Freddy Adu Along For Ride With FC Aris Thessaloniki


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United States international winger FREDDY ADU (11), two weeks after making his Greek Super League debut since arriving on loan from Portuguese side SL Benfica of Lisbon, fires what will be the game-winning goal for FC Aris Thessaloniki during time added on to the first half against FC Ergotelis Heraklion at the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2010.
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FC ARIS THESSALONIKI is all the rage today, at least in the requests for information here at this blog. Not surprising, given the Greek side’s notable 3-2 upset victory of defending UEFA Europa League champion Atletico Madrid in Spain yesterday. If only on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, FC Aris Thessaloniki is an interesting outfit as the current club of, perhaps, THE most over-hyped athlete ever in the long and wide history of all American professional sports — FREDDY ADU.

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Now 21 years old, United States international midfielder FREDDY ADU of FC Aris Thessaloniki was originally signed to his first professional football contract by Major League Soccer side D.C. United at 14 years of age.

Before ever having so much as kicked a single ball in training, Adu instantly became the highest paid player in Major League Soccer with a four-year contract at $ 500,000 per season — guaranteed.

At the same time, the sporting goods manufacturer Nike signed the youngster to an endorsement deal worth another $ 1,000,000.

For some, it was rather easy to see that, in spite of the Adu’s obvious and abundant talent, a 14-year-old boy was always going to have difficulty succeeding in ANY league competing against grown men, particularly with so much hope and expectation of an entire national program piled on top.

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Although out on loan in Greece, United States international FREDDY ADU is still under contract to traditional Portugese powerhouse SL Benfica of Lisbon, who paid a transfer fee of $ 2.0 million dollars to acquire the American midfielder in late July of 2007.
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In the middle of his fourth season in MLS, Adu left Real Salt Lake in mid-season to sign for SL Benfica of Lisbon, the 32-times champion of Portugal. Now 18, Adu made his club debut for Benfica in mid-August of 2007 during a UEFA Champions League qualifying match against Danish side FC Copenhagen. Despite showing promise, Adu would make only 11 appearances (two goals) for Benfica during the 2007-08 league campaign in Portugal.

Over the next two seasons, Adu was sent out on loan to three different clubs in three different countries. After just nine Ligue 1 matches with AS Monaco in France, the American played only three league games with CFO Belenenses of Lisbon to start the 2009-10 schedule. Last January, after Adu was dropped from the squad by the new Belenenses manager, Benfica reached a loan agreement with FC Aris Thessaloniki in Greece.

Adu had an assist on his debut for FC Aris Thessaloniki and, two weeks later, followed up with a first-career goal in the Greek Super League to win a match against FC Ergotelis Heraklion on Valentine’s Day. The American also added a goal for in the 3-0 Greek Cup quarterfinal victory over FC Skoda Xanthi three days later. In all, Adu totaled a dozen appearances with the two goals for the club known as the God of War.

Adu did appear as a substitute for FC Aris Thessaloniki in the 2010 Greek Cup Final, a 1-0 loss to FC Panathinaikos Athens, as well.

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United States international winger FREDDY ADU (11) celebrates his first career goal with FC Aris Thessaloniki in front of two huge banners depicting the club badge featuring Ares, the Greek God of War, at the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium in Greece.
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Things have changed somewhat in Greece to start this 2010-11 season. After scoring five goals in 16 Greek Super League games to finish the schedule, United States international striker EDDIE JOHNSON ended his loan spell at FC Aris Thessaloniki and returned to Premier League club Fulham Athletic in England. In the meantime, Freddy Adu has made not a single appearance in any competition, twenty-one matches in all, this term for Argentine manager HECTOR CUPER.

Adu’s year-and-a-half loan period is not set to expire until the end of the 2010-11 season; however, while FC Aris Thessaloniki’s prospects for UEFA Europa League knockout football for this spring look very good, the chances of the United States international midfielder getting some first team football with Cuper’s Greek side do not.

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