The 2019 Gold Cup hasn’t even started yet, but the USMNT have been handed another heavy blow.
Fresh from a disastrous 3-0 friendly defeat to Venezuela in Cincinnati on Sunday, the U.S. men’s national team will now have to do without one of their top players in Tyler Adams.
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The RB Leipzig midfielder, 20, has pulled out of the squad due to having “acute on chronic groin issues that will require a minimum of 6-8 weeks recovery period.”
Adams had played at right back for Gregg Berhalter against Venezuela and there were calls from many for him to be played in his more natural position in central midfield for the Gold Cup.
What does his loss mean for Berhalter and the USMNT?
The U.S. is losing its best defensive minded central midfielder who also has the quality to launch defense into attack with his incisive passing. Adams is a truly pivotal player for the USMNT and we will realize that even more over the coming weeks as they have to navigate the Gold Cup without him.
Since Adams moved from the New York Red Bulls to Leipzig in January he has become a regular in the Bundesliga and has helped his side finish third in the league and reach the German Cup final. Over the past six months Adams has kicked his career on to surpass Weston McKennie in terms of the importance he has to the USMNT.
Aside from losing Christian Pulisic to injury, this is the worst injury news the USMNT could have got ahead of the Gold Cup.
McKennie and Michael Bradley will now be the go-to guys in central midfield, while Adams’ replacement Reggie Cannon is a solid right back but will likely be a back-up to Nick Lima. Losing Adams could also see McKennie play at right back or a formation change altogether. Adams’ absence will present Berhalter with selections headaches he really didn’t need after back-to-back friendly defeats and a groundswell of negativity around the USMNT.
Not great, Gregg…