Tyler Adams on USMNT hopes, Leipzig position, recruiting Yunus Musah

Tyler Adams
Photo by Arne Dedert/picture alliance via Getty Images
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RB Leipzig midfielder Tyler Adams is excited about the prospects of his career for both club and country, and is playing a part in helping along the construction of the latter.

Speaking in a Monday media roundtable with various press members, Adams spoke on a number of topics including playing under Julian Nagelsmann, getting used to the congested schedule after some injury ills, and bringing USMNT talents into the fold.

Many American fans had their eyes opened to the wonderful skill of Yunus Musah in November as the USMNT drew Wales and clobbered Panama.

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The Valencia teen has played in 10 of 11 La Liga matches this season, starting nine, despite just turning 18 on Sunday.

Adams says the U.S. players grew closer in November camp and that Musah has been in the loop since before that, as the USMNT set up a group app chat to get the potential November call-ups familiar with each other.

“We’ve stayed in touch,” Adams said. “We’re all young guys and that made it so fun. My first national team camp I didn’t necessarily have guys to relate to. I have stayed in contact [with Yunus]. It was his birthday a few days ago and I reached out to him then. He seems to be doing well back at Valencia, no surprise he hit the ground running. He’s a great kid and a great player.”

Adams, 21, isn’t far removed from his first team debut in a top European league, but the Leipzig man had fits and starts due only to injury.

Moving from New York Red Bulls in early 2019, Adams debuted on Jan. 27 against Fortuna Dusseldorf and appeared nine-straight league outings.

But adductor injuries cost him all but one match over more than eight months, and Adams was asked how Leipzig is managing him given the injury history and this season’s incredibly-congested fixture list.

“It’s a lot of games and they are just trying to use me in the best way possible,” Adams said. “As soon as I picked up an injury, it was just battling back. Thankfully for me now I’ve been able to stay fresh. There hasn’t necessarily been a time when I’ve sat down with the coaches and spoke about it. It’s been more in their hands to manage it. Of course I want to play every single game. I feel fresh to play in every game as well, and I’m ready to play whenever.”

Adams has come off the bench in two of Leipzig’s four Champions League group stage matches after scoring the winner to eliminate Atletico Madrid last season.

He’s had a couple of injury absences this season, too, but has gone the distance in consecutive Bundesliga matches, a 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt and a 2-1  win over Arminia Bielefeld.

Nagelsmann is using him in a number of ways, and Adams isn’t sure what his positional priority is, the brilliant manager keeping him on his toes.

“I played four positions on Saturday so I can’t even tell you,” Adams said. “Being able to adapt is important. Coach has set us up in ways where there’s so much adaptation within the game and tactical variations in the game that even when I’m playing right back I can receive the ball in midfield.”

Leipzig is two points off Bayern’s pace in the Bundesliga and three points off leaders Manchester United in the Champions League.

Adams and Co. visit Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday in the UCL before a huge trip to Bayern on Saturday and a visit from Manchester United three days later.

It’s a stretch that will help the season’s goals on the right path, or reset them altogether.

Follow @NicholasMendola