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Jermaine Jones: “Tyler Adams will be a big name for USMNT”


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 “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.”


  1. I love Tyler! NYRB fans who saw him play starting at 16.
    My biggest doubt with him if he can stay healthy for a prolonged period of time. He only has 1 season so far that wasn’t marred by multiple injuries and absences.

    • there is always the “O’Brien Problem.” that and holden. plenty of players over the decades who would have started or helped who couldn’t stay healthy. so durability is part of the test. true of AJ and Weah and others too. but hopefully this is one extended injury brush and we’re on to smoother seas.

  2. Between McKennie & Adams, I’d say that McKennie is the most similar to Jones positionally and mentality. Jones was the more attacking Box-to-Box CM.

    2010 will always be a “What if” World Cup for me.
    What If, Jones leg injury had healed enough to have been part of the team?
    What if, Charlie hadn’t been in that Car accident?
    What if, Gooch hadn’t blown out his knee?

    • Do you say that though because he’s never played for a team that used box to box midfielders but Wes has. Is there anything in Tyler’s game that says he wouldn’t be a great #8. Motor, yes, endurance? Yes. Positional awareness? Yes. Ability to drive one on frame from the top of the box? Yes. The box to box guy is kind of gone out of fashion because so many teams play with 3 men up front. However, if you slide Adams into CM at Dortmund where Witsel and Bellingham are technically 6s but operate much more box to box wouldn’t he also do well?

      • Yes, Adams would do well at CM the way BvB plays them. Personally, I see McKennie & Adams both as comparable CMs. Both are Box-to-Box types….but Adams is more defensively inclined while McKennie is more of a “free roaming” CM. McKennie is more inclined to make the deep runs into the box…while Adams is more likely to sit deeper to provide coverage.
        IMO right now if paired together in a 4-2-3-1 we’ll get the best out of Both the CMs and our attacking Outside backs without giving up our defensive structure. I think this is currently our strongest formation against strong opponents.
        If Jonny C. advances into the pool I could see us in a 4-3-3 with McKennie on 1 side and Adams on the other….but I don’t think we’re there just yet. I don’t trust Yueill, Bradley, or Moralez at the 6 and I don’t think Holmes is an option except as a Backup to Reyna at the ACM in a 4-2-3-1.
        Against weaker opposition I could easily see us use a 3-4-3…but I don’t think it’ll be used very often.

    • if this was true you would have already seen it. he has been played at 6 already. he showed offense which is not what the position requires. he didn’t look like a leg breaking jones clone. nor did he turn around the results sweeping up our problems at 6. so knowing full well he didn’t set the world afire at the spot, no, you’re wrong, we already know better. go get a real 6 like adams or someone else coming up, and play mckennie at 8. because IMO others coming up are going to be better 10s, or 6s, and he will turn out to be a complimentary player or perhaps even bench option. i think people are missing that juve or not there is a ton of talent coming up and unlike reyna and pulisic based on what i have seen so far, while mckennie is definitely in the 23, there is no guarantee he is one of the best 3 mids when everyone who is a prospect is integrated up into the senior team. again, another instance of incumbency bias where we assume the guy who played yesterday and got there first is by definition tomorrow’s star as well. if he was that awesome why do we struggle to win games??

      • What are you talking about? No one said Wes should be a six. Lost said he sees Wes as closer to Jones because he was a box to box guy and I said Adams has never been on a team who uses a #8 and he would do well as an #8.

      • JR: learn to read: “I’d say that McKennie is the most similar to Jones positionally and mentality.” so someone said exactly what you claim they didn’t. lame political mindgames. the whole question is where mckennie fits in a final product. he’s not a forward. he’s not a wing. he’s not going to ultimately be the 10. so it’s 8 or 6. the question then is does he sweep up well enough. i haven’t seen it. mexico ate him and bradley alive. to me there is some potential he is an exciting player but a man without a position. schalke at times acted like that’s what they thought. but even the more positive spin would be his role is probably as a complimentary 8 that isn’t relied on to lead either the creation or the defense. he is not precise enough to be the playmaker. he is not defensive enough to be the cruncher. at some point acknowledge that leaves you either as the last guy into the midfield or as the talented guy we bring off the bench. and i realize this is anathema to resume reading snobs but you make the field to play a position and not as an all star team of snob favorites. many of his competition are players with specialties, or with specific useful attributes. what exactly is mckennie bringing to the table? i think adams takes 6 because he will defend.

    • IV: follow your own advise “I think Wes is the most similar to Jones in position and mentality. Jones was the more attacking box to box CM.” No one said Wes should be the six or a 10 for that matter. Make a dumb statement, then throw an insult to deflect and refuse to admit you were wrong. Please tell Melania to take away your phone.

  3. leave him at 6. what we badly need is at least one effective midfield sweeper, and his ability to pass is a bonus.

    • That is the role of Michael Bradley. I think Berhalter would keep MB90 as an automatic starter if we had a competitive match today. I won’t believe that others have taken his spot until I see it with my own eyes. Sadly, this might mean Adams/McKennie get played out of position to fit around Bradley.

      • i think you’re basically parroting the coach with tongue in cheek, but to me we have 4 years of tape on how he went over the hill (I think Bradley started to suck about 2016), cannot cover the necessary ground, we get beat in the midfield routinely, bunch of big game losses, and objectively offers not much in offensive return. but, yeah, if the coach sees Bradley as his 2022 guy then everyone has to move around to suit that. i would say that if reyna and others are treated as potential 10s (as opposed to wings) it is not so clear that among that selection mckennie and adams are the ones who must emerge. personally i want reyna at 10 and leave pulisic and morris wide. if GB’s idea is then to have zardes at 9 and bradley 6 instead of sargent, adams, and others, that’s precisely why i think he’s sandbagging a team that doesn’t have to wait to 2026 and could be good now.

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