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Adu moved to the US as a result of the Green Card lottery, which his mother won when he was eight, allowing him and his family to move from Ghana.

He started his football career at DC United, after being drafted as the first overall pick in the 2004 MLS Superdraft aged just 14. Adu was the youngest player to ever be up for selection in the draft, and the youngest pick.

On April 3, just three months after the draft, Adu made his professional debut for DC United in their MLS opener against San Jose Earthquakes. In doing so he became the youngest player in the history of professional American sports.

Adu was drafted as the first overall pick in the MLS Superdraft 2014

Adu was drafted as the first overall pick in the MLS Superdraft 2014

Two weeks after his debut, Adu continued to make history, scoring his first professional goal away at the now disbanded MetroStars.

Adu finished his first season with 30 appearances, scoring five goals, as well as gaining an assist in the play-offs as DC United won the MLS Cup. Adu featured in the final, making a second half substitute appearance.

In 2005 Adu was nominated for the first FIFPRO Young player of the year, losing out to none other than Wayne Rooney. A year later Adu’s stock continued to rise, as he was voted into the MLS All-Star team for the second year running. 

After a stellar first season in MLS with DC United, Adu started to gain attention from abroad, and accepted a two-week trial with . Unfortunately

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