Tyler Adams was the topic of conversation before and after the U.S. men’s national team’s friendly with Ecuador on Thursday, and those 90 minutes will be all we see of the 20-year-old rising star during this international window.
Adams departed USMNT camp on Friday, set to return to RB Leipzig in Germany, before the rest of the team travels to Houston to take on Chile in Houston on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez also left to return to his club, FC Dallas.
Midfielder Weston McKennie, who suffered what appeared to be a nasty ankle injury during the second half on Thursday, will remain with the team for further evaluation but it is highly unlikely he will be available on Tuesday.
The majority of the discussion around Adams heading into the first full-team camp and fixture of the Gregg Berhalter era centered around his positional deployment: right back-ish. In Berhalter’s system, the “right back” is not only giving a mostly free rein to roam forward, but also inside to a more central position.
It’s a role which, on the surface, appears to suit Adams’ highly versatile skillset and puts one of the Yanks’ most influential players in a position to amass an obscene number of touches on the ball.
While it’s still extremely early in Berhalter’s tenure, and it would be advantageous to grow the familiarity and continuity of the USMNT’s next generation, Adams has quickly become an important player at Leipzig, where the vast majority of his development will occur in the coming months and years. Remaining in good favor, and available for game action, is the best thing he can do his for own career at this point.