Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008

35. Freddy Adu

United States
Age: 19

Adu is an American dream of a future soccer star. It's a work in progress. Born in Ghana and raised in the U.S., in 2003, he rocked the soccer world by signing a $1 million contract with Nike when he was just 13. He made his pro debut with the Major League Soccer's D.C. United when most kids his age were entering high school. He was going to make soccer wildly popular in the U.S. Adu hasn't yet lived up to the outlandish expectations, and when he complained about playing time in the media, he was labeled as an arrogant underachiever. But he has starred for the U.S. in FIFA's U-17 and U-20 tournaments. Now 19 and on loan from Portugal's Benfica to Monaco of the French league, Adu has matured while playing for the U.S. national team. If he leads the U.S. to Olympic success, he'll again be U.S. soccer's crown jewel.