At 14 Freddy Adu is a millionaire and a media star, and he just bought a new house for his mom.
At 14 me and my buddies were seeing if the round end of a spoon would fit up our noses.
At 14 Freddy Adu is the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer (MLS), has a huge Nike deal and has been on David Letterman.
At 14 our goal was to capture our flatulence in a twist-top bottle.
But at 14 Freddy has something you would never have wanted—the weight of American soccer on his back.
Last week, when he signed a six-year contract with DC United for a salary that people are guessing at $500,000, MLS commissioner Don Garber said, "This is the biggest signing in the history of our league."
Is this any way to treat a 14-year-old kid?
Raised on the rock-and-bottle pitches of Ghana, Freddy emigrated to the U.S. at eight years old when his family won a long-shot State Department lottery. This country is just about to open its gift. The kid loves soccer the way a fat man loves Sara Lee. If you threw him a dinner roll, he'd bounce it off his forehead and knee before catching it with his plate.
He can do things with a soccer ball that make you wonder if it's not Velcroed to his foot. He can also cradle the ball on the back of his neck and not lose control of it while he pulls his T-shirt over the top of his head. He's left-footed, but he can shoot off either side of his right foot. And when he scored two goals for his IMG school team to beat the Chicago Fire 2-1 recently, the world knew he was ready for his close-up. LeBron James? That's so old school.