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Good while it lasted for Adu PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 August 2008

BEIJING, Aug 14 (bdnews24.com/Reuters) - United States prodigy Freddy Adu, a player forced to live with the huge expectations created for him in his early teens, sparkled for two soccer games at the Olympics but left before he could make a real impact

Adu, who is still only 19 but seems to have been around for years, picked up yellow cards in his first two games and had to watch helplessly as his team mates lost 2-1 to Nigeria on Wednesday and were eliminated.

It was an exasperating experience for Adu, who against Japan and Netherlands had been in the sort of form which justified the enormous hype created around him.

"For a player, it's not the greatest feeling sitting in the stands watching the team play in a must-win game," the Ghana-born player told reporters.

"I hope this never happens to me ever again. I want to be on the field helping the guys out, I felt bad."

He added: "I'm going to rebound from this."

Adu, who join AS Monaco this season on loan from Benfica, left Ghana at the age of eight when his family emigrated to the United States.

He was spotted by a local coach and was barely 12 when Italian clubs began to take an interest in him.

By 14, he was being billed as an American Pele and had won publicity contracts from two large corporations. At 15, he was the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer.

Yet, while never a flop, Adu has never quite managed to match the expectations which had been set for him.

U.S. coach Peter Nowak said the future was still bright for Adu.

"Freddy had a good tournament, he has a good mentality and a very good future in the team," he said.

"He needs to establish himself, he needs to play because with every single game, he got better.

"It's a question of continuity."

Brian McBride, the most experienced player in the U.S. squad, said Adu was handling the pressure with great maturity.

"I think he's grown a lot, he's been through a lot of those trying times and I think he has a good grasp on what he should and shouldn't do," he said.

"There's a whole lot of pressure that he has to deal with and he's dealing with those things.

"We need to just let him grow."

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