Featured / Union

Sakiewicz: Adu not asked to take pay cut

Photo:Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union never asked Freddy Adu to take a pay cut, according to Union chief executive Nick Sakiewicz.

Sakiewicz told the Philly Soccer Page in a wide-ranging interview that reports of Adu’s contract situation weren’t quite accurate.

“He wasn’t asked to take any pay cut,” Sakiewicz said in the interview, the full video of which is available below.

Sakiewicz said the Union simply did not view Adu as part of the team’s long-term plans after former manager Peter Nowak was fired in June.

“When I made the coaching change, John Hackworth wanted to build the team in a different way and actually get back to the style of play that we founded this club on, and Freddy wasn’t in the plans,” Sakiewicz said. “So we’ve been working on trying to get him a better situation. The transfer window obviously came and went, and unfortunately, Freddy had a number of offers that were presented to him that he declined because he didn’t want to go to those countries. But we’ll continue to work on that. And it’s nothing personal. He just doesn’t fit our plans.”

Adu, the Union’s highest paid player, has been collecting a salary but has not been in uniform since Union officials told him he is no longer welcome at the club. The team has been shopping him on to other clubs, but Adu has yet to accept a transfer. His salary budget hit this year is $650,000, Sakiewicz said, more than 20 percent of the team’s total cap.

Sakiewicz said after the taped interview that Adu had rejected transfer offers from clubs in Russia, Ukraine, Australia, South Korea and Mexico. Brazil marked the sixth country from which a club has sought to acquire Adu. Sakiewicz declined to discuss the specifics of the proposed deal with Bahia in Brazil’s top division, which has been reported in Brazilian media to include a trade for former Brazilian international Jose Kleberson.

No team in Major League Soccer, however, has sought out Adu’s services, Sakiewicz said.

“One of two things will happen,” Sakiewicz said. “He’ll either get paid by us and not play soccer, or we’ll find him a team.”

Sakiewicz said he doesn’t know what Adu wants to do next with his career but felt Adu turned down some good offers.

“After the third time, I stopped trying to guess what Freddy Adu wants,” Sakiewicz said. “The Korea deal was substantially more than what he’s making now.”

Sakiewicz’s comments add new information to the picture Hackworth and Adu had previously painted.

On Jan. 21, Hackworth said during a press conference, “We basically said (to Adu) if you’re willing to renegotiate, come back under some different guidelines, we’ll be happy to talk. If you don’t want to do that we want to make sure you clearly understand that you won’t be back with us.”

A Union official said Sunday that specifics for renegotiation were never discussed, however.

On March 3, ESPN quoted a statement Adu reportedly gave to Alexi Lalas: “The truth is that I have been frozen out by the Philadelphia Union solely because I refuse to take a huge pay cut I am prepared to honor my contract with the Union or any other club in MLS, and I don’t think what has to happen to me is right. All I want to do now is play soccer and try to progress my career.”

The Washington Post reported a day later that the Union asked Adu to take a 75 percent pay cut.

A phone call to Adu’s agent, Richard Motzkin, was not returned Monday.

Sakiewicz addressed a wide array of other topics during his interview Saturday with the Philly Soccer Page, including:

  • Plans for expanding PPL Park;
  • The Union’s payment of $1 million owed to the city of Chester;
  • The club’s overall financial situation;
  • The Union’s youth movement and hire of a new academy director;
  • Arbitration of Peter Nowak’s lawsuit against the team;
  • Reports that Nowak and/or former scouting director Diego Gutierrez personally benefited from player transfers;
  • And more.

Watch the video above. See more PSP videos here.


  1. WilkersonMcLaser says:

    Ives, are you seeing this?! Reading the senseless Adu love on his site makes me sick. I’m willing to admit that the situation hasn’t been perfect in Philly for Adu, but the idea that he was “never given a chance” or that the only way he can possibly succeed is if he’s given the keys to the car without a license is absurd.

    Good to see the other side come out, even if it’s from Sakiewicz. Telling that no other MLS clubs vied for his services.

    • I was definitely surprised to hear that about other MLS clubs. I only wish I’d asked him that question on camera, because he had a good bit to say about it when we talked after we taped the interview.

      Side note: Don’t forget that I wrote the same thing, re: Adu. Or at least something similar. I think it’s a complicated situation. The team is still suffering from Peter Nowak fallout. Adu’s situation is part of that.

  2. I don’t believe anything that Sakiewicz says.

    I’m not a defender of Adu or his position, but Sakiewicz has very little credibility in my book.

    However, good get on the interview.

  3. Seriously? Nick seems to have less and less credibility by the day. His own manager’s comment leads with renegotiating the deal, unless they were somehow trying to pay him more it doesn’t jive.

    Of course the other part is that the U aren’t completely paying his salary, just the over the DP limit part, the rest of MLS is on the hook, that’s why no other MLS team vied for his services. He’s a good player, but not at that price or taking up a DP slot.

    As for what we get back, if Kleberson makes less than Adu, this has “win” written all over it. At least we can end the who has the damn car keys conversation.

    • Word is that Kleberson clears over a Million. That is why his team is so hot to get rid of him.

      • frankswild says:

        I saw this on twitter, don’t know if its true

        “Jonathan Tannenwald ‏@thegoalkeeper

        That, if true, is well under DP status. RT @JuanG_Arango: BTW Kleber’s salary is R$200K/ year (US$100K)”

      • Ivor Driver says:

        The salary info reported on Twitter is monthly salary $ not annual $. Kleberson makes $1.2M and Adu makes $650K – both players have contracts through 2014 – if/when Kleberson arrives in Philly, he will be a DP unless he has some strange desire to make 1/3 of what he makes now to move to the USA to get more consistent playing time than he got at Bahia.

    • I think what Nick’s trying to say is he tried to get him traded somewhere that would pay his full salary (or more in the case of Korea), and said you can only stay if you stay for less. Adu said he wouldn’t renegotiate, they didn’t want his attitude in the locker room or his mediocre play on the field, so their only other option was to trade him (which he screwed up on his own). I have no sympathy for Adu and to me this story adds up.

      • The Black Hand says:

        What did Adu really do, to turn fans against him? Is it because he didn’t net 30 goals and carry us to a championship? Has anyone performed better? I understand disappointment but the hatred for Freddy Adu baffles me. It isn’t Fred’s fault that the Union payed him a hefty wage. I find the contempt baffling. The Union brass handled the entire Adu situation in a terribly unprofessional manner. Actually, they have handled most transfers with little class (Adu, Califf, LeToux, Ruiz,Mondragon, etc, etc, tec…) Give me a break Nick Sak!

  4. I’d love an example of what the Union considers work done in excess.

  5. The addition to the river end should add some height that a tifo can be dropped off of. We are way behind in the tifo wars.

  6. The Black Hand says:

    The amount of bullshit that spews from our young club is absolutely amazing.

    • That’s what you get from a Nick Sakiewicz-run organization, and it’s the primary reason his track record with corporate sponsors are so excellent: he speaks their language!

  7. Not buying it. How would he know that all of the owners are doing well financially. Is he their personal accountant?
    Also, if the Union is doing so well financially, why not spend some money on the franchise both to get better players and upgrade the facilities? Where is all the money going? Whose pocket?
    As for the Adu matter, his statements are not in sink with multiple statements made by Hackworth. This organization has no credibility.
    Great interview. Something that is important for the club to do, even if its largely PC.

  8. vinniejonestownmassacre says:

    Ok, so let me get this straight.

    Sakiewicz says about Adu “He wasn’t asked to take any pay cut.”

    And on Jan 21 Hack said “We basically said (to Adu) if you’re willing to renegotiate, come back under some different guidelines, we’ll be happy to talk. If you don’t want to do that we want to make sure you clearly understand that you won’t be back with us.”

    Hmmm… maybe the exact words You-Need-To-Take-A-Paycut weren’t ever ‘actually’ said, but that’s exactly what ‘was’ said. Unless the Union were going to renegotiate to pay him more… then that’s exactly what they were ‘saying’.

    It really sucks when you can’t trust a damn thing coming out of the management’s mouths of the team you support. It’s watching a pathological lying support group down at the ywca.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Whats worse is that it isn’t not making our club an appealing destination for quality players. If there is no lure of big bucks, what is bringing signings to the Union? We are way too small-time for ownership and management to be so bullish.

    • My favorite line is this “We have resolved (it), and you know, contrary to what is written in the newspapers, we’ve paid our taxes,”

      In fact they settled up about 3 weeks ago. Considering most of the newspaper articles were written before 3 weeks ago… most of the newspaper articles were in fact correct. And it may be safe to say some of those newspaper articles may have spurred their decision. Some times this organization is just unfuckingbelievable.

  9. If the day comes when Sakiewicz gets run out of dodge, we should all hold a parade. He’s a big reason why everything is done half-assed around these parts…

  10. Did anyone else read that in fact Kleberson may not join til December on loan? Was that the crappy translation?

    So, huge hole in midfield to be creative. Marfans got the overused cliche to the car, worked so well Keon started at CAM. We’re trading away a badly misused attacking mid (at least in how he’s positioned for transfer) to maybe get back a more expensive but talented mid AFTER the season ends? Actually, kinda makes sense for this team.

    You Hack and Sak backers still like the direction? Or the whole 2nd place in the standings thing has way more bullish than we ought to be. This still looks like a 6-8th place team.

  11. I understood why freddy didn’t take the ukraine gig. If you remember Euro 2012, all the blacks told theur families to stay away cause of the racisum that they would face. So no big deal thereI suprised the union forgot about that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *