The second sentence is false. Yeah a part of the reason for the hype in America was because of the landscape at the time but Adu was absolutely an elite youth talent compared to any one in the world.
Adu's talent has never ever failed him or even been in question. His work ethic, tactical understanding, and what at the time was a nonexistent youth development structure is a completely different story.
In short you don't crown an adolescent and tell them they're great at fourteen years old. If Adu had gotten a proper footballing education and had the the virtues of a professional athlete instilled him the way they're instilled in all players as teenagers, things would likely have been a lot different.
He's played professional soccer since he was 14, he's played with some decent clubs and had impressive moments in some decent leagues at a shockingly young age, no one has ever said he wasn't talented or skilled enough.