If only ESPN had thought of their hit "What's Now" series 4 years ago, Freddy Adu would have been the Nowiest guy on the planet. He would have been more Now than Karl Malone, Priest Holmes and even more Now than Limp Bizkit! He was 14 years-old and he was going to take Soccer, a sport we all played when we were younger but grew bored of because of how much it sucked (and because all the foreign exchange students would come over for a year and kick our asses in gym class), and make it relevant again. He was going to make the US National team competitive again and he was going to make the MLS millions. Well, it didn't really work out that way.
Freddy's MLS career, while not a complete failure, did not live up to the hype. Even at the height of Freddy's popularity, his presence didn't gain the MLS any viewers because the product they put out was still third rate and you can tell it's third rate because we get the English Premier League games on cable. It doesn't take long to see that American soccer is to Premier League soccer what the WNBA is to any organized sport involving males. I don't know that this fact is necessarily Freddy's doing, he was simply overhyped.
In an era where some sports young guns have exceeded the hype (see Lebron, Sydney and Reggie Bush), Freddy just faded into Bolivian. And with him went the hopes of the MLS. It just seemed that it wasn't time for Freddy's coronation. And now he's gone; off to Portugal for a life of bigger and better things. I'm sure all 7 of the MLS fans are weeping right now but in terms of America's international prospects as a team, this is a good thing. Freddy will be taking on better competition and this can only make him and the US team better (Freddy did serve as the U-20 Team Captain this summer and excelled in that role). It's kind of pathetic that "The Next Big Thing In American Sports" spent 4 years flailing in a league no one watches playing a sport Americans have never given a shit about. So I guess it's fitting that he leaves with little fanfare, headed to a team that no one's ever heard of and it's seen as an upgrade for him.
Good luck to you Freddy. Maybe when you come back you, and we, will be ready for your true reign.