Rowdies of 2nd-tier NASL agree to contract with Freddy Adu

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the second-tier North American Soccer League have agreed to a contract with one-time phenom Freddy Adu.

The 26-year-old Adu has struggled to live up to expectations since making his debut at age 14 for Major League Soccer’s D.C. United in 2004. He was the captain of the U.S. team at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup that Rowdies coach Thomas Rongen led. Adu made his debut for the senior national team in 2006 at age 16, making him the youngest player to ever represent the United States at the senior level.

Rongen says in a statement that ”Freddy and I have always respected each other.” He adds that ”his signing has immense upside for a club that is already making its mark in the NASL.”

Adu was selected with the first pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft by D.C. United. After three years, he moved to Real Salt Lake and then to Europe with SL Benfica. He also has played with Philadelphia of MLS, and in Brazil, Serbia and Finland.