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Adu leaves MLS to conclude Benfica deal
by Paul Kennedy, July 30th, 2007 7AM

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Freddy Adu is gone.

Real Salt Lake gave the 18-year-old Adu permission to travel to Lisbon, Portugal, where he hopes to conclude an agreement to sign with Portuguese club Benfica.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Adu was expected to reach a deal that would pay him approximately what he made at RSL. MLS and Benfica reached an agreement on a $2 million transfer fee for Adu, who will be a free agent after the season.

Real Salt Lake, which lost its fourth straight MLS game and fell to 1-9-6 with a 2-1 loss to New England without Adu on Saturday night, hopes to use its share of the proceeds from the transfer and the money saved by unloading Adu's salary, to rebuild the team.

Adu scored one goal in 11 games since joining RSL in 2007 from D.C. United. He has scored 12 goals in 98 games in his MLS career.

In the meantime, several players were trying out with RSL, including former French international Tony Vairelles, who is 34 and has eight caps for France.

Benfica is one of the most famous names in European soccer, but it has won only two Portuguese league titles since 1991. Portugal's First Division has the reputation of being one of the most chaotic of the "mid-major" European leagues.

Benfica, third in the Portuguese League last season behind Porto and Sporting Lisbon, is entered in the European Champions League in the third qualifying round, which begins on Aug. 14 or 15.

BENFICA SIGNINGS (2007-08)
Gonzalo Bergessio (Racing Club/ARG)
Hans-Joerg Butt (Bayer Leverkusen/GER)
Oscar Cardozo (Newell's Old Boys/ARG)
Fabio Coentrao (Rio Ave)
Angel Di Maria (Rosario Central/ARG)
Andres Diaz (Rosario Central/ARG)
*Manuel Fernandes (Everton/ENG)
David Luiz (Vitoria)
Sreten Sretenovic (Rad/SER)
Marco Zoro (Messina/ITA)
*Returns after loan.

 



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