Freddy Adu will be playing in Major League Soccer for at least a little while longer.
Adu returned to Real Salt Lake on Tuesday night in an exhibition against Argentina's Boca Juniors, but his future appeared closer to moving overseas.
"At this point, I told my agent, just handle everything," Adu said after scoring a goal in RSL's 1-1 draw.
"Just check in with me every now and then. But go ahead and handle everything because I don't want it to distract me."
Adu scored on a penalty kick at the end of the first half, careful to keep his head down and not tip off the goalkeeper as to where the shot was going.
He is being just as tricky with his future plans.
MLS and Benfica reached an agreement on a $2-million US transfer fee for the 18-year-old American, but Adu and the Portuguese club could not work out contract terms, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.
Adu denied knowing any specifics about negotiations agent Richard Motzkin is having with any team, saying he was trying to stay out of it.
"My agent is in talks with some teams," Adu said. "I know when the right offer, the right team comes along, I know he'll let me know."
Motzkin declined comment.
RSL director of soccer operations John Ellinger, who has been coaching Adu since he was 12, said although the first round of negotiations fell through, talks with Benfica were not finished.
"I know Freddy has called his agent and said, `It's still open. Don't let this get off the table.' It's still a real possibility," Ellinger said before Tuesday's game.
"As a club, we're ecstatic to keep him and we're ecstatic for him if he gets a chance to play overseas. That's kind of how we feel about it."
FIFA's transfer deadline is Aug. 31, meaning a deal still could be resurrected.
Adu missed more than a month of RSL's season while he captained the U.S. team to the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
Adu had three goals and four assists as the Americans went 3-1-1 in the tournament.
Adu scores in exhibition
Adu got a loud ovation from the small crowd when he was introduced and gave his club a 1-0 lead when he scored on a penalty kick during stoppage time at the end of the first half.
Adu lined up his kick and badly faked out goalkeeper Pablo Migliore, who dived to his left as Adu drove a low shot to the opposite corner that gave RSL a 1-0 lead.
"I wanted to hit it low and hard to the corner [because] even if the goalkeeper guessed right, it should make it hard for him to actually save that," Adu said. "I was able to get him off balance and send him the other way."
It was the first goal Adu scored in Salt Lake City since he was traded here in the off-season, and it doesn't count because Tuesday was an exhibition.
Adu left the game in the 67th minute after Boca tied it at 1.
Adu scored his only official goal with RSL on May 20 at Dallas.
He also has two assists in 11 MLS games this season, but his strong showing in the U-20 World Cup was a reminder that the former teen phenom can still play.
Real Salt Lake acquired him from D.C. United last year knowing that he would turn 18 this summer and become eligible under FIFA's rules to transfer outside his home country.