Monday, December 11, 2006
Utah! You go live in Utah!!!
I have to wonder if that is what Freddy Adu said when told he was traded from D.C United to Real Salt Lake. In the famous words of NBA star Derek Harper when he rejected a trade from the Dallas Mavericks to the Utah Jazz he told a reporter "Utah.. You go live in Utah, I ain't living in Utah!!"
This past weekend I know of one Ghanaian who had a great weekends, and one who might have been scratching his head. Watching the Chelsea vs Arsenal game, it appeared that arch London rivals Arsenal would be the first team to win at Chelsea's home stadium since Jose mourinho took over as coach in 2004. With only six minutes left, Michael Essien of Ghana struck an incredible 35 yard shot right into the corner of the net, to tie the game at 1-1. Later he almost scored the game winner from up close but hit the crossbar. Overall it was an amazing game, check the video of his possibly goal of the year strike below.
Then later in the weekend, USA citizen but Ghana born teenager Freddy Adu, the former "savior" of USA Soccer, former number 1 overall pick in the MLS, former highest paid player in the MLS(at a paltry $500,000 a year, i think the waterboy on Chelsea makes more than that), got traded from his hometown DC United team out to the middle of Utah. Now while initally it sounds like the end of the career for Adu, some things have to be looked at. He will be playing for John Ellinger, who was his coach on the Under-17 USA national team where Adu first came to the attention of everyone. Second the kid clearly needed a new start, maybe outside of the spotlight, and pressure of DC United, he will get a chance to play his proper position as a central midfielder and develop his skills. His skills are obviously not where he wants them to be, as after his 2 week try out at Manchester United, they told him come back kid when you are a better player, no thanks this time..
While I know the kid at only 17 has plenty of time to shine and become a centerpiece of our 2010 USA World Cup team, the future of USA soccer has others to fall back on. Watching a few of the NY Red Bull games I was totally impressed with the play of Josmer Altidore who is also 17 years old. Less pressure on Freddy might in the end be a good thing. No more clashing with coaches, no more not being the best player on his team, no more mouthing off the way a 17 year old can mouth off and piss off team-mate who are old enough to be his father.. just get out to Utah, help them with attendence and jersey sales, help them get a real stadium cause that thing they play in the College Football stadium is simply UGLY on TV.
Best of luck to Freddy in Utah, but I still agree with Derek Harper, "you go live in utah.."