Freddy Adu left Major League Soccer midway through the 2007 season.

Now, he's back ... and nearly in first place.

The highly publicized 22-year-old midfielder, who had been linked to Chivas USA in his long-awaited return to the league, reversed field and decided to sign with the Philadelphia Union on Friday. The Union plucked Adu on a free transfer from Sports Lisboa e Benfica of the Portuguese First Division.

His decision signifies an immediate reunion with Adu and Union manager Peter Nowak. Adu signed his professional contract with D.C. United at the age of 14 and spent three seasons with Nowak from 2004-06, including winning the MLS Cup in 2004.

The Union (8-5-9) host FC Dallas (12-6-6) on Saturday night, and enter this match just one point behind the Columbus Crew (9-7-7) for first place in the Eastern Conference.