Former IMG Academy traineeFreddy Adu has taken on a veteran role for his 2012 Olympic qualifying team. Adu has recently been chosen as a captain for the U.S. U-23 team that will compete in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament that begins Thursday in Nashville. Adu is the only returning member of the USA's 2008 Olympic team, giving the 22-year-old new heightened responsibilities this second timearound. The former Olympian was featured in a article on U.S. Soccer.com discussing his new role as aveteranmidfielder.
âIt's a different role,â Adu said. âI've always been one of the youngest guys on the team. But now I'm one of the older guys, one of the more experienced guys, and I have to be more of a leader. The guys are looking up to me, asking me questions and looking at me to step up.â
Trevor Moawad, Director of the Athletic & Personal Development program discusses his thoughts on Adu's selection as teamcaptain.
âIt's a special honor at the Olympic level to be selected as a team captain by your peers and coaches. You could see this December when Adu was training at IMG that he was driven, and both the Olympics and the MLS season held special purpose to him. We look forward to watching him lead this team and many other Bradenton alumni into qualifying this week. This is a big moment for them.â
During the 2008 qualifying, Adu was the team's primary offensive force as he scored four goals in three matches. It was a successful stretch that Adu hopes he will build on for this year's qualifying and potentially the 2012 London Olympics. The U.S. faces Cuba on Thursday, Canada on Saturday and El Salvador next Monday at LP Field. The top two finishers from this group will advance to the semifinals, which will be held March 31 at Livestrong Park in Kansas City, Kan. The two finalists will than advance to the regional final as well as this summer's London Olympics.