USA coach Bob Bradley has his fingers crossed that former starlet Freddy Adu can make a difference at this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The 21-year old Benfica forward, who is currently on loan with Turkish club Caykur Rizespor, has had a troubled time over the past few seasons as he has struggled to get regular game time at each of his loan clubs.
Short spells with AS Monaco, Belenenses and Aris Thessaloniki for the former DC United prodigy have not always ended well but now Bradley is hoping that perhaps the penny has dropped in the last few years.
“I think it’s important to say that it’s not that we’ve seen anything specific playing for his new club that shows how he’s made progress or how he’s improved. It’s a package of things,” Bradley said.
“He’s a player that certainly we all know at different times has shown some soccer abilities that are special. He hasn’t always been able to make them count in different situations at different levels but we respect the fact that he made this move to go to a smaller club because he had to show people he was willing to do whatever to keep going.
“As a coaching staff we’ve discussed it and we’re looking forward to seeing when he’s in camp, how he’s handling things, a maturity, a way that tells us how experiences along the way have been measured and he understands that all of it needs to come together to continue to move on.
“It’s an opportunity that has been earned based upon the fact that he’s shown talent and earned by the fact that when we looked at all the different possibilities on this roster we felt it would be a good time to bring him back in and challenge him and see where it all stands.”