Tyler Adams first appearance of the new domestic season in Germany couldn’t have gone much better with RB Leipzig advancing in the German Cup and Adams getting the start in Julian Nagelsmann’s side.
Adams didn’t feature in his traditional midfield position, but as a centerback in a three-man defensive set-up against 2. Bundesliga side Nuremberg. It allowed Adams to run the show in a deeper role while also stringing together passes and providing cover defensively in an eventual 3-0 win.
The 21-year-old was named Man of the Match in the victory, RB Leipzig’s first of the new season. It is undecided if Adams will remain in that role heading into Sunday’s Bundesliga opener vs. Mainz, but his strong performance gives Nagelsmann’s another option going forward for his squad selection.
“It didn’t work out at all in training on Friday, but it did in the game,” Nagelsmann said of Adams’ role. “We wanted to open up some new spaces in our build-up play. Tyler played like a quarterback. It gives us new opportunities for the future.”
Adams has mainly featured in midfield since his move from the New York Red Bulls, but his versatility was also on display several times out wide last season. Saturday was a top performance for Adams who looks to be back to full fitness after dealing with injuries throughout last season.
The U.S. Men’s National Team product completed 94% of his passes in the match while winning four of six combined duels. With his recent ability to feature as a centerback, Adams could see the field a lot more in 2020-21′ and help RB Leipzig in a trio of competitions this season.
“I definitely feel good,” Adams said postmatch. “I think we’ve had good preparation coming to the start of the new season. We used the Champions League as our pre-season games. They were competitive games as well that we’ve performed really well in, so we’re taking the confidence from those games and moving on to this phase now.”
” think the team did well. We had a couple of new players out there and they had some good performances as well. Hwang Hee-chan contributed with a goal and we’re very happy with the performance. We had tactics going into it and we executed it well.”
Adams has totaled 30 appearances in all competitions in Germany and will kick off league play this weekend before continuing cup play and beginning life in the UEFA Champions League once again. RB Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga last season, but could find it much tougher after the loss of leading scorer Timo Werner to Chelsea.