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Adu Over-Hyped

  • Newsweek, Friday, December 15, 2006 2:37 PM
Newsweek columnist Mark Starr says Freddy Adu's "possible" move to Manchester United one day is pure..."bullswoosh." That is to say that Adu's two-week training session at United was a "commercial contrivance" conjured up by Nike, multi-million dollar sponsor of both Man United and the 17-year old, and perhaps the Glazer family, the club's owners. In fact, Starr says that neither Sir Alex Ferguson nor the United board knew anything about his coming to train with the team until just before his arrival, which may be the reason United's denial of the move was rescinded a day later by Ferguson. Now, United says it has no plans of pursing the teenager. A few weeks later, Adu's club D.C. United traded him to Real Salt Lake, an indication, Starr says, that Freddy, at 17, isn't the future superstar he was widely touted to be. "Not that there is anything wrong with Salt Lake City," he said. "But trust me on this: no team trades away the 17-year-old future of American soccer-not even one who clashed with his coach and pines for Europe-unless it has concluded that he is not the future of American soccer." Starr says he is yet another victim of unrealistic expectations created by media hype. He adds: "11 goals in 59 games with D.C. United does not resemble a LeBron-like impact." The criticism suddenly falling Freddy's way is reminiscent to the roasting Landon Donovan received after a poor World Cup and poor first half of the year with the L.A. Galaxy. However, Donovan was able to rise to the occasion soon after that, finishing among the league's best with a goal every other game average and eight assists. It's up to Freddy now to produce the goods.

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