During last night's Portland Timbers 2013 home opener against the New York Red Bulls half time, ESPN analysts Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas had a lightning round segment where the former asked questions and the latter answered them.
Lalas discussed Chivas USA's controversial player acquisition and transfer plans, Portland's defense and other topics, including Freddy Adu.
"Freddy Adu. The fact is that he's a designated player, he's a maximum salary player and he's roster spot and he's just sitting at home making money," Lalas said to Twellman and those watching the game on ESPN2 and ESPN3. "I'm very respectful of Freddy Adu because when he found out I was going to talk about this he gave me a comment. And you can read what he said."
ESPN put the Adu comment up as a graphic, the contents of which follow:
FREDDY ADU: "The entire situation saddens me. While I have made mistakes and am trying to learn from them, a lot of what is said about me is not accurate. The truth is that I have been frozen out by the Philadelphia Union solely because I refuse to take a huge pay cut I am prepared to honor my contract with the Union ,or any other club in MLS and I don't think what has to happen to me is right... All I want to do now is play soccer and try to progress my career. But I will stay strong in my position and hope that I can be back out on an MLS field soon."
As the comment ran on screen, Lalas elaborated on the situation, conceivably using details from a chat with Adu, something that no one in the Philadelphia soccer media community has been able to do since last season.
"He wants to play and he doesn't want to take a pay cut but he feels he's been frozen out by Philly," Lalas said. "Freddy Adu on the salary cap is $368,750. That's not being paid by Philly, that's being paid by all 19 teams. If my calculations are correct, it's $19,407.89 that every owner is paying for Freddy Adu to sit on the sidelines."
Now, Merritt Paulson, the owner of Portland, he's somewhere around here, I wonder what he feels about that right now. This is a problem, this is not just a problem for Philly, this is a problem that needs to be sorted out by the league."
Adu has not played for the Union since appearing for 58 minutes as a starter against the Houston Dynamo on October 20. Multiple reports have placed the onus on Adu for not leaving the Union when he had the chance, after teams from lower divisions in America and Europe, along with clubs in Ukraine and Greece, attempted to acquire his services.