Category Archives: USA

Remembering the Freddy Adu Hype, circa 2005

Back in 2005, Freddie Adu was the face of US soccer for most casual MLS fans.  Though he’s yet to live up to the hype that surrounded him in 2004 when he signed with DC United, he’s definitely been showing promise lately.  He’s scored two goals in his last two games with his current club, Aris FC, which, once again, has US fans excited about his chances of making this summer’s World Cup quad.

His recent success had me thinking again of a piece I did with him back in the spring of 2005.  It was for a show I produced for MTV News called “Fake ID Club” that showcased pop culture’s best and brightest under the age of 21.  Because my bosses knew I was a die-hard footy fan, they, unbelievably, allowed me to showcase Freddy.

I traveled down to Maryland to catch his DC United practice and got to hang out with his mom and brother at his house.  It was a memorable day and I can definitely report first hand that the kid has some serious skills.

The funniest part of the experience was that Freddy had a crush on the show’s host, teen pop star JoJo.  When I told him that she would he intro-ing the piece, he asked if he could give her a personal message–on camera–that ended up making it in the piece.  A week later,  I caught up with JoJo in Brisbane, Australia to shoot her hostv wraps.  I read to her exactly what Freddy had said.  She was genuinely smitten and the next thing I knew they were, reportedly, dating.  Like, for the next couple of years!

I like to think I had something to do with that! [ha ha]  So in honor of Freddy Adu finally showing some overdue promise in Greece, here’s the piece I produced with him 5 years ago.

Freddy Adu–Who Are Ya?! from andrew millard on Vimeo.

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FINALLY AN AMERICAN SPORTSCASTER TALKING SENSE ABOUT SOCCER

If you’re tired of the soccer bashing, ESPN/Gene Wojciechowski point of view that Beckham playing in America is the dumbest thing since the XFL, then I offer you a refreshingly different angle from Real Sports Bryant Gumbel.

Needless to say, it put a smile on my face

(props to The Offsides Rules for putting it up)

“SEEING AMERICAN SOCCER SUCCEED” BECOMES WORLD FOOTBALL’S PHILANTHROPIC CAUSE

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Is it me or is helping soccer become “big” in the U.S. becoming a goodwill mission for our footie friends overseas? Seemingly every European football big shot wants to be involved with the MLS right now because they think they can get our Jocks to appreciate Joga Bonita. It’s kind of like rock stars uniting to end starvation in Africa. I wonder who’ll be the one to write, “Do They Know There’s Extra Time At All?”.

I bring this up because Reuters is reporting today that Fabio Capello is “mulling over a job in the United States”. He doesn’t reveal with whom, but he’s quoted as saying, “It would be a new experience that would intrigue me not for the money but to see if anyone could make American soccer take off.”

Are we sure David Beckham isn’t hosting Sally Struthers-like TV commercials in Europe, ruing the lack of soccer specific pitches in Southern California?

U.S. UNDER 20’S KNOCKED OUT BY AUSTRIA IN EXTRA TIME

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What a heart breaking loss this was.

The Young Americans fell to the Young Austrians in the quarter finals of U-20 World Cup yesterday, 2-1.

It was a great match and a lot of credit has to go to the Austrians who played their best game of the tournament. Their tenacity led to the winning goal in the 105th minute when Erwin Hoffer, subbed in only 3 minutes prior, threw his legs behind a ball that was slowly trickling towards the American’s goal line. It wasn’t pretty but it ended up being the game winner.

Despite the early exit, the U.S. team has a lot to be proud of. Let’s not forget they beat Brazil in the group stage, 2-1.

And the upcoming talent looks incredibly promising. Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley can straight up play and deserve to be up with the senior team ASAP. Personally, I’m curious to see how the Adu/Atidore combo works with the big boys because it appears that they have some real chemistry together. Freddy’s cross that led to Jozy’s first goal was pure class. Altidore, as far as I’m concerned is the best American striker playing in the red, white and blue right now.

C’mon, Coach Bradley, put him in and let’s see what this kid can do!

Here are the highlights.

U.S. U-20’S BEAT URUGUAY–ON TO QUARTERFINALS

It’s been a bad couple of days for Uruguayans.

A day after the Senior team got bounced from the Copa America, their U-20’s lost to the U.S. U-20’s 2-1, in a feisty game that went to extra time.

The American’s pulled it off in dramatic fashion. They tied it in the 86th minute when the ball trickled in off a Uruguayan defender’s leg after a goal line scramble and then Michael Bradley (Bob Bradley’s son) tallied in the 107th after deflecting in a stray cross from a corner kick.

The goal kind of reminded me of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last second goal that won Manchester United the European Cup over Bayern Munich in 1999.

Uruguay, naturally, wasn’t happy with the outcome. After the final whistle, they tried to start a fight with with the Americans as they were celebrating their victory. Young Bradley looked like he was going to kill someone and was lucky he didn’t receive any disciplinary action from the referee because he practically had to be dragged off the field.

Now, it’s on to quarterfinals where they’ll play Austria on Saturday.

I didn’t see the game so I don’t have much to say other than…Yahoooo!

Check out Soccer By Ives for a nice rundown. Sounds like Freddy Adu had another solid match. Upcoming star goaltender Chris Seitz was out after injuring his leg against Brazil.

Also Jozy Altidore left in the 50th minute with a calf injury. Hope everything’s alright with him.

Here are the highlights:

U.S. U-20’S BEATS BRAZIL–A LANDMARK U.S. SOCCER VICTORY

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I’ve seen the future of U.S. Men’s soccer–and it will be led by Adu and Altidore.

The U.S. Men’s Under 20 team beat Brazil last night 2-1, in what was not only a huge victory for the team in their pursuit of a U-20 World Cup championship, but a monumental achievement for a soccer program that still seeks respect from the rest of the world.

American striker, Jozy Altidore, still only 17, is the truth. If you don’t know his name by now, his two goals against Brazil showed that he may be the “next big thing” in American soccer. Actually, we’ve never really had a “next big thing”, so consider him the first!

We’re also finally seeing the incredible talents of 18 year old Freddy Adu. It might be the world stage he’s playing on or that he knows that scouts for big European clubs are watching but all of a sudden he’s showing that he’s every bit the player that everyone was hyping him up to be. I mean, does this guy ever get tired? He was absolutely relentless on Brazil’s defense, playing in what seems to be his most natural position, central midfield.

The game winner in the 82nd minute was classic Adu. After making an incredible side move past a Samba defender, he connected with a rocket of a shot towards goal that riccocheted off a Brazilian players leg, landing right on the foot of a wide open Altidore. Big Jozy made no mistake with the opportunity. He confidently slipped it in the back of the net.

Now, I know we haven’t won anything yet but beating Brazil, at any level, is huge. Every country in the world looks at them as the best, so when you beat them, you’ve really accomplished something. Needless to say, with guys like Altidore, Adu and goaltender Chris Seitz, who was absolutely stellar–playing the last 15 minutes on an injured right leg–the U.S. Mens soccer team has A LOT to look forward to.

Check out the highlights of the game.

COPA AMERICA–ARGENTINA, COLOMBIA WIN

As a U.S. Soccer supporter, I’m VERY glad this Copa America experience is over because it sure was painful.

Yes, there were moments where our “inexperienced internationals” looked cohesive, competitive and even, at times, dominating. But when it came to putting the ball in the back of the net, we were nothing short of pathetic.

Seriously, the team needs a striker coach! Every time one of our guys got within 15 feet of the opposing net, they’d either miss completely or send meekly hit dribblers right at the goal keepers. It’s so frustrating to watch. Not to pick on Eddie Johnson but he can have all the speed in the world, but if he doesn’t get anything on net, he might as well pursue a career in track and field.

Anyways, enough with the ranting. Here are the highlights to the Colombia game and a pretty good Argentina/Paraguay match.