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Rowdies announce the signing of soccer star Freddy Adu

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And without further ado, Adu.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies have announced a contract, pending International Transfer Clearance, with well-known soccer star Freddy Adu, a player who has been in the highlights since being selected No. 1 in the draft when he was 14.

In those days, it was common to refer to Adu as “the next Pele.”

Adu played for Rowdies coach Thomas Rongen on the U.S. Under 20 team, and once scored three goals in a game against Poland.

“Freddy and I have always respected each other, Rongen said. in a statement “He’s a very unique player, very gifted. He’s a difference maker. He’s got superb technical abililty and field awareness. He’s a guy I’ve always enjoyed behind around on and offthe field. He’s got a wonderful sense of humoar and is a good teammate. He can make any team better.”

Certainly, Adu makes the Rowdies more interesting. Tampa Bay was shut out last week, and its offense has lacked the ability to close for most of the season. It will be intriguing to see what Adu can add.

The Rowdies are home for their next two matches, Saturday night against FC Edmonton and the following week against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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