Freddy Adu, born in Tema Ghana, took popular culture by storm in 2004 when he became one of the youngest professional athletes in American history, signing a contract with MLS side DC United at the tender age of 14. The wildly talented striker, who is as comfortable in midfield, was tipped early as the next big thing in world football and named an MLS ‘all-star' twice, in 2004 and 2006.
Expectations have since become a little more realistic for the fleet-footed young star who has lined up for the USA at numerous FIFA U-20 and U-17 World Cups, the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and moved overseas to Portuguese club giants Benfica. After a loan spell in France’s top flight with AS Monaco, he moved on loan to Greek outfit Aris Thessaloniki in hope of securing more first-team football.
Still just 19, young Freddy made his first senior national team appearance under former US coach Bruce Arena in January of 2006 in a friendly against Canada. He was only 16, the youngest player ever to line up for the United States. The early debut brought an end to overtures from Ghana, Adu's birth country, who had been courting his services at international level. He since went on to become a regular squad member for the US in 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying and international competition, although he usually comes in off the bench having yet to crack the tried-and-true attacking set-up of Bob Bradley's starting eleven.