Fresh off their side’s 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday, New York Red Bulls players Tyler Adams and Luis Robles were talking about another big victory, that of the United 2026 bid earlier in the day.
“With the time change, I was up at 6:30, so I was well awake for that,” said Adams, only a few days removed from getting a 1-1 draw in France with the U.S. Men’s National Team. Once the vote was complete, Adams could not hide his joy.
“It’s really, really exciting to have the World Cup come to your home country because you could have friends and family wherever the event may be,” Adams said.
As someone who is expected to be part of the USMNT for the several World Cup cycles, Adams is well aware of the opportunity that comes for him individually with a World Cup in the United States. “[I’m] hoping to be a core guy for that World Cup,” the 19-year-old said, “so I’m continuing to establish myself now and gain experience like those France games will help me be ready by that time.”
For Adams’ club captain Robles, thinking about 2026 brought back fond memories of 1994. He remembered the U.S.’ run to the quarterfinals, saying, “I saw Tony Meola and his long hair, Alexi Lalas and his fiery hair, all of those characters that made up the 1994 team that advanced against Colombia.”
In addition to making memories with his son, Robles is also looking forward to the future for U.S. Soccer in general, . “I’m excited for U.S. Soccer, and I think that really gives us a lot of incentive to really sort out what’s going on with the U.S. national team.”
Additionally, he is excited for players like Adams who will work for the next eight years with that World Cup in mind. “I’m really excited for the youth of America,” Robles said. “You look at what transpired over the weekend against France and when they play the young generation, you see this tenacity and fearlessness that’s amazing, and a lot of it comes from this organization, so I’m glad that we can contribute in that sense.”
More than anything, though, a World Cup creates memories for players, coaches, and onlookers alike. “I was doing the math; ‘oh man, my son [will only be] 13,’” Robles said, “but he’ll at least get to see what I saw when I was young in ‘94.”