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.