Freddy Adu (born June 2, 1989) is a Ghanaian native who became famous when he was signed by the D.C. United Major League Soccer (MLS) soccer team on November 18, 2003. Adu left Ghana with his family in 1997, and is now a resident of Potomac, Maryland in the United States and a U.S. citizen. He trains in Bradenton, Florida. Adu learned to kick a ball at the age of two; soon after he was hitting rocks and refreshment bottles barefooted. He is an admirer of Argentina's Diego Maradona.
Adu was sought after by some important European teams, including Manchester United. Because of the rules in Britain that players cannot join English Premier League teams until they turn 17, he and his agent opted for a contract in the United States.
On Friday, January 16, 2004, D.C. United made Adu the first player selected in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. On April 3, Adu entered United's 2004 season opener against the San Jose Earthquakes as a second-half substitute, making him the youngest professional player in United States major league sports history since fourteen-year-old Fred Chapman played Major League Baseball in Philadelphia in 1887. On April 17, he scored his first professional goal in the 75th minute of a 3-2 road loss to the MetroStars.
With United, Adu joins the other young soccer signees Bobby Convey (in 2000 at 16 was the youngest player ever signed by MLS and did see action in his first seasons) and Santino Quaranta (in 2001 at 16 years, four months of age, Santino Quaranta became the youngest player drafted by MLS prior to Adu, eclipsing Bobby Convey by four months and saw action in his first season notching 11 points on five goals and one assist in 16 games).
U.S. men's soccer coach Bruce Arena has assessed Adu's soccer skills. "He's a very graceful athlete," said Arena. "His first touch and his vision are outstanding for a player of his age."