41913_adufreddy_isi_usavsel_salvador03262012012 Hunter Dorton/isiphotos.com
ASN Weekly Debate

Will Freddy Adu Play for the USMNT Again?

The one-time prodigy has a new team in a new country. But will it lead back to the red, white, and blue? Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon debate, discuss, and attempt to come to some conclusions.
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
April 19, 2013
10:45 AM
Noah Davis: So, Freddy Adu is in Brazil. O'Hanlonnnnnn, will he ever play for the United States again?

Ryan O'Hanlon: Yes, he will. He is 23. I am more confident in this than any of the goal-scoring totals we predicted last week.

Davis: Well, we did a pretty terrible job of predicting, but okay. Why are you so confident? You know he's buried in Brazil on a team that's had like 70 million coaches in the last few years, right?

O'Hanlon: One: he's 23. Two: He was starting—and playing well, playing really well, actually—for the U.S. in the 2011 Gold Cup when he was 21. I can't see—barring sudden retirement/catastrophic injury—how he doesn't at least play one more game with the U.S. Davis: So, basically, you think he's going to play for the U.S. again because you think he's going to play for the U.S. again.

O'Hanlon: Try arguing with that logic. Seriously, try it.

Davis: I can't. It's bulletproof. But I don't think you're right. Jurgen Klinsmann has so many other options. I like Adu, and I agree with you that he was excellent in short stints in the Gold Cup, but I just don't see it happening. And yes, my argument is essentially that I don't think it's going to happen because I don't think it's going to happen. We have reached an impasse.

O'Hanlon: The other options aren't totally appealing to me, though. And, outside of Dempsey, the team has basically been able to create nothing.

Davis: But you think that a guy who couldn't play for the Philadelphia Union is the answer?

O'Hanlon: I really don't think that means all that much. (Herculez Gomez approves this message.) That's the thing here, I guess: when he plays for a consistent stretch, he always seems to play well. It's just that he hasn't often been given that opportunity for a number of reasons.

Davis: But aren't most of those reasons self-inflicted? You are assuming he's going to start playing consistently in Brazil, which seems like a leap to me.

O'Hanlon: I'm not assuming anything. His career won't be over if he fails in Brazil. The thing is, Freddy Adu is one of the most talented American soccer players alive, if not ever. Can the U.S.—this is the U.S. and not Spain—just have him not be a part of things? It just seems ridiculous to me, honestly. He has a bunch of problems, sure, but this is the US! How picky can we afford to be?

Davis: Talent doesn't win games. If it did, the U.S. wouldn't lose so much in CONCACAF.

O'Hanlon: But doesn't it often over the long run? I guess, what even is talent? Like, we could define that in so many ways to make it work for whatever argument we're making, but he is good at creating goals, whether for himself or for his teammates. That seems like something—you know, goals—that does win games.

Davis: I suppose. I'll concede before I turn into Skip Bayless. A better question, perhaps, is does Adu make a significant impact in a) World Cup qualifying or b) the World Cup?

O'Hanlon: To seemingly refute everything I just said: a) highly doubtful, b) 25 percent chance.

Davis: Explain.

O'Hanlon: a) The number of "important qualifiers" is diminishing pretty quickly, and I don't think it'll be the spot for Klinsmann to take a chance on someone he's frozen out from the team since the beginning. But, b), playing in qualifying doesn't really mean anything re: who plays in the World Cup. Basically, there's more time for Adu to start playing again and playing well again before the World Cup than before World Cup qualifying stops being important.

Davis: So, Adu is good enough to warrant another shot on the U.S. team, hence your confidence that he'll get at least one more cap, but not good enough to actually do anything with that chance? I actually think I agree with that, although I'm not sure it's the argument you were making previously.

O'Hanlon: No, I think he is good enough to do enough with that cap. I just think there's only a 25-percent chance of him actually getting that chance. Whoa.

Davis: Oh. #BlameKlinsmann?

O'Hanlon: #PossiblyBlameKlinsmannMaybe

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. They aren't improving.

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