What They're Saying: Earnie Stewart

"He [Freddy Adu] was 14 years old, very talented but only practiced once a day. That was it. The rest of the time, he was doing interviews or appearances. If there's something you should be doing at 14 years old, it's being on the field the whole time and mastering what you could be very good at. I could not stand those things."

-- Philadelphia Union sporting director Earnie Stewart recalls his 2004 MLS season as a player, when he was teammates with Freddy Adu. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

2 comments about "What They're Saying: Earnie Stewart".
  1. Ginger Peeler, May 24, 2016 at 9:18 a.m.

    So do you think it was that 14 year old kid who scheduled all those interviews and appearances? Hopefully, besides practices and publicity, Freddy was also going to school? He WAS something special...and adults took advantage of that, milking his fame for all they could get. It was adults who gave him his sense of entitlement. He was not an adult, but, physically and emotionally, a child. Here's a kid, going through puberty (remember what that was like?) being put up on a pedestal by adults. The coach tried to counteract that entitlement feeling by keeping Freddy on the bench. So maybe that works with an 18 or 19 year old, but not a 14 year old who is constantly being told how awesome he is. We, as adults, and MLS, set him up to fail. We didn't do it deliberately, but that hardly matters. "The world is paved with good intentions". Even now, as adults, we continue to exert tremendous pressure on our young men who show any signs of possibly becoming extraordinary players. Yes, I understand Ernie's anger, but it should be directed at us, the adults who were responsible for the actions of that 14 year old.

  2. Peter Mullany, May 24, 2016 at 9:38 a.m.

    good points

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