Jermaine Jones was one of the first American players to impress in the Bundesliga and now the former player is getting a chance to watch a rising star within U.S. Soccer.
Tyler Adams is one of many U.S. Men’s National Team players who is developing nicely in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig. Although he recently got hurt in training, Adams has become a key part of Julian Nagelsmann’s squad, playing in a wide range of positions for the top-flight club.
Jones, born in Germany, spent 15 years playing in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, and Schalke, totaling over 270 appearances in the top-flight. Now as he continues his time as a coach, Jones has been able to watch Adams become a key piece at both the domestic and International level.
“(Adams) already played amazingly in New York and then moving and coming over and playing for Leipzig – one of the strongest teams – that shows that he has a lot of talent,” Jones said in an interview with Bundesliga.com. “Under Julian Nagelsmann his development will be very good. He will be a big name in the national team too.”
Jones totaled 69 appearances for the USMNT during his international career, while Adams has made 10 since his debut in 2017. The two players never played together on the same time, but crossed paths in MLS while Adams was with the New York Red Bulls and Jones was with both the Colorado Rapids and L.A. Galaxy.
Both players have similar attributes, bringing physicality and a strong defensive work rate to the field. Adams has been used as a defensive midfielder during his career so far, but has also seen time as a right back for RB Leipzig and even higher up the field as a wingback.
Jones has made himself available to Adams, Weston McKennie, and others to talk at any time in hopes of helping them continue on the upward trend of their developments.
“I’m in touch with some of them,” Jones said. “I was in touch with [Weston] McKennie too, before he went to Juventus [from Schalke].. If they need help, they have my number. They can call me and we can talk.”
“It’s the developing part. I think that they’re developing well. They are good listeners. They listen to everything they can get. That’s the part you can see that they are doing. Adams is fantastic. He was injured but now, since he came back, he’s really good.”
Despite the 17-year age difference currently, Jones has been able to see the similarities between himself and Adams on the field. Jones was 19-years-old when he made his competitive debut for Eintracht Frankfurt while Adams was 20 when he debuted for RB Leipzig in January of 2019.
While Adams now recovers from a knee injury ahead of a busy campaign for RB Leipzig and the USMNT, Jones is excited to see him continue his work abroad.
“The work rate [is a similarity I see between us],” Jones said. “He works hard for the team. I think that’s the biggest one. I would say we are different kinds of players. I think he’s a step in front of me at that age. His work rate is good. He’s a team player, which is something I was too.”