Union manager opens up about Adu, Valdes in a manner unlike any other

Hackworth's candid honesty a refreshing break from the norm

Hackworth at training YSC

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

There is no way of knowing what the next step of Freddy Adu’s professional career will be, but whatever it is, the chapter of his novel that involved the Philadelphia Union has come to a close.

In front of a media throng today at YSC Sports in Wayne, Union manager John Hackworth elaborated on what he wrote in a candid letter to supporters Sunday night that the 23-year-old midfielder’s time has passed. Hackworth abruptly put to bed rumblings and speculation of Adu’s future by laying it all out on the table.

Call it a refreshing taste of transparency, John Hackworth style.

“We presented Freddy with a couple of scenarios that we would feel comfortable with if we were going to bring him back under certain conditions and Freddy came back and said ‘hey, I am going to stick with my current situation and we made it very clear that if that was his choice and he has that option…but if he made that choice that he wasn’t going to be a part of the team.”

Hackworth did confirm to that he and the technical staff tried to come to an agreement with Adu, that efforts and consideration were made to keep him on the roster. What was unsaid – but subtly ascertained – was that ego met reality and in the end, reality prevailed.

“Freddy and I have had enough conversations that it was very clear between him, me and his representatives, [player agent] Richard Motzkin as well. When it comes to the contractual part it’s pretty much always financial, but it did have to do a lot with the role Freddy would play within our team, especially when you compare him and his stature in our locker room with guys that were in there. I should’ve started this by saying that Freddy is a very talented player…but he did not meet the very lofty expectations we placed on him within our team.”

Adu declined comment on the situation via text message following a request from www.philadelphiaunion.com, but what’s next for him is uncertain. Hackworth reiterated that his plan and the plan of his staff since October has been to look for a “viable solution” either in the form of a loan, trade or lucrative transfer, but that it’d have to be one that would be “in the best interest of the club and for Freddy.”

It’s uncertain what is in the best interest of Freddy, but in the case of defender Carlos Valdes, who jettisoned off to Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fe last week, the move bodes well for all involved as Valdes seeks a national team call-up with Colombia ahead of the final phase of FIFA World Cup qualifying. For the Union, the sky is the limit to the potential of what this deal can do for the club financially and for stability going forward once Valdes returns from his yearlong loan deal.

“Right now I am planning on the fact that he will be back next year, but the reality is that he starts for Colombia, they qualify or get close to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup and that changes life for Carlos in a big way,” said Hackworth. “It would also change things for us in a big way too. I don’t want to speculate as to what can and can’t happen, but this is an opportunity that is good for Carlos and we are trying to make the best out of it. But at no point are we saying that this is the last time we’ll see Carlos.”

The Freddy Adu era in Philadelphia has ended. The Carlos Valdes era is on hiatus but the John Hackworth era has taken form in an honest, open and candid manner.

This goes a long way in the eyes of fans that at the end of the day – just wanted the truth.

Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com