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It was yet another lesson for Adu, who certainly has had his fair share of them. At this point, there is little doubt he’s a different person, on and off the field, than the one who entered the league at the age of a high school freshman.

“He’s taken on a little bit more of a leadership role as far as taking ownership of the team,” said Union midfielder Brian Carroll, who also played with Adu on United. “He’s matured, through his play, through his communication, how he acts off the field.

“He’s just grown up.”

NOTE: D.C. United on Thursday acquired Colombian forward Lionard Pajoy and an international roster spot from Philadelphia for midfielder Danny Cruz. Pajoy, 31, has five goals in 20 games (16 starts) for the Union this season, his first in MLS.