Freddy Adu, 26, joins Tampa Bay - his 13th professional club

Freddy Adu
Freddy Adu made his Major League Soccer debut at 14

A 'journeyman' at the age of 26? That is the tag that could be applied to the once-feted Freddy Adu.

The United States footballer - signed by Nike at 13, played Major League Soccer at 14 and appeared for his country at 16 - has joined US second tier side Tampa Bay Rowdies, his 13th professional club.

Adu's career spiralled downwards after he left the States for Portuguese side Benfica. He told BBC Sport, in an interview in 2012, that going there "was not a good decision".

Freddy Adu
"Welcome to Tampa Bay, Freddy!" tweeted the club

During his three-year spell, he was loaned to other European clubs. He returned to the US to play for MLS side Philadelphia Union, before trying his luck in Brazil, Serbia and finally Finland - his last club being lower-league side Kufu-98.

Now he is back in the US, and will be managed by Thomas Rongen, who previously coached the player at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup.

"Freddy and I have always respected each other," said the Rowdies coach. "He's a very unique player, very gifted. He's a difference-maker. He's got superb technical ability and field awareness.

"He's a guy that I've always enjoyed being around on and off the field. He's got a wonderful sense of humour and is a good team-mate. He can make any team better."

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