- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Freddy Adu, Major League Soccer’s youthful phenom, recommitted himself to D.C. United yesterday following controversial remarks earlier this week by MetroStars president and general manager Alexi Lalas.

Lalas said if the teenager came to the club, which plays in East Rutherford, N.J., he would “certainly play” and compared Adu’s limited playing time at United to a “Bruce Lee movie without a fight.”

Returning to training yesterday after shooting a Nike commercial in Los Angeles, Adu said, “I am committed to D.C. United — this is the club I wanted to play for. Growing up, I supported D.C. United.”

Yet Adu conceded he is in “a weird situation to be honest”, and added, “The position I play — and obviously I want to be a starter — we have a lot of good players. So I’m in a tough position, but this is what you dream of, competing for a starting role.”

Adu, 16, refused to discuss Lalas’s comments, which were reported in Tuesday’s New York Times.

“The MetroStars would love nothing more than to have Freddy Adu,” Lalas told the newspaper. “He would certainly play in New York. It’s evident that he loves competition and wants to play, and we are certainly a team that would provide him with time on the field. I would love nothing more than for him to get fed up with D.C.”

Adu has played in 11 of United’s 15 games this season, starting five and contributing a goal and four assists. In last week’s 1-0 win at Columbus, he was substituted for at halftime after starting the game.

“Sometimes you have no idea what the coach is thinking,” Adu said. “Sometimes it’s the coach’s decision to do what’s best for the team and you don’t always necessarily agree with it, but you respect it.”

United president Kevin Payne fired back at Lalas.

“I think we need to remember we are in the professional sports business,” Payne said. “This is not a carnival, and Freddy is not part of a sideshow. … I think the adults in this drama need to start acting more adult. … People need to give this kid a break. The expectation level is completely out of control with Freddy.”

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