Freddy Adu Speaker & Booking Information

Was One of the Youngest Professional Athletes in the MLS
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Freddy Adu is regarded as one of the most exciting young players in the world. Adu left Ghana with his family in 1997, and is now a resident of Potomac, Maryland in the United States and a U.S. citizen.

Adu grew up in the port city of Tema in Ghana, where he played football barefoot against men three times his age. When he was eight, his mother won an immigration lottery, and he and his family moved to Washington D.C. Soon thereafter, he was discovered by a local soccer coach and began playing with boys several years older. While playing with the U.S. Olympic Development Program in Italy in successive annual trips, he played spectacularly in 2 tournaments. Adu was noticed by Italian soccer clubs, including Inter Milan who discussed a six-figure offer for him that was turned down by his mother on the advice of his agents.

Major European teams in the United Kingdom also explored the possibility of signing Adu but did not due to employment legislation in Britain that states players cannot join FA Premier League teams professionally until they turn 17; before this they are limited to very low paying apprenticeship contracts. Adu's agent opted for a contract in the United States, partially because of the financial situation, but also because joining MLS gave the young player the opportunity to play professional soccer very near to his new home in Potomac, Maryland.

At age 13, Adu joined the Bradenton Academy, U.S. Soccer's full-time residency program in Florida, in January 2002. He made his professional debut in US Major League Soccer the following year at just 14, and now plays for the United States Under-20 national side.

Adu became a U.S. citizen in 2003.

Adu played for the United States in two tournaments in 2003, the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland and the World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates.

In order to allow Adu to play close to home, MLS assigned him to D.C. United on November 18, 2003, working a deal with the Dallas Burn who owned the top pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. Dallas was compensated with a player allocation. Having already signed with D.C. United, Adu effectively became the first player selected, in that draft, two months before it officially took place. (D.C. United is the same team that signed American youngsters Bobby Convey in 2000 at 16 and Santino Quaranta in 2001 at 16 years, four months of age, each at the time the youngest MLS player.)

On April 3, Adu came on in United's first game of the 2004 season against the San Jose Earthquakes as a second-half substitute, making him the youngest professional sportsman in United States professional sports history since fifteen-year-old Joe Nuxhall played Major League Baseball in Ohio in 1944. On April 17, he scored his first professional goal in the 75th minute of a 3-2 away loss against the MetroStars.

In his first season as a professional, Adu complained about playing time, and finished the year with five goals and three assists, while playing in all 30 regular season games. Although briefly a starter, Adu was relegated to a substitute when D.C. United acquired central midfielder Christian Gomez midseason, and it was in this role that he appeared in United's MLS Cup victory. He played in three of D.C.'s four playoff games, coming off the bench each time; he tallied one assist in the postseason.

Despite his success, Adu was criticized from a number of different angles in his first season as a professional. Some soccer commentators have suggested that Adu is too young to be playing professionally, and that he needs more time to develop mentally amongst players his own age. Yet, his first two years in the MLS have been punctuated by notable accomplishments including being awarded player of the week and goal of the week multiple times.

Adu was invited to his first US senior squad by Bruce Arena in January 2006. On January 22nd, 2006, Adu became the youngest player to compete for the United States Men's National Team when he replaced an injured Eddie Johnson in the 81st minute of a friendly game against Canada. The game ended in a scoreless draw, with Adu earning a yellow card for diving in the 85th minute.

Freddy Adu was left off of the US squad for the World Cup in Germany 2006. According to U.S. coach Bruce Arena, his "best chance of making the World Cup Team was playing regularly for DC United", though he started for United 16 games in the 2005 season.

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NOPACTalent acts as a Celebrity Speakers Bureau and Athlete Booking agency for corporate functions, appearances, private events and speaking engagements. NOPACTalent does not claim or represent itself as Freddy Adu’s speakers bureau, agent, manager or management company for Freddy Adu or any celebrity on this website. NOPACTalent represents organizations seeking to hire motivational speakers, athletes, celebrities and entertainers for private corporate events, celebrity endorsements, personal appearances, and speaking engagements.

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