The Washington Times - August 18, 2012, 10:38AM

Six years after departing D.C. United at the end of an up-and-down stint with the club as an overly hyped teenage phenom, Freddy Adu will finally play his first game at RFK Stadium as a visiting player Sunday when his Philadelphia Union come to town.

My story in Friday’s paper explored Adu’s evolution as a player since he left the nation’s capital. Here are a few additional quotes that didn’t make it into the article:

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Union midfielder Freddy Adu

On where he stands after a year back in MLS:

“For me, it’s all about getting acclimated to the league. Now, I feel like I’m in a spot where I’m acclimated. Here, it’s a very intense, high-pressure-type game, very physical, whereas in Europe, it’s not as physical in the places I’ve been at. So I’m good now, I’m used to that. I’m just trying to work within this team and be a part of this team and help this team in any way I can. And for me, that’s going at people, breaking down teams 1v1, and scoring and creating goals.”

On whether he has gotten what he wanted out of the move to Philadelphia:

“I’m playing. I’m a regular starter now for the team, and that’s all I ever wanted to do because you only get better when you’re playing regularly. When I was talking to [U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann], that’s what he told me. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to be on the national team, I haven’t gotten the chance to be called up, but that’s what he told me. He wanted me to play all the time, and that influenced a lot of the decisions I made, and so far so good. Now, I’ve got to keep my place on the field and just help the team in whichever way possible.”

On whether he has spoken with U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann since his last call-up:

“No, I haven’t. I would love to speak to him, but I haven’t. He has his guys, and I’ve got to keep working hard and keep doing what I’ve got to do to hopefully get there. I want to be part of the national team.”

On not being a part of the national team:

“It’s frustrating. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to be a professional, you’ve got to do well for your team and really just focus on your team. And if that opportunity comes again, you take it.”

On his return to RFK Stadium:

“It’s been a while, so I don’t think I’m going to get a huge reception or anything, but I did enjoy my time playing for D.C. United. I loved it there — great, great memories. Getting back there will be a little bit different since I’m on the other side now, but I’m excited and looking forward to it.”

On how he has improved since leaving D.C. United:

“I know the game better, I read the game better. Every single aspect of my game has improved since those days.”

On the Union’s playoff hopes:

“Every game right now for us is important, especially against Eastern Conference opponents because we need to get more points. We’ve played fewer games than most other teams, but it’s important for us to get points also. For us, we’re treating every game as a final. You’re going to see a much better effort from us in this game.”

Union midfielder Brian Carroll

On how Adu has settled in with Philadelphia:

“He’s found himself a niche and he’s filling that role, giving us some attacking presence, whipping in some good service and getting back and keeping good defensive shape when he can. He’s settled in well now that he’s comfortable with his surroundings and back in MLS and back near home and settled. He’s doing solid.”

On Adu’s experience:

“For being such a young guy, he brings a lot of experience. He’s been overseas, he’s been playing professionally for a number of years now, he’s been involved in a lot of men’s national team and youth national team things, so he has a lot of experience under his belt and he’s somebody that can relate to the other guys but also can have the experience of a veteran to be able to tutor some of these guys.”

On where Adu’s career can take him:

“It’s up to him. You can see him playing for sure in MLS for a long time. You can see him make the jump back overseas. It’s really up to him and how much he’s able to improve from when he first entered the league.”

United coach Ben Olsen

On D.C.’s game plan against Adu:

“You make sure don’t give him a lot of freedom and time to do what he wants to do, and that’s being around the goal and create, swing crosses in — he’s a dangerous kid.”

United midfielder Perry Kitchen

On what makes Adu a player to watch:

“He’s a guy that, like Ben said, at any certain point in the game, he can change it. If he gets on the ball and he gets that confidence that I’ve seen that he has, then I know he can be a very dangerous player. He’s a guy who can kind of take the game into his own hands.”

On Adu’s leadership qualities with the U.S. under-23 national team:

“You just try to embrace it and listen to what he has to say because it’s usually valuable information as far as what he’s experienced in the past and what we could have planned to expect. He was a good guy to talk to in those situations.”