14 Comments
Apr 3Liked by Bill Murphy Jr.

But you know what? Everything happens for a reason."

I love that. That keeps me going. Great read Bill thank you

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Apr 3Liked by Bill Murphy Jr.

I lived in Maryland from 1990-2017 Sadly I never heard of Freddy until today in Texas!

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Apr 3Liked by Bill Murphy Jr.

All the while I read this I kept thinking about Michael Jordan and of course Tiger, both of whom had fathers to guide(or drive)them. Fathers being the operative word here. Now, while I rather strongly disagree with the way Tiger’s dad did I’m much more familiar with Michael as he was from Wilmington and he went to UNC where he played with the legendary Dean Smith. But Michael didn’t show as much potential early on as did Freddy. That probably saved him in the long run. What he did have though was an inner drive; a fire and desire to succeed. His hard work on the court is as well known as the startling numbers and moves he made there. Dean’s guidance and team philosophy of unselfishness made him the terror on the court his career exhibited. Now, as a highly successful adult(Wiki has his net worth pegged at a little over $3B)MJ’s reputation for gambling is well known but he also spreads his wealth around to a number of charities; Make A Wish Foundation being one of the largest. He’s successful in so many ways, yes but as a person, Freddy would be the guy I’d like to sit down and have a conversation with. I liked what you quoted Freddy as saying, “Everything happens for a reason.”

So Bill, what is Freddy doing now? How is his family? Did his playing career enable his family to take advantage of higher educational opportunities? You know. The stuff that makes a life.

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Apr 3Liked by Bill Murphy Jr.

Thanks Bill. Good story and though not a fan of soccer I happened to live in the DC area at that time and I remember the local sports folks covering Freddy. Since I’m not a fan I never knew what happened but still wondered occasionally why I never heard more. Now I know, so thanks again!

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Apr 3Liked by Bill Murphy Jr.

I’ve never heard if Freddy Adu before. I appreciate the story! Freddy had talent and I see why he signed at 14, but It shows that when things come to easy for the us, we don’t always appreciate them. Nothing can replace what comes from hard work!

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Never heard of Freddy but don't follow soccer. But truly a very inspirational people story. Read every word and viewed the videos. Thank you Bill

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Apr 4Liked by Bill Murphy Jr.

never heard of Freddy - during the time my boys might have, & one grandson (almost 10, LOVES soccer!!!) now most likely knows of him. I'm immediately sharing your post w/ him.

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Apr 4Liked by Bill Murphy Jr.

Great deep dive into Freddy Adu, thanks Bill. I'm a football fan (yep that's what we call it here 🙂) in the UK and was aware of the great potential and then apparent decline of Freddie Adu. This added more to the story that's shows he was perhaps more a victim of circumstances than a once - in - a- life -time talent wasted. And most importantly he's happy! Lots of footballers in this country who struggle with addiction etc. after a career in the game. Great story.

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Apr 4Liked by Bill Murphy Jr.

Great article

I saw him play at a DC United game in RFK Stadium when my daughters were playing youth soccer and I remember thinking that this was a talented boy but he was in a man's game

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Thank you for this wonderful story about Freddy. A few years later, our son would play elite soccer, for a club that was one of the founding feed clubs for MLS and their academies. There were far fewer opportunities back then for skilled youth soccer players and all the boys dreamed of being a Freddy.

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I remember the name and possibly the storyline with Pele. Your article includes the follow-up making it a terrific read now. This is why I am a subscriber and faithful follower.

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I think all young futbol players should read this. Pretty much ANY young person who shows the potential for greatness can have 2 things happen: 1) they can be developed slowly and wisely to maximize long-term success but possibly not short-term success 2) they can go for the short-term riches. This has happened quite often for US futbol players - they get a deal with some EPL team, and sit on the bench. FAR better to play in MLS and mature a bit.

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Inspirational story about Freddy. Thanks, Bill.

Understandably hasn't popped up in my Inbox for a long time. Are you back on Substack now or still with convert kit? At any rate, nice to have you back here. Always a good read.

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Thanks for writing this story Bill. Like someone said, this is a good people story even if you don’t know Freddy or don’t follow soccer. We always hear stories of crazy success, and its so few and far in between, particularly in professional sports, that there’s not much to teach most of the kids… However, this one is so different and to me, more inspiring in so many ways. Listing the top 3 lessons for me that I would like to tell my kid: 1. Talent, when not properly groomed and guided will go to waste. 2. There’s no substitute to hard work - mere talent needs to be polished, like a Diamond, to shine and last. 3. Most importantly, Happiness is not defined by success - Freddy seems to be proud to have helped his family come out of poverty when they needed it the most and remains humble, n grounded, showing that he is on a path to a happy, content life even if he didn’t achieve fame.

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