Tyler Adams captain of the United States? I love this. I like the kid. I really couldn’t speak more positively of a person I’ve coached than Tyler.
I heard how USA boss Gregg Berhalter held a player vote to pick his captain for the World Cup shortly before the game against Wales. And it’s no surprise to me, not one bit, that Tyler came out on top.
He is one of the favorites I have ever coached. He’s a real warrior, firm in the tackle, but what I like the most about Tyler is the way he carries himself.
Brad Friedel praised Tyler Adams, the United States captain at the World Cup
Adams, 23, was voted captain by his USA team ahead of the opener against Wales.
USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter held the vote and it was midfielder Adams who was the first
He was with the United States Under-18s when I was the Under-19s coach. When really good U18 players were ready to step up, they would come to my camps and Tyler was one of those players.
But he was so good that he was only with my band for a short time! I continued to work with him because I was also an assistant for the U20s. Even then, he was doing 99.9% of the time everything he needed.
The times he wasn’t? Well, that’s where Tyler stood out as well, in the way he responded.
Football is an emotional game, training and matches are competitive, there are players who want contracts, players who are released, there is stuff everywhere.
But with Tyler you can have a disagreement or even an argument, you can tell him this, that and the other and when you’re done you shake hands and he crosses the line and gives it your all.
A lot of players can’t do that. There are a lot of egos in football. Many players let the discomfort fester for months. If he disagrees with something, he will say so. But you’ll get 100% of everything he’s about to do – his recovery, his practice, his practice game, the game, whatever.
Adams will lead his USA team against England in Friday’s highly anticipated game
After the 1-1 draw with Wales on Monday, the game against England for Adams and the United States is important
He’s as fit as he can be, all the time. When you do that, you have a chance to have a good career but you also earn all the respect of your teammates.
If Tyler is playing well, it’s because he’s good and he’s earned it and he’s working hard. If he plays badly and has a bad day, it’s always 100%. He will never have a bad day for lack of effort and the players know it. They respect him.
He plays for Leeds in the Premier League and he is around 5ft 8in tall. But the way he stands, the way he plays, his touch and his challenge, his strength, you’d think he’s over six feet tall.
He got off to a great start at Leeds under their American coach, Jesse Marsch, after moving there for $25million in the summer from German side RB Leipzig.
By the way, Leeds bought him after England midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who will likely come on as a substitute against USA on Friday, left for Manchester City.
Adams joined English Premier League side Leeds in a $25million transfer over the summer
Leading the United States against England will probably be the most significant moment of Tyler’s career so far. But whatever happens in Qatar, there are many more big moments ahead for him.
At 23, he could be captain for years to come and even at the next World Cup – a home World Cup.
But for now, his focus will be on Friday and his midfield duel against England’s Jude Bellingham and the equally impressive Declan Rice.
This midfield fight will be the key to who emerges victorious in Qatar and takes the game. Doesn’t count against Tyler.