Saturday, July 28, 2007

Adu Is Gone

As a quick note, it looks like Freddy Adu's sale to Benefica is now a done deal.

Ives raises an interesting point

Can the same player that Real Salt Lake traded the MLS equivalent of a mint to acquire really be a player that RSL is ready to let leave just eight months after trading for him?

Ives points out, Real Salt Lake could put an end to this by telling the league they do not want to sell Adu right now. As for the mint comment, it's true. When the original trade occurred, I wrote that I felt RSL was giving up too much to DC United for Freddy. The move not only gave DC United a major allocation but it helped them get a lot of money off their books both in the then $97k Rimando was making (RSL re-negotiated it down to $65k) but more so the $300k that Freddy Adu is making. With an allocation and that sort of cap space Real Salt Lake could've went after a midfielder with defensive talent like Carl Robinson (TFC) or Pablo Ricchetti (FC Dallas). More so, DC United was said to still be getting the majority of any future transfer fee when Freddy is sold.

So why would Real Salt Lake be willing to let Freddy Adu go now? It could be that they're on the verge of signing Jay Jay Okocha? That could be the case although rumors about Okacha to RSL haven't had legs for awhile so that seems unlikely. That aside it could be the Real Salt Lake got what they really needed from Freddy, a new stadium. Personally, I don't see how Freddy had much influence on the deal. There didn't seem to be much press indicating the deal got done because the taxpayers of Utah and Salt Lake County had their perception of the deal and the team changed with the arrival of a big name player. If anything, the deal seemed to get done because of a last minute intervention by Utah's governor Huntsman.

As mentioned at the time of the deal, RSL had plenty of attacking talent. Since then they've traded away Chris Klein to Los Angeles for Sturgis and Findley. More recently they traded away Mehdi Ballouchy to Colorado for the hard-nosed Kyle Beckerman. At this point, they could use Freddy's attacking skills.

As for RSL's designated player slot, they have not traded it away. Nor do they appear to be on the verge of signing a DP. And in dumping players like Kreis, Tejeda, and Klein they should already have a room for a move like that. There shouldn't be a pressing need to sell Freddy to make room.

It would seem that if anything is pressuring for this move, it is Freddy Adu himself. And if that's the case it makes things all the more interesting since RSL publicly stated that their reason for keeping John Ellinger on board as a technical director (fired as their coach) was because of the relationships he had with players. Reading in between the lines, they were saying because among other things it would help to keep Freddy happy. Once Freddy is gone, one has to wonder if Ellinger will be next.

Some questions for the readers. Is this a good move for Freddy? Do you think Kreis wanted him gone because he didn't fit in his plans? Had RSL managed to hold on to Adu, would he have been worth a designated player slot in 2008 (he was grandfathered in 2007)? Most of all, does this mean that DC United has made out like bandits in the trade?

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