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Back with the USMNT, Tyler Adams looking to continue growth in two big road tests


Over the last six months, Tyler Adams has developed into what feels like a U.S. Men’s National Team mainstay. Since the U.S. crashed out of the World Cup in October, Adams has routinely been one of the first names in the squad, helping usher in a new era for a team now turning towards young stars.

It’s easy to forget that Adams has only played three senior games for the USMNT. He’s only taken part in three camps. This is all still very new to a player who doesn’t turn 20 until next February.

Even so, it was odd to see Adams’ name missing from the USMNT’s latest squad, one which took down Bolivia handily. Now, back with the team following a pair of matches with the New York Red Bulls, Adams is eager to reinsert himself into the midfield for two matches that feel like they’ll be this young USMNT’s biggest tests yet.

“It was a little bit different,” Adams said. “It was nice to be home with the Red Bulls. We had two important games with the Red Bulls, so it was nice to get those games in, keep my fitness sharp, my touch sharp, but now, I’m excited to be back.

“I’m really excited. A lot of young faces, familiar faces from past youth national team camps. I’m excited to get going on the field with them, gain chemistry with them, and I’m excited for two big games.”

The team he joins is one that’s starting to feel familiar. Weston McKennie has also developed into what feels like a starting midfielder, especially following Monday’s effort against Bolivia. Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers appear to be the USMNT’s first choice centerback partnership with Erik Palmer-Brown also pushing through. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen is making a push, as is Josh Sargent, fresh off his first USMNT goal.

All of these players are familiar to Adams. They’ve all played with him on the youth national team level and each is experiencing a similar leap right now. Together, that group is tasked with rebuilding both a culture and a player pool and, thus far, they’ve done about as well as any might have hoped.

“It’s been a bit crazy. The U-20 was a big one for me,” Adams said. “It was a platform where I was able to express myself as a player as a person. Now there are a lot of familiar faces from the U-20 team here. It’s really cool to be with the senior team and any time you get the call-up, it’s really important.”

“I believe we have a wider pool of good young players than we’ve had for many years, but they’re still young,” USMNT boss Dave Sarachan said on Monday. “We want to be optimistic, and there is hope, but I think we have to let this play out before we start anointing or saying this next generation, but each step of the way, all these friendlies like tonight, and in the past, and what we’ve got coming up, will begin to add up where I think you’re going to realize that there’s going to be some good talent coming through.”

That talent will be put to the test in the coming week-and-a-half. First up is a visit to Ireland in Dublin, a place that is notoriously difficult to play due to the raucous Irish crowd. Next up? Just a trip to France to face off with a team many see as a World Cup favorite.

Many of the young USMNT stars have some sort of experience with this. November’s visit to Portugal was seen as the start of this team’s era and, by and large, it was a good start. The USMNT held on to a 1-1 draw against the reigning European champions and, even without Cristiano Ronaldo in the fold, that felt like a good start.

Adams and co. have four years to figure all of this out. They have four years to build chemistry and four years to mature and four years how to learn to compete with teams like France and Ireland on their home turf. But this week feels like a good building block from a team that’s evolving from a group of youngsters to a more comfortable version of a new USMNT.

“Any time you play a country on their home turf, they’re going to get up for it,” Adams said. “They have their fans behind them, their style of play will be important. So the research that we do on them and the gameplan we come up with, we’re going to have to execute, but it will be a fun one.

“Ireland is a strong opponent. It’s fun to play Ireland in Ireland and France in France. A team like France is obviously going to be another big one after we get the job done on Saturday. I think, for us, we take it a game at a time.”


  1. france should field a young b or c team to properly challenge our youngsters. and ireland might put on the field for us a young b team, i hope.

    when the concacaf nations league starts this fall, i have an idea. ussoccer should manage it this way. they should tell ernie stewart to basically send our YOUNG PLAYERS to play against non-mexico concacaf opponents such as jamaica, panama and trinidad (for costa rica, add one or two more veterans to the line up). and meanwhile, on these important fifa dates, attempt to arrange international friendly matches between our SENIOR men’s team (the REAL one) and THE BEST AVAILABLE OPPONENTS such as teams from europe and south America.

    • so you would have simultaneously a young usa b-team playing in a concacaf nations league match and the senior usa a-team playing a friendly match against say for example columbia’s full senior team. sound good? let’s do it.

    • That would never be sanctioned. France is also not playing its B team against us next they have this little tournament called the World Cup to prepare for. Also, the US has already qualified for League A of the Nations League and won’t begin NL play until Sept. 2019, which is why they have scheduled top SA and European clubs in Sept, Oct., and Nov.


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