There is no longer any doubt: Freddy Adu has landed with the Philadelphia Union. Of course, this being MLS where rules are rarely crystal clear, there are still plenty of questions about his status and where that leaves various teams.
The first big question is whether or not Adu is a Designated Player. Fox Soccer's Ives Galarcep first reported the news and was unclear about his DP status. Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl shortly followed up with a news that Adu was a DP.
As a midseason signing, making Adu a DP does make some sense since he would only count about $167,000 against the salary cap. Considering some of the money used to acquire Adu was surely paid to Benefica to buy out his contract, DP status would make some logical sense.
The significance of Adu's DP status is, itself, an open question. The MLS Rules & Regulations do not seem to allow for exceptions based on a player's DP status, stating simply: "The allocation ranking is the mechanism used to determine which MLS club has first priority to acquire a U.S. National Team player who signs with MLS after playing abroad, or a former MLS player who returns to the League after having gone to a club abroad for a transfer fee." But various MLS officials have stated that a DP would not have to go through allocation.
One other outstanding issue is tied to just how Adu ended up with the Union. Chivas USA had been rumored to be after Adu and were supposedly close to signing him until owner Jorge Vergara stepped in. Some reports suggest it was a simple money issue and that Vergara did not want to pay Adu's asking price. The other active rumor is that Vergara nixed the deal out of a desire to add more Mexican players to his team. The big problem with the second theory is that signing Adu would not preclude Vergara from signing Mexican players, as Chivas USA currently has three DP spots open and Mexican players would not have to go through the allocation process.
There is a Friday press conference scheduled that will presumably answer most of these questions. Until then, this is all likely to remain speculation.