After his loan from Benfica to Belenenses was cancelled last month, word has spread all across the internet that Freddy Adu is contemplating a move to either Aris Thessaloniki FC of Greece or Hull City of the EPL. Either choice would be a positive move for Adu, as long as it resulted in more playing time. But with all these news outlets picking up the story (165 stories on Google News at this time, including one from ESPN SoccerNet), you would assume that there would be numerous sources behind the story, right?
Actually there is only one source behind the Adu to Aris or Hull story. And with there being only one source, you would assume that it would be a reliable source known for its hard-hitting reporting, right?
Actually the only source is Freddy Adu’s own Twitter page (@freddyadu11)
The story began with Adu tweeting that he had some really difficult decisions to make, and then later tweeting “Hull or Aris?”, and then later tweeting that the only problem with Hull would be how to get a work visa.
Why Hull and Aris? Those two teams sure sound awfully familiar to US Soccer fans, because they are the current homes of fellow Americans Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson. Does it seem awfully convenient to anyone else that those are the only two teams that Freddy is mentioning? And why is Freddy discussing such important decisions through Twitter anyway? Didn’t anybody stop to question whether or not Freddy’s tweets are to be trusted?
Somebody did. Match Fit USA (@MFUSA) has been all over this story. He was the first to theorize that Freddy’s tweets were just a shoutout joke to his boys. A theory that was even confirmed by Freddy himself in a tweet later that night. Of course all of these tweets have now been deleted off of Adu’s profile, further igniting the fire of speculation.
I’m not here to do any sort of commentary on the state of reporting in sports, and I agree that Twitter can be a very useful tool at times, but it’s also just a little disappointing that so many sites are simply rehashing what they’ve read on Twitter and passing it off as actual reporting.
Update: Ives is now saying that Adu will be signing with Aris. So maybe it wasn't the entire thing that was a joke. Just part of it.