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Freddy's Ready

July 16, 2007
July 16, 2007

Table of Contents
July 16, 2007

SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SOCCER
GOLF
Baseball
Tennis
  • Redeeming the wettest Wimbledon since the Flood, Venus Williams sailed to her fourth singles title, and Roger Federer tied Bjorn Borg's record of five straight with an epic win over rival Rafael Nadal

Jerry Jones

Freddy's Ready

DAVID BECKHAM'SARRIVAL in Los Angeles (page 40) may hog the attention this week, but a betterindicator of soccer's future in the U.S. may be taking place in Canada, where agroup of promising Yanks stunned Brazil 2--1 last week in the Under-20 WorldCup. The deserved victory marked the first time a U.S. men's team had beatenBrazil in a FIFA world championship since 1989, and it heralded brightprospects for several U.S. players, including New York Red Bulls striker JozyAltidore, 17, who scored both goals against Brazil; Michael Bradley, 19, amidfielder for Holland's Heerenveen; and the captain, Real Salt Lake sniperFreddy Adu (above).

This is an article from the July 16, 2007 issue Original Layout

Needing abreakout performance on the world stage to entice European scouts and quietskeptics who consider him a marketing creation, Adu, 18, was spectacular lastweek. In a 6--1 victory against Poland he scored three gorgeous goals. AgainstBrazil he was even better, creating the first goal with a defensive takeawayand the second with a highlight-reel juggling move in the corner, splitting twodefenders before his shot landed on Altidore's foot for the game-winner."He's a very special player," Brazil coach Nelson Rodrigues said ofAdu, "with the kind of ability you see in South American players."

Why Adu hasn'tshown that transcendence on a regular basis in Major League Soccer is a goodquestion with myriad answers. But as the U.S. team entered the knockout roundsof a major tournament that it had realistic hopes of winning, Adu's reemergenceis a reminder that nobody should be too quick to bury the careers ofprodigious-but-inconsistent talents such as Adu or Michelle Wie. In May therespected CNBC sports-business analyst Darren Rovell wrote, "I want to bethe first—the first to call Freddy Adu a failure." One marvelous week in anage-group tournament doesn't mean Adu has arrived, but it's far too soon forthe short-attention-span sports culture to label him a failure.

PHOTORYAN REMIORZ/CP/AP (ADU PLAYING)TRIPLE THREAT Adu had a hat trick against the Poles.PHOTOPAUL CHIASSON/AP (ADU)