By Avi Creditor, Goal.com
Freddy Adu's immediate future is not with the Philadelphia Union.
The American playmaker's status was addressed by club manager John Hackworth in a letter to Union supporters Monday, and he said that the organization will be moving on without Adu's services, leaving the player looking for stability yet again.
"We presented Freddy with an option to come back and play for the Philadelphia Union," Hackworth wrote. "However, Freddy chose to stick with his current contract, which was not an option we were willing to accept. At the moment, Freddy has not been sold nor loaned, and he continues to be our player, but in reality, while we are paying his salary and while we have his rights – he is not a part of our plans going forward."
Adu returned to the Union following a resurgent performance for the U.S. men's national team in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but his tenure was marked by mixed results. He fell out of favor during last season, playing in 24 of a possible 34 games and making 20 starts. Adu accounted for five goals and an assist last year, but he also had a number of potential assists go wanting after attacking teammates could not put away the chances he created.
Adu's career has been a winding road. Playing with the eternal expectations of being American soccer's savior ever since he was 14, Adu began playing in MLS with D.C. United and Real Salt Lake. He moved to Benfica in Portugal and was loaned a number of times, to Monaco, Belenenses, Aris and Caykur Rizespor. His resurgence in Turkey's second division with Rizespor led to a call-up by Bob Bradley for the Gold Cup, and the Union signed him soon after, hoping that it would be the destination that stabilized his club situation.
Adu has spoken of his desire to return to Europe to take his career to new heights. His high salary figure makes him an unattractive option in MLS, and a move to a European club could be in the cards next, provided that the Union can find a suitor willing to take him on.
"We have a number of challenges because of moves we have made in the past couple of years that affect us long term and frankly, Freddy Adu is a major one," Hackworth wrote. "The next step for him is one that we have been trying to work on since October, which is to see if there is a viable option to sell or loan him that makes sense for our organization and for Freddy."
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