As we all know, Freddy Adu was once soon-to-be-king of U.S. soccer. ESPN proclaimed it, so it had to be true. At the tender age of 14, he was the top pick in the MLS draft. Of course, it didn't go as planned and he's bounced around from MLS to several stops in Europe before his latest stint with a second division Turkish team. Unsurprisingly, he had fallen well off the United States National Team radar.
That all changed when Bob Bradley made him a surprise selection to the Gold Cup team and then made an even bigger shocker by putting him in late in a game the U.S. needed to win. Adu made the move look genius, though, as he helped set up the winning score. Among those happiest was the Burgundy Wave, who reminds us that Adu still has a lot of soccer ahead of him:
One thing to remember is that Adu is somehow only 22 years old right now at this point of his supposedly flop of a career. It seems like forever since the first time that his face was plastered on everything MLS had to offer us because... well, in sports years it really has been forever. Back in 2004 DC United was still winning MLS Cups, the Houston Astros were a World Series caliber team, Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace were both EPL clubs... need I continue? For an average athlete getting hype like Adu got, it probably would have started right out of high school and going into college. In that case, said athlete would probably be in his late 20's right now and at the later stages of his career beyond hope or repair, but as always Freddy is a special case.
For more on how the two teams got to this point, check out our USA vs. Panama stream and our Mexico vs. Honduras stream. For more updates leading up to USA vs. Mexico, bookmark this StoryStream. For all of our previous Gold Cup coverage, check out the Gold Cup 2011 section. For more on Mexican football, including the Mexican national team, the Mexico vs. USA game, and the Mexican Primera, check out SB Nation's Mexican football blog FMF State Of Mind.