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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Freddy Adu completes move to Tampa Bay Rowdies of NASL

Freddy Adu last played in the U.S. with the Philadelphia Union in 2012.

Former U.S. phenom Freddy Adu completed a deal with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League on Tuesday night.

Adu, 26, has not played in the U.S. since leaving the Philadelphia Union in 2012. The Rowdies will be his 13th professional club.

"We're pleased to have Freddy Adu join our club," Rowdies owner Bill Edwards said in a statement. "Our goal is to make the Rowdies the most successful club in North American soccer and this is just another step towards achieving that."

Goal.com reported last week he had chosen to sign with Tampa Bay after receiving offers from a number of teams in NASL, one level below MLS.

The Rowdies are coached by Thomas Rongen, who previously mentored Adu with the United States at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup, where Adu scored a hat trick against Poland.

"Freddy and I have always respected each other," Rongen said. "He's a very unique player, very gifted. He's a difference-maker. He's got superb technical ability and field awareness.

"He's a guy that I've always enjoyed being around on and off the field. He's got a wonderful sense of humor and is a good teammate. He can make any team better."

Since leaving MLS, Adu has struggled to find a permanent home, playing briefly in Brazil, Serbia and Finland. Earlier this week, he left Finnish side KuPS after just three months.

Adu has rarely lived up to the potential he showed when making his professional debut with D.C. United as a 14-year-old in 2004. A 2007 move to Benfica saw him go out on a series of loans, and a brief revival with the Union ended in a contract dispute.

He has made 17 appearances for the U.S. national team, but none since current manager Jurgen Klinsmann took over the side in 2011.

"I'm someone he relates to and someone he feels comfortable with," Rongen said. "I like daring, creative players and Freddy has those qualities. His signing has immense upside for a club that is already making its mark in the NASL."

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