Tyler Adams as US captain? I love this. I love the child. I really couldn’t praise a person I coached more than Tyler.
I heard how US boss Gregg Berhalter held a player vote shortly before the game in Wales to choose his captain for the World Cup. And it’s not a surprise to me in any way, not one bit, that Tyler came out on top.
He’s one of the favorites I’ve ever coached. He’s a real warrior type, tough on tackle, but what I like most about Tyler is how he handles himself.
Brad Friedel has been full of praise for Tyler Adams, the US captain at the World Cup
The 23-year-old Adams was elected captain for the first game with Wales by his American team
USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter held the vote and it was midfielder Adams who was the first
He was with the USA Under 18s when I was the U19 coach. When really good U18 players were ready to make the move, they came into my camps and Tyler was one of those players.
But he was so good he was only with my group for a short time! However, I continued to work with him, as I was also an assistant with the U20s. Even then, he did the right things 99.9 percent of the time.
Occasionally he wasn’t? Well, that’s where Tyler stood out, too, in how he reacted.
Football is an emotional game, training and matches are competitive, there are players who want contracts, players who are fired, there is a lot to see 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 his all.
Many players can’t. There is a lot of ego in football. Many players let a sick feeling fester for months. If he disagrees with something, he says so. But you get 100 percent for whatever he’s going to do – his recovery, training, exhibition game, the game, whatever.
Adams will lead his team from the USA against England in the highly anticipated game on Friday
After Monday’s 1-1 draw with Wales, the game against England is important for Adams and the USA
He is always as fit as can be. If you do that, you have the chance for a great career, but you also gain the respect of your teammates.
If Tyler plays well, it’s because he’s good, he earned it and he works hard. If he plays poorly and has a bad day, it’s still 100 percent. He will never have a bad day for lack of effort and the players know that. They respect it.
He plays for Leeds in the Premier League and is about 5 feet 8 inches tall. But the way he holds himself, the way he plays, his touch and challenge, his power, you’d think he’s over six feet tall.
He has had a great start at Leeds under their US coach, Jesse Marsch, having moved there from German team RB Leipzig for $25 million this summer.
Incidentally, Leeds bought him after England midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who is likely to come on as a substitute against USA on Friday, left them for Manchester City.
Adams joined English Premier League team Leeds in a $25 million transfer over the summer
Leading the US against England will probably be the most important moment in Tyler’s career to date. But no matter what 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 World Cup at home.
But for now, he’s focusing on Friday and his midfield duel against England’s Jude Bellingham and the equally impressive Declan Rice.
That midfield fight becomes key to whoever comes out on top in Qatar and wins the game. Don’t count against Tyler.