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Freddy Adu returns home, signs with second-tier Rowdies

One-time youth phenomenon Freddy Adu signed with second-tier American club Tampa Bay Rowdies on Tuesday.

Adu – once considered one of the best young footballers in the world – has struggled to follow through on his potential, with the Ghana-born former United States international having spent the past two years being linked with clubs all over the globe but playing very little football.

The 26-year-old hopes to reinvigorate his career under his former USA Under-20 coach Thomas Rongen, who is in charge of the Rowdies in the North American Soccer League (NASL) – a competition below MLS.

“Hey guys follow @TampaBayRowdies my new home,” Adu wrote on Twitter.

“Great to be back together with @ThomasRongen.”

Rongen and Adu combined to lead USA’s U20 side to the quarter-finals of the 2007 U20 World Cup with the latter – as captain – finishing the tournament with three goals.

Since then, Adu has failed to make an impact at the likes of Benfica and Monaco in Europe, before returning to MLS – where he made his professional debut as a 14-year-old – with Philadelphia Union in 2011.

Since leaving the Union in 2013, Adu has signed with Brazil’s Bahia, Jagodina of Serbia and two Finnish clubs – KuPS and KUFU-98 – but has played just 10 senior games, although Rongen is convinced he can get the best out of the forward.

“I’m someone he [Adu] relates to and someone he feels comfortable with,” the 58-year-old coach said in a statement on the Rowdies’ website.

“I like daring, creative players and Freddy has those qualities. His signing has immense upside for a club that is already making its mark in the NASL.”

The Rowdies – NASL champions in 2012 – sit seventh after two matches of 2015’s Fall Season, having finished second behind New York Cosmos in the Spring Season.

Wed 15 Jul, 2015
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