Freddy Adu is about to be on the move again.
Brazilian club Bahia will not be extending Adu’s contract, which expires at the end of December, the website of Lance! reported Thursday. Adu, 24, joined the club last April but barely played, and his departure from Bahia is being attributed in Brazil to “technical deficiency.”
Bahia was Adu’s ninth team in 10 years as a pro. Once regarded as one of the world’s top prospects, Adu signed with D.C. United and debuted at 14 in 2004 as MLS’s highest-paid player. Adu has never established himself at the club level, though he did start the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final for the U.S. in a 4-2 loss to Mexico. I wrote an article on Adu in SI magazine at 2010 that looked at the trajectory of his career.
What’s next for Adu? After making some calls on Thursday, I learned that for now the NASL (the U.S. second division) is not a destination that is currently on Adu’s radar screen. One possibility may be Mexico, which could potentially suit Adu’s playing style and has been the site of career revivals for U.S. players like DaMarcus Beasley and Hérculez Gómez. Other leagues could present themselves as destinations for Adu in early 2014, including MLS. For now, though, Adu remains a cautionary tale of being given too much too soon.