Months after head coach John Hackworth announced that Freddy Adu would no longer be a member of the Philadelphia Union, the team seems close to finally making that official.
According to Ives Galarcep, of Soccer By Ives, Adu is close to a move to South America, which would have him playing for Brazilian club Bahia. Galarcep also said that Adu will soon travel down to Brazil next week to sign his newest contract.
When completed, the move will close the book on very controversial tenure for Adu in Philadelphia. The 23-year-old was signed in August of 2011, and instantly became the Union's first ever Designated Player. After spending time in Portugal, Greece, Monaco and Turkey, the Union signed Adu hoping he would be the attacking midfielder the team so desperately needed.
The expensive move never panned out. Adu dealt with a nagging hamstring injury in 2012, and wanted to leave the team, briefly, midway through the season to have LASIK eye surgery (it never happened). As last year came to a close, it was evident that the former United States Men's National Team player had no future in Philadelphia.
In 35 total apperances for the Union, Adu had seven goals and two assists.
Prior to reportedly rejecting a 75 percent pay cut, Adu rejected possible moves to South Korea and Mexico in hopes of being able to make the jump to a more prominent league. By joining Bahia, the team Galarcep reports is vying for Adu's services, he'll find a good opportunity in quite progressive Brazilian first division.
Bahia finished 15th last season, just six points clear of relegation. The team is no stranger to the MLS, having sent Rafael Souza out on loan to D.C. United, and acquiring Jeferson last season after his brief stint with Sporting Kansas City.
While Adu is already on his ninth team in just less than ten years and likely has no intentions of continuing his team merry-go-round, moving to Brazil gives him a chance to gain some more exposure from international teams at a pretty high level of competition. The Brazilian first division is a fast paced league, filled with talented superstars such as Neymar and Ronaldinho, among others.
For the Union, the move would free up a roster spot and for the team, and provide salary cap relief, as Adu's salary had a stranglehold on Philadelphia's finances, according to head coach John Hackworth. He was making around $600,000 this season.
Galarcep stated, via Twitter, that once Adu moved, it was likely that the Union would sign an "accomplished international player."