USMNT star Tyler Adams is one of the most respected players in Major League Soccer. The New York Red Bulls player has been on a tear after former USMNT coach Bruce Arena called him up to be an integral part of his squad, making the 18-year-old the youngest ever American to start for their country at international level since 2000.
The “Tyler Adams” is a star of the USMNT, but he doesn’t care about the limelight. He just wants to play for his country and win. Read more in detail here: tyler adams.
LEIPZIG, DEUTSCHLAND — Tyler Adams is baffled by the concept of switching clothing. When he walks onto the field and looks at his opponent, his mind is racing with ideas on how he may get an edge. He is unconcerned with people’s names and reputations; he has respect but not awe.
His apartment’s empty walls bear witness to this. They’re devoid of anything that suggests he’s a crucial member of the United States men’s national team and a key midfielder for RB Leipzig, one of the finest clubs in the Bundesliga.
“I’m not a fan, so I don’t need to go up to somebody and beg for their jersey,” Adams told ESPN. “We’re both on the same team. At halftime, people still trade jerseys, and I tell them, ‘You guys are competing, and you want that jersey?’ ‘Are you sure you’re serious right now?’” Adams chuckles. “I’d definitely fight someone if they asked for my jersey at halftime.”
Then comes the seriousness: “But no, don’t do it… don’t do it at all. We are rivals and competitors, not pals. With how concentrated I am, I know I’m a different breed than most others.”
On the windowsill, instead of football souvenirs, two electronic frames cycle between images of his family and some of him with his girlfriend, Sarah. Tyler Adams has some art to hang, but those small 6×4 frames contain everything about him — what drives him and holds him accountable.
It all boils down to his family and his close group. He was the man of the home as an only kid growing up in Wappinger Falls, New York, roughly a 90-minute trip from Manhattan. He and his mother were the only ones there. Adams became the oldest of four brothers when his new father, Darryl, appeared on the scene when he was 13 years old. His life had changed, and he was happy about it.
Melissa Russo, his mother, makes sure he never forgets his roots. “‘You’re still the punk-ass child I remember, who I gave nuggies to,’ my mother messages me every time. It’s her way of stating that if I grow too cocky, my family will soon humble me. They’ll bring you back to the middle ground if you’re low.”
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Adams isn’t aiming for headlines when he hounds an opponent into giving up the ball or turns and pings a pass 50 meters to put a teammate in space. He’s seeking for the “middle ground” — he wants to be the team’s glue, a dedicated hard worker who can also lead. So you don’t roll your eyes when he speaks about legacy at the age of 23, or why he’s never awarded himself a score better than seven out of ten. Instead, you believe him and want to be a part of his team.
He adds, “I want people to know me for who I am, not only as a soccer player.” “Also, the kid they knew in high school, the one who volunteered in his community. Tyler Adams is my second name.”
When Tyler Adams sits down to speak with ESPN, he is irritated. He’s sitting on his couch in his flat, casually discussing how he’s been selected to the Leipzig bench again, but he’s not thrilled about it.
Adams emits a quiet, boiling irritation rather than raising his voice or letting his wrath out. Whether he’s playing in the Bundesliga or a World Cup, which he’ll undoubtedly be doing for the USMNT in Qatar this winter, he refuses to give up or overindulge in the highs once things start to go his way.
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He’s just halfway through his career at the age of 23, yet having begun so early, it’s already full with experiences and information. When Tyler Adams reminisces about his career, he’ll remember the times when he led his country. That has been his finest moment in football so far.
“Who knows when I’ll have another chance to lead my nation. I was maybe 21 or 22 years old the first time. And ideally, I don’t know, the last time is 35? What are the chances? 36? So I believe the time period during which I’ve developed and evolved not just as a person, but also as a player, will be like, you know, that was our captain, that was the captain of the United States national team, that was the pinnacle of what a captain and a leader should be in a winner. I want to come out on top.”
He takes a breather before summarizing what it means to be Tyler Adams. “In terms of my professional goals… It all dates back to when I was a little child. For me, success is being the best version of myself. I mean, I don’t give a damn whether I’m in the news. Goals aren’t important to me. I don’t care about assisting goals; I just want to make a difference in the game. Is my contribution, though, going to be scoring and assisting? I’m not sure. But I’m going to have an f—-ing big influence. That is something I am certain of.
“You never want to be the weakest link in any system, team, or organization. And I’ve never been the weakest link in any of my projects. I want to be remembered as a victor.”