Two Africans in a United State
After shaking the players' hands, he spent extra time with Adu, the club's teenage prodigy. Weah has strong ties to Ghana, which, like Liberia, is located in west Africa. His parents were born there and he often visits the country. He recently committed to play for an African all-star team that is tentatively scheduled to play United in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, in December.
Weah was introduced to Adu's mother, Emilia, and the two talked about their Ghanaian roots.
Said Freddy: "He gave me a lot of advice about everything -- the way I play, how to take care of myself, to get stronger. It's George Weah, you have to listen to him."
Adu is friends with Weah's 16-year-old son, George Jr., who is in AC Milan's youth academy but has played with Adu in the U.S. under-20 training program. "I want Freddy to come play in Italy with me," George Jr. joked. "He would be a great player."
The elder Weah said Adu "is another great talent to come from our continent. We just hope he gets a chance to go to Europe to develop his game. I'm not saying he won't develop in America, but you have more challenges if you go to Europe."
When he finished with Adu, Weah turned his attention back to Liberia, which he says he visits every few weeks.
"We are grateful that we now have stability," he said. "We have started the reconciliation process and the country is coming back. It's one step forward and we are enjoying life. The people are happy again. For me, I just want to contribute to society."
United Notes: Uruguayan forward Claudio Ciccia's tryout ended without a contract being offered. The club hopes to look at other foreign players soon. . . . Midfielder Bobby Convey is with the U.S. national team, which will play Poland on Sunday in Chicago, and will miss United's match at Kansas City on Saturday. . . . Coach Peter Nowak missed practice for personal reasons; he'll be back today.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
"He's one of my heroes," Freddy Adu said of George Weah, above. "He's one of the heroes for all of Africa."
(Kevin Clark -- The Washington Post)