Attacking midfielder Freddy Adu signed with the Philadelphia Union on August 12, 2011, on a free transfer from Benfica of the Portuguese First Division.
Adu signed a professional contract at the age of 14 and was selected by D.C. United as the number one overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. After making his professional debut against the San Jose Earthquakes on April 3 as the youngest player on a major U.S. pro team in more than 115 years, Adu was a member of Peter Nowak's 2004 MLS Cup championship squad. The US international finished his first season with five goals and three assists after notching his first professional goal on April 17 in a 3-2 loss to the MetroStars, thus becoming the youngest goal scorer in MLS history. Named an MLS All-Star in 2004 and 2006, Adu scored 11 goals and added 17 assists in 87 appearances with the Black-and-Red.
After three seasons with United, Adu was transferred on December 11, 2006 to Real Salt Lake, where he scored two goals in 11 total appearances. Halfway through his first season in Salt Lake, weeks after he scored three goals against Poland at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup, Adu’s rights were secured by Benfica. Adu made his debut with the Portuguese First Division club on August 14, 2007 against Copenhagen in a UEFA Champions League qualifying match, coming in as a 37th minute substitute. Adu went on to score two goals in 11 games with Benfica's first team.
After spending the 2007 season with the Portuguese giants, Adu was sent on a variety of loans to French club AS Monaco (2008-2009), Portuguese First Division club C.F. Os Belenenses (2009), Greek SuperLiga club Aris FC (2010) and most recently Turkish side Caykur Rizespor of the TFF First League (2011). Adu enjoyed his most successful European stint with Rizespor, netting four goals in 13 appearances while consistently featuring in the starting XI.
Adu became the youngest player to debut for the US at the age of 16 and 234 days in a friendly against Canada on January 22, 2006. Adu scored his first international goal in a World Cup qualifier against Guatemala, a 2-0 win on November 19, 2008. The attacking midfielder was called for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, starting in a 4-2 loss to Mexico in the championship match and assisting on both goals scored by the US. Adu was also called by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for a friendly against Mexico on August 10.
Adu has represented the US Men’s National Team at all levels, competing in the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He also starred in three U20 FIFA World Cups in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Under Nowak’s guidance, Adu was one of the top players in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
2012: In his first full season with the Union Freddy Adu started 20 games and played in 24. He scored 5 goals and registered 1 assist in 1468 minutes played. He scored his first goal of the season on April 21 at Chivas USA, which proved to be the game winner in a 1-0 game. He scored a brace on September 23 in a 3-1 win over the Dynamo. Named the 19 player on the MLS’ 24 under 24 list.
2011: Signed with Philadelphia Union on August 12 on a free transfer from Benfica… Made his debut vs. FC Dallas on August 13, starting and playing 62 minutes… was featured in 11 games during the 2011 season, starting six and logging 609 minutes. Scored two goals and assisted one more during the campaign…2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: Played in both of Philadelphia’s playoff games, coming off the bench in both and logging 37 minutes.
2011: In his fourth loan away from Benfica, Adu moved to Çaykur Rizespor on Febraury 1 in the Turkish second-division (Bank Asya 1. Lig)... Debuted on February 20, assisting twice and receiving the Man of the Match… Scored his first goal for the club on March 6… Adu netted four goals in 13 appearances with Rizespor, consistently breaking into the starting XI.
2010: In January Adu joined US national teammate Eddie Johnson in Greece when he signed an 18-month loan with Aris FC. He made his debut on January 31, coming on as a substitute and assisting a 90th-minute Eddie Johnson goal… On February 14 Adu scored his first goal in Europe since 2007 when he got the game winner against Ergotelis in stoppage time of the first half.
2009: Returned to Portugal after his spell in France and signed another season-long loan with Portuguese club Belenenses. The loan was cut short in December after only two appearances one of which he was a starter… Started two matches for the US Men’s National Team during the Gold Cup logging 153 minutes, and scoring once vs. Grenada on July 4... Scored in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match on November 19 vs. Guatemala.
2008: In July Adu joined French club AS Monaco on a season-long loan with an option to join the team at the end of the stint, which was eventually declined by Monaco…Made nine appearances, all of which he came on as a substitute… Played in two of three matches for the US Men’s Olympic Team in Beijing logging 170 minutes… Member of the US Men’s National Team during the Gold Cup.
2007: Transferred to Real Salt Lake on December 11… During 11 games in Utah Adu scored once and assisted twice, starting ten times for a total of 899 minutes… Midway through his stint with Real Salt Lake, his rights were bought by SL Benfica in the Portuguese Liga for a reported $2,000,000… He debuted with the Portuguese squad on August 14 against Copenhagen as a substitute in a UEFA Champions League qualifying match. During his time with Benfica, Adu scored two goals in 11 appearances… Became the first player to score a hat trick in both the FIFA U-17 World Cup (vs. South Korea in 2003) and in the FIFA U-20 World Cup (vs. Poland in 2007)…Became the first player to represent the US in three U-20 World Cups (2003, 2005, 2007)… Captained the US Men’s Nation Team’s U-20 side in the 2007 World Cup.
2006: Started 29 out of 32 games logging 2,521 minutes… Cemented his position as a starter in the D.C. lineup, scoring two goals and eight assists…2006 MLS Cup Playoffs: Started all three of United’s post season matches for a total of 224 minutes, cautioned once… Named to the MLS All-Star team… Became the youngest player ever capped with the US Men’s National Team on Jan. 22, 2006, appearing as an 81st-minute substitute against Canada.
2005: Appeared in 25 starting 16… Scored four goals and assisted six times… Won double honors for player of the week and goal of the week for his performance against Real Salt Lake in week 28…2005 MLS Cup Playoffs: Featured in one of United’s two games logging 45 minutes as a second half substitute… Played all four games and started three for the US Men’s U-20 team in the FIFA World Youth Championship… Started in three games and played in four at the U-20 FIFA World Cup logging a total of 297 minutes.
2004: Freddy Adu became the youngest American athlete to sign a major league contract in more than 115 years when he joined Peter Nowak at D.C. United as the number one overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft… Featured in each of United’s 30 games logging 1,440 minutes, 14 of which he started. Scored five goals and three assists during the regular season... Became the youngest player to score in MLS history in a 3-2 loss to MetroStars on April 17… Won the MLS goal of the week with his second half goal vs. LA Galaxy in week eight… 2004 MLS Cup Playoffs: Played in three post season games logging a total of 87 minutes and notching a game winning assist vs. the MetroStars in the quarterfinals… Named to the MLS All-Star team as a commissioner’s pick.