“He certainly didn’t meet the very lofty expectations that were placed on him within our team.”
— John Hackworth
In a sentence, whether he intended to or not, the Union manager got to the heart of the Freddy Adu
Freddy Adu in a Union shirt is a thing of the past. (Times File)
The Union and the enigmatic attacker announced an end to their year-and-a-half relationship, with Adu persona non grata at training camp and the Union actively shopping the 23-year-old attacking midfielder.
To summarize briefly, the Union presented new contract terms under which they would consider bringing Adu back, ones more in line with the type of production (seven goals and one assist in 37 matches) featured in his second stint in MLS. Adu chose not to take the pay-cut, bringing the teams to an impasse as they search for a new destination for the attacking midfielder. The decision has been several months in the making, and Hackworth is adamant in that the door is closed to a return.
There are a variety of reasons behind the departure. Hackworth admitted that Adu posed “a little bit” of a selection problem with how he integrated to the team’s tactics. To those ends, Adu often looked lost, drifting on the left wing through long stretches without possession. Painting him as a selfish player may be a bit harsh, but he’s a technically-gifted player whose best position is as a central-operating midfielder and whose work rate can suffer if he’s not seeing enough of the ball. With Hackworth moving to a 4-3-3 formation, opportunities for him to occupy that role are even scarcer.
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Labels: Antoine Hoppenot, Conor Casey, Freddy Adu, Jack McInerney, John Hackworth, Peter Nowak, Philadelphia Union, Sebastien Le Toux