Freddy Adu has had problems this season with consistency. He has had those same problems his entire professional soccer career.
However, consistency is not his biggest issue at the moment. It is, instead, the fact that he's occupying a vital and important position on the Philadelphia Union without much influence.
The possibility of having a game changing winger remains elusive for the Union, unfortunately, but it is something that should not completely stay out of reach.
Saer Sene proved last weekend that a winger doesn't have to emulate a player like Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Nani or Cristiano Ronaldo to successfully influence the flow of the game.
In a game that featured little to be pleased of on the Union's side of the ball, besides the three points from Jack McInerney's late header, Sene was a major focal point of a New England Revolution offense that spread the Philadelphia defense and exploited it.
Despite first impressions making Sene seem out-of-place - he's in the Samaras mold of tall modern wingers - the Frenchman cut apart the Union back four with ease. He seemed to take over the creative midfield role for the Revolution, even though Sene was all the way near the chalkline on the right side of the field.
This show of force from the winger was both surprising and refreshing, the later only because it was a performance that gave a visual representation of how Adu's expectations have not been met.
At first, fans and media believed that Adu would play in a no. 10 role, long considered his natural position in formations on the field. Instead, Adu spent the offseason converting himself into winger and was the best player on the US' under-23 team that missed out on qualifying for the Olympics (which currently have Mexico as a semifinalist in the soccer tournament for the Games).
Instead of setting about making good on his potential, again, or embracing a play making role on the outside, Adu has tried to turn himself into a dribbler. It is this decision that has let Adu down more than almost any other in his career.
Adu has the passing ability to drastically change games. As seen in his sublime pre-send off performance against the New York Red Bulls, Adu can both dictate the pace of the game and outclass opponents.
The problem is that Adu often believes it necessary for him to shift his offensive play into a one man attack. Dribbling toward multiple defenders, wasting energy on stepovers that do little to confuse defenders or holding onto a ball when a passing lane is open have all sent Adu's play this season on a downward spiral.
A game outside of the 18, plus the Major League Soccer All-Star game, provided Adu with the perfect opportunity to study what was wrong with his game and correct it. When he stepped onto the field last sunday, iit was obvious from the start that the same old Adu was coming out to play.
The talent is most certainly there, the potential is still there - in some way - but mentally, or perhaps physically, Adu has yet to mature as a player. It takes more than just coaching tactics to pull a player out of an inconsistent slump. the player has to reshape him or herself in order to further his or her playing ability.
As it stands, Adu has done little to warrant a starting role, except that there are few viable options to replace him in interim head coach John Hackworth's starting 11.
It is of the utmost importance that Adu re-watch the Revolution game tape and study it to see exactly what Sene did. The vision, the passing and the defensive disruption were fantastic out of the former Bayern Munich reserve player, hopefully Adu picks up on it and replicates it to the best of his abilities.