Freddy Adu talks David Beckham and the growth of the MLS

In a candid interview, Freddy Adu has given his stance on David Beckham and whether the MLS can ever reach the heights of the NFL and the NBA.

In his glory days, the American superstar looked destined for greatness. With lightning speed, awe-inspiring skills and a sensational footballing brain, he stamped his authority on the game, securing a place at DC United at just 14 years of age.

In his first campaign, the prospect solidified himself as the youngest scorer in MLS history, en route to bagging five goals and four assists.

Therefore, despite his career not reaching the dazzling heights it was once expected, his opinion on the league is as valid as anyones.

And while the sport is still growing in The States, Adu isn’t confident it will surpass the NFL or NBA.

Speaking to,, he said: “I don’t know if soccer will ever become as big as football or basketball, as they’re our sports in this country, but I think it can get to a point where it competes and is respectable when put up against those two leagues. It will take a long time before that happens as it’s hard to change a country’s culture, and everything here is about NFL, NBA and even baseball. It’s hard to change that, but I think in time the MLS will become a big league globally as the infrastructure is there for the league to become massive.”

But does he think David Beckham’s decision to start a franchise will help in any way?

Freddy Adu talks David Beckham

The 33-year-old claimed: “There’s a lot more money in the league right now, and we are bringing in players in their prime versus at the end of their careers like we did in the past, so the MLS is trending in the right direction. Having superstars like David Beckham own a team definitely bring eyeballs and good attention to the game, and as long as the product on the pitch is good, that’s what really matters.”

However, while the men may not have achieved on the international stage, the women certainly have. But Adu thinks they can still catch up.

He said: “I think so. I think we are starting to get to a point where we are changing our youth policy across the country. A little bit of that still goes on right now, where parents are having to pay for their kids to be involved in playing with a youth club team, and a lot of people don’t have the money to be able to do that. You get most of the best players not being able to play and develop, because their families cannot afford to pay for them to play.

“This ‘pay to play’ system that exists is hindering everything. Until that changes, US soccer is going to keep on being where we are right now for a long time. Because we won’t get the best players playing, developing and having the same chance as everyone else to get to the next level. I strongly believe that.”

YouTube video

Freddy Adu wants more opportunities for young people

He believes the key to the growth of the game in the US is subsidising more youth football.

Adu concluded: “Yes – 100%. I think we should arrive at a point where teams are subsidising all youth programs and coming to their youth system. Philadelphia Union is doing the best job of that in the US for me at the moment, and they’re producing some absolutely brilliant players right now from their youth system.

“Until we get all the other teams on that level, it’s just going to stay the same. I think we’re moving towards that point though, and I’m happy about that. We’ve noticed it as a country, and we are slowly moving towards that point.”

Read: American superstar, Freddy Adu, is planning a massive football comeback (

Featured Image Credit: Getty