Hack, what does that tell you? Either he digs it in practice, or he’s locker room poison. Or both.

    • That was supposed to read “dogs” it in practice…

      • How many teams can come out and say Adu is poison before people believe it? It’s been with him his whole career. I was surprised when the Union signed him and could have bet money it was going to end this way.

      • Gordon Strachan says:

        Please defend “underproduction”… Throughout his career Adu has been more of an assist man than a goal scorer. Late last season Opta had him tied for 4th in the MLS in big chances created. Ives did a compilation video of all the missed finishes by his teammates… In one of his last games with substantial minutes (against Houston) he scored 2 goals, but was still denied playing time in subsequent games by the coach… Adu has a vision of the field superior to his teammates, and better technical skills period. Does he have flaws in his game? Sure, but they do not outweigh his positives. I guess I don’t get excited about players that merely “hustle” more than the next guy but have lousy touch, or players that are a comparative bargain because they can start in this league but make less than the league average, or players that make things easy in the locker room for our new coach.

      • so it begins…

      • Got a link to that video?

      • Awesome. Thanks!

      • I didn’t mean that Freddie should be scoring buckets of goals. He may have created a lot of chances, but they were compressed into a handful of games. Which demonstrates his talent. But anybody who watched the Union knows that well more than half the time, the guy just didn’t show up.

    • a “player’s coach”? Apparently he only likes his players. Which is why this team is garbage and will be in the future. If Hackworth wasnt a moron he would have played Adu where Adu excels, in the CAM position. He didn’t, because he, in fact, is a moron.

      • What I meant was that Hack is not the kind of guy to just have a pissing match with a player for spite (unlike you-know-who). I am not lauding Hackworth as a tactician — or in any capacity, really — but if he has an interpersonal problem with someone, it’s probably pretty bad.

  5. I hope his salary comes off the books, by my rough napkin math we dumped more salary than we took on. I hope we get a solid left back and a playmaker. Would love both farfans on the wings and someone to spread the ball around

  6. undoing what should never have been done.

  7. I’m one of the biggest Freddy supporters out there, but this was the right move. He clearly just was never motivated in leagues he felt were beneath him, aside from Turkey. We could use another CAM though, as Marfan is much better on the wing.

  8. What a shame for both the Union and Freddy. I still think tha he is young and potentially recoverable from a bad attitude, if that is the reason for his problem with this team. It would be interesting to see him with true targets for his passing in the offensive third, more consistently than he has played for the Union to date. When he was playing with people steadily, as he seemed to do with some of the national team players with whom he had repeated and longer term playing time, he seemed to be a reliable playmaker. More consistent exposure to a more consistent set of strikers and midfielders here might have helped, but I was underwhelmed by Freddy’s maturity in responding tothe issues that the management change and the personnel rotations that the Union fought through this past year. I guess that I am curious about the public statements by the team that he isn’t in their plans. I have never seen Freddy as being motivated by public criticism, and I don’t see the benefit to the team from publicly undercutting his value for loan and/or trade transactions. For a player with more than ten years of useful playing time left, I hope that he is able to find a place to recover from his issues here.

  9. I, like many others, thought that when Adu was signed that we would see the playmaker that has shined for the NT on various occasions. Although, we have seen those flashes of brilliance, we have also been shown the selfish, my-needs-above-all-attitude that has made him ever available for sale. Freddy is a very talented individual, probably the most talented on the team, but his inability to be a team player has constantly cost him a position at every place he has landed. There is a reason that, since he left DC, he has never been anywhere for more than 2 years. Teams do not want to put up with his childish behavior.

    • well said.

    • Yeah, agreed, well said. It doesn’t matter how talented someone is; if they arent interested in engaging with their team as a member of that team then they arent worth much.

    • Gordon Strachan says:

      Except there are many Americans that have had tremendous promise only to bounce around Europe on several clubs. And few if any were as young as Freddy or went to Europe as early.

  10. It was time for Adu to move on. I agree that his playmaking did not match the god awful finishing on this team last year.

    Here’s the other thing to rein in- use of adjectives like “great” for Farfan or any player on this team. They earned that 16 out of 19 last year. Greatness has yet to find them. I’d prefer to leave Farfan on the wing and spend the (hopefully) freed up cash on a straight CAM replacement. Not another project or (god forbid) supplemental draft pick. A real live current starter from MLS or a top 20 league. While they’re at it, a real upgrade at LB and end the Garfan experiment.

    There’s room for improvement throughout the lineup. If Nowak taught you anything, it was to not get too attached to the name on the back of the jersey. I want my team to win more than I care about Anding taking over the starting LB role in 2016.

    • Gordon Strachan says:

      Agree. Leadership in the midfield is lacking on this team. We need someone who has technical skills and can lead the buildup. CAM is a position we shoud be considering spending DP money on.

  11. Wasn’t Mondragon also a DP?

  12. This is going to be such a great season for me and watching the Union do absolutely nothing. Hackworth is a fool, Eddie Johnson is already campaigning for Adu to join the Sounders, because a real forward understands that he will be a great asset.

    These idiot Union fan’s want to bank on Jack Mc and Marfan lol..to funny.

  13. I swear – if we end up paying even a portion of his salary to go somewhere else in MLS and create chances against us, we need to call for some serious leadership changes. This is so frustrating – I wish both sides could have worked this thing out.

  14. Great news! Its like removing a tumor!

  15. Gordon- thanks for the clip. Frustrating to watch and confirms the decision to ship Pajoy elsewhere, as much as my issue about Adu’s passing being lost with the personnel that he had here. His attitude about the personnel on his team didn’t help, however. When they did finish, he demonstrated his attitude with the wandering off by himself. Thanks again.

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