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Alumni Pros Sports Group

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Angel Morrison
Angel Morrison

Give It Up To Me

Still, Adu wants to be clear. "Until," he said. "That's how I've been thinking about this." In two days, he would turn 30. "I'm still plenty young. I'm not ready to give it up. Things haven't gone the way that I would have wanted them to, obviously. But I love the sport too much to say I'm ready to give it up." He still gets inquiries on Facebook, and occasionally through his agent, about his availability.

Give It Up to Me

As he talked, players from Next Level's under-14 team lined up to kick a ball on a diagonal toward an undersized net some 30 yards away. Most of them looked scrawny. It is hard to fathom, even after all these years, but when Adu was exactly their age, he was starting his pro career. Now he walked over to give them instruction. Strike the ball this way, he said, not like that. Several of the boys were able to get shots close to the goal. One bounced a shot off the near post, but most of them continued to miss by several feet.

Adu was an attacking midfielder and occasionally a winger, not a striker. "I'm more quick than fast," he said. But he considered himself a finisher, not a creator. When he wasn't scoring, he wasn't doing much of anything. "He saw himself as the luxury player, the skill player," Wynalda said. "'Give me the ball and I'll make something happen.' 'OK, I screwed up, give it to me again.' 'OK, again. Just keep giving it to me.' And eventually it's like, 'You know what? I'm going to give it to some other guy.'"

"I saw my game in a certain way," he said. "They saw it as, 'You can give so much more to the team.' And I wasn't doing that." He shook his head, thinking about the years he lost, wearing uniform after uniform but often barely playing at all. "My 20s," he said. "The prime of my career." 041b061a72


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