When Freddy Adu entered the United States' Gold Cup semifinal match against Panama, he absolutely changed the game. Most USMNT fans were shocked to see Adu named to the roster and downright horrified to see him enter the match against Panama, but he proved all of his doubters wrong. Not only was he instrumental in setting up the winning goal, he got better and better as the game goes on. Out of nowhere, Freddy Adu is now being thought of as a potential game changing sub in the final against Mexico.
However, Dave Clark at SB Nation's Seattle Sounders blog Sounder At Heart has a different idea. According to Dave, Adu shouldn't just be an impact substitute for the USMNT on Saturday evening. Nope, Dave says Adu should start the game.
The US has plenty of conventional players. Players who are decent, they don't hurt you. But they aren't special. Adu is still special, and still has those raw skills that got him the pomp. He's rested, and ready to burst back onto the scene. He shut down his twitter a month ago to focus on this tournament, and with the impending new loan to a new club some where he has every incentive to use this stage for personal and national glory.
Starting the youngster would provide not just spark, but surprise to the Starting XI. His would be another body, a relatively unscouted body, that can do things with his feet that stun one defender and forces others to close down. After the performance against Panama reward the young man and roll the dice.
Adu might not have big game experience, but then again, do Sacha Kljestan and Alejandro Bedoya? As long as he's not displacing Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey, it's not that far out in left field. Adu is a unique player on the U.S. roster, and a start for him would simply be rewarding a great performance. It's highly unlikely that Adu starts, but if he does, Bob Bradley should be praised for his guts, not criticized.
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.