Freddy Adu boosting MLS following

June 9, 2004 at 11:02 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) -- The boy who electrified U.S. soccer fans when he signed a pro contract at age 14 hasn't scored much since then -- except at the ticket office.

In the two months since Freddy Adu, who turned 15 last week, signed with D.C. United of Major League Soccer, he has vastly outperformed every other player in marketing, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Attendance at nearly all his games exceeded the league average of 15,287, and the 13,043 who saw D.C. United lose at home to the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-2 May 19 is some 40 percent higher than what MLS teams routinely draw for non-Saturday games.

In the 11 games Adu has played in MLS, the average crowd has been 22,369. The league is averaging 13,181 without Adu.

The latest ESPN2 ratings, not including last weekend, show D.C. has the two most-viewed MLS games. A May 1 game vs. the San Jose Earthquakes drew a 0.4 rating, or 343,219 households.

Overall, they're up 50 percent overall from 2003, from 0.2 to 0.3.

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