Onetime U.S. prodigy Freddy Adu will continue his professional career after signing a contract with Las Vegas Lights, the USL expansion side announced Thursday.
The 28-year-old midfielder spent preseason on trial with the second-tier club and was formerly introduced as part of the squad ahead of Las Vegas’ inaugural match on the road against Fresno FC on Saturday.
Hailed as a future star of U.S. soccer after signing with D.C. United in 2004 at age 14, Adu never lived up to that lofty billing, embarking on a journeyman career that has also seen him play in Portugal, France, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, Serbia and Finland.
Capped 17 times by the U.S. national team from 2006 to 2011, Adu most recently played for the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies from 2015 to 2016.
He spent the 2017 preseason on trial with the Portland Timbers and nearly signed with Polish side Sandecja Nowy Sacz last summer before seeing the move fall through because of a disagreement between the club’s sporting director and head coach.
“The last year I’ve been trying to just stay low key, spend time with my family, and train to get back playing,” Adu told Goal earlier this year. “I obviously want to get back into playing because that’s what I love to do. And being away from soccer so long, I miss it man. I miss it more than anything else in the world. I’m 28, I’ve got plenty of career left in me, and plenty of soccer left in me, so I’m trying to make the right decision.
“Wherever I’m going to go, whether it’s third division, second division, it doesn’t matter to me anymore because all I care about is getting my career back on track and I have to start somewhere, especially after not playing for a whole year. It just has to be the right situation and the right environment that’s going to help me.
“I just want to play soccer again. I miss it. I want to be around the guys, going to training every morning, being back on the field.”