Szetela agrees; Adu’s career would be well served with the Cosmos


UNIONDALE, N.Y. – It is rare when an editorial piece elicits a direct — and positive — response from a player.

But that is exactly what happened when New York Cosmos midfielder Danny Szetela read Wednesday’s EOS column titled ‘Adu should follow Szetela’s path to resurrect career – join the Cosmos.’

“I think this is a place that could be a great fit for [Freddy Adu],” Szetela said when asked about the piece. “He has played at the highest level in Europe, MLS and Men’s National Team. Sometimes when your confidence is low and you need that confidence to grow, sometimes you have to go to [a place like] the NASL.”

Szetela took to Twitter and Facebook to tout the message of the article, insisting that a move similar to his own would only benefit America’s wayward playmaker.

“The NASL to me is a league that is still growing and a place where there are a lot of good player and a lot of good players end up in Europe from the NASL,” he explained. “It’s a place, especially here with the Cosmos where we have a great organization and players from all over the world, it’s a place where I think he can end up and do well and regain his confidence back.”

It is also a message he plans on relaying to Adu directly.

“I spoke to him a little bit but now that he is in Europe, we haven’t spoken that much, but I am sure we will get in touch this week, especially if things aren’t going the greatest with him right now,” he said.

Szetela can relate to Adu’s situation. His once-promising career took a three-year nosedive after injury and off-field problems derailed him. The Polish-American destroyer returned to the national scene last year with little-known Garden State Soccer League side, Icon FC, in the 2013 U.S. Open Cup.

That exposure put him on the Cosmos radar, and eventually landed him back on the professional level.

Meanwhile, his former U-20 teammate Adu continues to bounce about Europe with no clear destination. He failed to latch on with Staeback of the Norwegian league, despite his relationship with Bob Bradley. He failed a trial at American-haven AZ Alkmaar, earning a lukewarm response for his stint. His training at Blackpool went nowhere.

Now 25, Adu is cruising through the best years in a football player’s career.

Szetela says it does not have to be that way. All Adu needs to do is look at his friend for answers.

“[Adu] knows I was out for three years, and my confidence was at the lowest it ever was in my career,” he said. “Fortunately for me, the Cosmos gave me an opportunity to come here. With a great coaching staff and my teammates, my confidence is growing everyday. I still feel I can improve as a player, being out almost three years, it has only been a year I have been back. I just have to continue to work hard here and help gain my confidence.

“Maybe his confidence isn’t the highest. At times players hit their lows in different ways. Mine was injury. Maybe Freddy wasn’t getting much playing time. At the end of the day, the kid has talent. I played with him from the U-17 to the U-20, to Olympic Men’s National Team.

“Maybe his confidence is a little low and he needs to end up in a place that offers that support and people pushing him.”

The Cosmos have certainly developed a reputation for taking on reclamation projects. Szetela would be a prime example, but New York have also taken chances on injured commodities like Jemal Johnson and Hans Denissen, showing great patience in their health and development.

Adu did have contact with the Cosmos last year; talks that presumably broke down under financial divides. “I can say yes, we did try at a particular moment to try and bring him in,” team coach and Technical Director, Giovanni Savarese said. “It didn’t work out at that moment.”

While that may have then been the case, it wouldn’t prevent Savarese or his side from looking into the possibility of pursuing Adu. “Right now, I don’t know if that is a possibility, but you know, he is a quality player. He needs to work in other areas, but we are a team that likes to work with players and we have a good environment that players feel very comfortable.

“I don’t know if that might be a situation that will evolve to something else, but I can tell you right now, it is not something that is a definite.”

With the door left slightly open on the Cosmos end, it would be up to Adu to make the next move.

For his part, Szetela would be more than happy to guide him through.

“Maybe [I’ll] try to recruit him, maybe not,” he said. “But I would definitely talk to him, talk about my situation.

“This is definitely a place where I felt was the best place for me coming back, especially when I was coming back and teams in MLS and Europe didn’t want me coming back from injury. The Cosmos gave me an opportunity and I am thankful for that everyday. I am thankful to be out on the field everyday with the coaching staff and the great group of guys we have in the lockerroom.”

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  • If Danny sticks around for awhile & keeps maturing, i see him as the eventual Captain of the NY COSMOS !

    • BillManning

      Danny Szetela can be for the New York Cosmos what Derek Jeter is for the New York Yankees. Great personality, character, humility, talent, willingness to work with and help others, and drive to succeed. Inspirational. A real leader. Thank you Danny.

  • Joey

    I think the Cosmos need more dynamic players up front, as their scoring options beyond Stokkelian seem limited. I know they are on the verge of signing Raul, but Adu wouldn’t be a bad option either. The main concern for me would be his impact on the chemistry of this team, as they are a very closely knit group and have a lot of good energy. Adu would need to know his role and put the same effort as the rest of the team. I hear a lot of bad things about his attitude and I think that came with a lot of the hype surrounding him at such a young age. If he’s not willing to change, which I would hope would happen being surrounded by the hard nosed players like the Cosmos, then I would think its not even worth considering him for the team.
    Do they need more options up front, to help support Mads? Yes, definitely. Should they do so with the likes of a Freddy Adu, who can potentially provide some dynamism, but also risks being a failure with his lack of effort and positive team spirit? This is where I think a lot of thought would have to be put in and contingency plans for the worst case scenario would have to be worked out.
    If they could get both Raul and Adu, I wouldn’t be so hesitant, as I have more confidence in Raul’s professionalism and his potential positive impact on Adu, to help him mature. The Cosmos could also use the publicity, with the likes of NYC FC and the NY Red Bulls on the verge of signing high profile DPs, with the likes of Villa, Lampard and Xavi.
    It’s going to be interesting to see what the Cosmos do in the coming few weeks or play it conservative.

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