Looking for a Good Home
Shirley Temple won a Juvenile Academy Award in 1935 for her performance in “Bright Eyes” — and she had been born in 1928. and Federico Macheda, apparently wonderfully prodigious talents when they were in their teens, are finding it a whole lot tougher to make the grade in the men’s game.
Both Adu and Macheda are gifted. Both were made rich before they achieved very much. And both are wondering this week who, if anyone, will take them on loan and give them a chance of finding a permanent place to apply their skills.
Adu, born in 1989, is the Ghanaian-American who became the youngest professional player in history after he was drafted by Washington in 2004. At the same young age, Nike made him a millionaire thanks to an endorsement deal.
He is now 23, unwanted by his latest club, the Philadelphia Union, and available for hire to anyone anywhere who might think he still has a career in him.
Macheda is the Italian who was plucked by away from Lazio, his boyhood team in Rome, when he was 16. That move, akin to piracy in the way that United exploited the fact that the Italian authorities barred boys younger than 18 from becoming tied to professional contracts, had spectacular early portents.
The boy Macheda — still so youthful, so unafraid of the big players on the big stage — took the place of the Portuguese player Nani in a gam…