A year ago, Freddy Adu was left off the USA's World Cup roster and then found himself without a club team.
“It was the lowest point. … everything fell apart and I didn’t have a team," said Adu. "I had a couple of trials and they weren’t looking for a player like myself and it was basically tough. When you are down like that it is up to you to either crumble or force your way back. Some people find a way to work their way back and some crumble -- I had a lot of support from family and friends, it was difficult but I got myself in the right frame of mind. You always have to have hope."
Adu landed with Turkish second division club Rizespor, earned regular playing time, and was re-called by U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley for the first time since 2009 this summer. He came on as a late sub in the USA's Gold Cup semifinal against Panama on Wednesday, sparked several attacks, and helped set up the winning goal.
“I think he has matured, when you see a player go to the second division in Turkey to keep things going in his career, that tells you something,” Bradley said. “You can tell that when he got a chance in this camp, he appreciated it. It shows he has matured in the way he acts and trains. He didn’t start out this camp great, but you could see over time he was getting better and better."