List of Americans Abroad
Dalby North End romance ends with work permit denial.
Beasley reported to be near deal with Glasgow Rangers.
Bernardo's Italian training could benefit U.S. future.
Friedel, Rovers left to rue what should have been.
Onyewu is hopeful, but unsure of his Newcastle future.
Hahnemann is ranked No. 1 among Premier League goalkeepers.
Bocanegra hopeful Fulham can make late surge.
McBride's strong play makes him Fulham 'Player of the Month.'
Solid play earns Howard permanent spot, lucrative deal with Everton.
Keller clean sheet gives 'Gladbach 0-0 draw with Aachen.
Mönchengladbach used Keller shutout for rare victory.
Onyewu finally makes his move; he's loaned to Newcastle United.
Marseille must wait as Onyewu mulls Magpies offer.
Robles opts against MLS, signs with Kaiserslautern in Germany.
Onyewu move to Marseille is completed, Standard says.
Adu is negotiating with Benfica after MLS, Portugese power, agree to $2-million transfer fee.
By Gary Davidson (in Washington, D.C.)
| With four Major League Soccer and four appearances for the United States in youth age-group world championships, the 18-year-old Freddy Adu appears to be on the brink of taking his career to Europe.
-- real Salt Lake web site photo --
(Monday, July 30, 2007) -- Freddy Adu has headed to Portugal to finalize his transfer to traditional power Benfica. Adu left Real Salt Lake July 22 and was expected to stop at his Potomac, Md., home and reach Lisbon yesterday.
Benfica and MLS reached an agreement for Adu, a midfielder and four-year MLS veteran at age 18, to move to Europe for a reported $2-million transfer fee, but Adu, through his agent Richard Motzkin, and Benfica have not been able to come to a contract agreement. The two sides have until August 31, the end of the current transfer window, to come to an accommodation.
"It's my understanding Freddy wants to go and visit and meet with their management, see their facilities, before making his final decision," MLS special vice president for marketing and communications Dan Courtemanche told the Associated Press.
England's Press Association reported Adu is expected to agree to a five-year deal with Benfica, which finished third last season behind Porto and Sporting Lisbon in the Portugese Liga and is currently in the third round of qualifying for the European Champions League.
"Major League Soccer and Real Salt Lake have given permission to Freddy Adu to travel to Europe to continue discussions with Portuguese club Benfica," Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis told the PA. "This is certainly a scenario that does not surprise us, and we would like to thank Freddy for his time here and wish him the best of luck."
Adu, a Ghana native, helped his transfer value, serving as a captain and generally excelling for the United States, which advanced to the quarterfinals before being eliminated from the recent Under-20 World Cup in Canada. He had three goals and four assists, tying for the for the American lead in goals.
It was the fourth time Adu represented the U.S. in a world championship, including a record third time at the under-20 age group. In 2003, he appeared in both the under-17 world championships in Finland and the under-20 event in the United Arab Emirates, and also played in the 2005 under-20 world tournament in the Netherlands in 2005.
Adu signed with MLS and was assigned to D.C. United, located near Potomac, in November, 2003, becoming the youngest professional player in modern American sports. An international onslaught of publicity followed Adu, who with his $550,000 annual salary and seven-figure promotional deals with Nike and Sierra Mist, made him MLS's richest athlete.
Adu's performance on the field did not live up to his well-publicized salary and at times he became a controversial figure when he went to the media top complain about his failure to regularly crack to starting lineup at D.C. United.
Before this season, he was traded to Real Salt Lake, an expansion team having experienced little success in its first two seasons and having difficulty making a deal with community officials for a new stadium considered essential to the club's future. Adu provided only one goal and two assists in 11 matches, 10 starts, for RSL, which has lost four straight contests, is a league worst 1-9-6 with 13 points and apparently is destined to miss the playoffs for the third time.
RSL does have a commitment for a new stadium, but did not deem Adu worth the financial commitment he carried. MLS had the option to retain Adu for the next two season at $750,000 per year. For Salt Lake, that would mean the team would have to spend its currently unused 'designated player" slot on the teen who, beyond the financial commitment to the player, would have him count as $400,000 against the salary cap, estimated to be in the $2.2 million range.
Benfica reportedly offered Adu a salary commensurate to what MLS would play him.
Now, Real has the flexibility to add a top-flight star, or at least a more productive player, to fill the slot. RSL recently took a look at striker Tony Vairelles, a 34-year-old who played eight times for France.
In four MLS seasons, Adu played in 98 regular-season matches, starting 69, and recording 12 goals and 19 assists. He started three of his seven MLS playoff matches, adding one assist.
Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes publisher and managing editor.
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