D.C. United suspended forward Freddy Adu for Friday night's MLS playoff opener against the Chicago Fire, a response to the 16-year-old's complaints earlier in the week about playing time.

Adu traveled with the team to Soldier Field, but remained in street clothes and watched the game from a radio broadcast booth.

"It's a team disciplinary issue being handled by the coaches," United President Kevin Payne said 45 minutes before kickoff. He declined to elaborate on the decision.

"His suspension, it's not good the day of the game," forward Santino Quaranta said after the 0-0 tie. "I respect Peter's decision, I respect the head office and it's their decision. It's between Freddy and the team. We have a job to do and we're focused on winning MLS Cup."

During an interview session Tuesday, Adu suggested that he might be better off playing elsewhere next season. He played in every regular season game for which he was available (25), made 16 starts and averaged about 60 minutes per appearance.

However, Adu was removed in the second half of a 2-1 loss to the MetroStars on Oct. 8 and didn't start a week later against Columbus before entering after halftime.

According to a source close to the situation, Adu was given until the pregame meal Friday to apologize to his teammates for his remarks. Nowak and some of the players had been upset about the timing of Adu's comments.

Adu decided not to address the team, said the source, who didn't want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the situation. Adu said through a club spokesman that he did not want to comment.

Richard Motzkin, Adu's head agent at SportsNet LLC in Los Angeles, declined to comment.