Freddy Adu and Player Loan Agreements in Professional Soccer

Ben Berger, Connecticut Sports Law’s resident soccer expert, explains how loan agreements – a foreign concept to most American sports fans – operate in the realm of professional soccer.

Portuguese powerhouse Benefica has announced that American teen Freddy Adu has been loaned to Ligue One side Monaco for the upcoming season.

Less than a year after his transfer from Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake to the Lisbon based club, Adu will now bring his skills to French soccer.

Player loans are foreign to traditional American sports, but are fairly common in League soccer.   Loans can work in a number of ways and take a variety of forms, but typically young players will be loaned to a lesser club to provide the player with first team experience.  (Imagine the Yankees loaning a stud third basemen to the Washington Nationals for a season to get that player at bats against Major League pitching).   Loans can be made within leagues, across countries or across divisions.

Loans often include stipulations that a player cannot play against his own team, that the new team has an option to buy the player and the end of the loan and/or that the new team pay a portion of the player’s wages.  The old team gets to develop a player who would otherwise sit the bench, while the new team gets a highly touted youngster to improve their fortunes on and off the field.

For Adu, the loan will likely mean first team action in the highly rated French First Division.  This should be a great opportunity for the young American to improve as a player, after a quick trip to Beijing with the U.S. Olympic team.

Attorney Ben Berger, an avid fan of soccer and MLS, is an attorney at Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, in Hartford, Connecticut.  Ben can be reached at or 860-548-2636.




  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. Gday very good read about the fifa worldcup. I can’t wait the Socceroos to come home with a victory. Go the best team in the world, Australia (or Germany second choice) !!


  1. […] Freddy Adu and Player Loan Agreements in Professional Soccer […]

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