Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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Philadelphia Union midfielder Freddy Adu resolves to shoot more

Yes, he gets the star treatment sometimes, both in the locker room and from the media; and no, he hasn't fulfilled his potential yet. But he still has the vision to see what's going on, and the instinct to do something about it.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Freddy Adu resolves to shoot more

Freddy Adu and the Union will next take the field Saturday afternoon in Seattle. (Tom Mihalek/AP file photo)
Freddy Adu and the Union will next take the field Saturday afternoon in Seattle. (Tom Mihalek/AP file photo)

It was late Saturday night, after just about all of the other players and reporters had left the Union's locker room at PPL Park.

I was talking to Michael Farfan when I saw Freddy Adu walk by. After I was done talking to Farfan, I walked over towards Adu, who was sitting and chatting with Danny Mwanga without anyone else nearby.

Adu groaned briefly. I said I'd keep it short. He paused for a moment, then smiled and told me he'd talk. So we did for a few minutes. I think Adu had some really interesting things to say.

Yes, Adu gets the star treatment sometimes, both in the locker room and from the media; and no, he hasn't fulfilled his potential yet. But he still has the vision to see what's going on, and the instinct to do something about it.

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Talk about what it's like for you, Michael Farfan, Kai Herdling and others to play off Lionard Pajoy. He seems to be the kind of forward who knocks a lot of balls down for you to run on to, and it seems like against San Jose you all made a particular point of doing that.

Yeah, that's our job. When you have one striker up top, as the wide forwards you have to get in there and help him out. Sometimes we don't do a good job of that, but today we made a point to do that.

And we got a lot of second balls. We came in, we got a lot of balls in the middle. But once we do that, we have to see an end product to that. We have to create more clear scoring opportunities.

And we had one or two, but at the end of the day, it just wasn't enough.

How much do you all adjust how the ball gets served forward based on who's playing up top?

That's something that we have to do as a team. It's all in ball circulation - we have to circulate the ball better, and we didn't do a good job of that today. We didn't put together passes, we didn't have a lot of possession.

When we got the ball, it was kind of hard to go forward, because you only have either one person up top, and he's going against three or four defenders in the back. So it made it difficult for us to establish a rhythm. That's something we taked about. Obviously we have to do a better job. It will get better.

At what point - and I saw you do this a couple of times tonight - does anybody on the field, whether you or Michael or anyone else, say, "I'm just going to hit the ball"?

We have to shoot. If you don't shoot, you don't score. Today, I was like - especially in the second half - "You know what, we're not getting a lot of shots on goal today. We've got to test the goalkeeper." And I just let it ride.

He [Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch] made a good save on my attempt [in the 72nd minute] and the other one was over, but I wasn't going to stop shooting. That's something that I'm going to do a lot more of from now on, because if you do that, it steps the defense up, and it opens up space in behind them. We have to do more of that. We really do.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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