Tyler Adams

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U.S. midfielder Tyler Adams ruing virus-enforced ‘whirlwind’ break

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BERLIN — United States midfielder Tyler Adams picked the wrong time to be the fittest he’s been all season.

With the Bundesliga suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak, Adams is unsure when he will be able to play a competitive game for Leipzig again, or even if the season can be completed.

The 21-year-old Adams missed almost the whole of the first half of the season because of a groin injury, then suffered a calf injury in February after five Bundesliga appearances.

He returned on March 10 to make his Champions League debut against Tottenham, setting up the last goal in Leipzig’s 3-0 win.

But the team hasn’t played since. The Bundesliga is in limbo with nine rounds remaining.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind,” Adams said by video link on Friday.

He has been using the time off to complete what he calls his preseason, working on his fitness at home before training resumed in small groups at Leipzig’s ground.

“I’m really building up to my full capability,” Adams said. “Right now the body feels great, I feel fully recovered from any past injuries. My mental state is clear. I’m just focused on being able to play again.”

Germany has strict social distancing measures in place. Training is in in groups of three or four -– always while maintaining appropriate distance.

“It’s a little bit tricky. You can only do certain passing drills. You can do dribbling, you can do running and fitness, finishing. So you have all the individual variables of what it’s like to play in a game, but at the same time, it’s never gonna be 11 vs. 11, right now,” Adams said. “That’s the thing that hurts.”

New York has become a hotspot for the virus in the U.S. with more than 123,000 cases of COVID-19 registered and nearly 11,500 deaths by Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Adams worries about his family back home, but said it was fortunate they live an hour and a half outside the city.

“It’s not too, too bad there yet, but the numbers there are still increasing. It’s a scary thing. My parents have my brothers at home with them, keeping them occupied … but right now they’re safe,” the player said. “It’s hard. You miss your family, you hope everyone’s safe.”

Adams joined Leipzig in January 2019 from New York Red Bulls and quickly established himself as a starter in the German side’s midfield. Despite ill luck with injuries this season, Leipzig handed Adams a pay rise and extended his contract last month to 2025.

The Bundesliga title was attainable before the league was suspended. Leipzig is just five points behind defending champion Bayern Munich.

Bundesliga clubs were hoping to return to play in May without spectators, but this week the ban on large gatherings was extended to Aug. 31, affecting the start of the 2020-21 Bundesliga, too.

Playing without fans wouldn’t be a problem for Adams.

“I’ve played in the USL (United Soccer League in the U.S.), so there were a lot of empty stadiums at the time,” he said. “Being able to go out and play would be a great feeling, but you only want to do so when it keeps everybody safe -– all the players, all the staff involved in running games, and of course the fans. If we continue to play with no spectators, and that keeps them safe, then I would be glad to do that.”

Adams is in regular contact with Weston McKennie, Erik Palmer-Brown at Austria Wien, and other American players who are overseas.

“It’s been unique to see what they’re going through. For (Palmer-Brown) they haven’t even had the opportunity to train again. They haven’t even been able to leave the house for a run,” Adams said. “Fortunately enough in Germany, we’re still able to get out.”

Americans Abroad: Johnson, Yedlin register starts; Miazga injured in FA Cup bout

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After last weekend served as the year’s best weekend yet for Americans abroad, positive activity was scarce this time around.

Fabian Johnson and DeAndre Yedlin returned to their respective team’s starting lineups, but neither them or any other American abroad managed to put the ball in the back of the net.

To make matters worse, Matt Miazga left Reading’s match on Saturday with an apparent ankle injury.

Here is a list of several other USMNT affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) abroad this weekend.

FA Cup

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle — Yedlin was back on Steve Bruce‘s starting lineup on Saturday. The fullback played all 90 minutes in Newcastle’s draw with Oxford United.

Duane Holmes, Derby County — Holmes remianed on the bench in Derby’s 0-0 draw with Northampton Town on Friday.

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — The 24-year-old captain started and played 66 minutes before exiting the field with an apparent ankle injury against Cardiff City on Saturday.

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tigers’ defender started and played 90 minutes in Hull’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The 34-year-old defender stayed on the bench in QPR’s 2-1 loss to Sheffield Wednesday on Friday.

Tim Ream, Fulham — Ream played the final six minutes in Fulham’s 4-0 loss to Manchester City on Sunday.

Ligue 1

Timothy Weah, Lille — Weah didn’t feature on the field or on Lille’s bench this weekend.

Theoson Jordan-Siebatcheu, Rennes — Jordon-Siebatcheu watched Rennes draw 1-1 with Nice from the bench.

Eredivisie

Haji Wright, VVV-Venlo — Wright remained on the bench in Venlo’s 2-1 win over RKC Waalwijk on Sunday.

Sergino Dest, Ajax — Dest started and played 90 minutes in Ajax’s 2-1 defeat to Groningen.

Desevio Payne, FC Emmen — The U-23 MNT fullback didn’t dress for FC Emmen on Sunday.

Bundesliga

Timmy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt — The fullback played 89 minutes in Frankfurt’s 2-0 win over RB Leipzig on Saturday.

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig — Adams started and played 71 minutes for Leipzig.

Weston McKennie, Schalke — McKennie is back and running, playing 10 minutes for Schalke in their 5-0 loss to Bayern Munich.

Zack Steffen, Fortuna Dusseldorf — Steffen is inactive with an injury.

Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf — Morales started and played 90 minutes in Fortuna’s 3-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen.

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen  The 19-year-old started and played 66 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 3-0 loss to Hoffenheim.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Mönchengladbach — Johnson made his way back into Mönchengladbach’s starting cast, playing 87 minutes on Sunday.

Honorable Mentions

Alex Mendez, Jong Ajax — Mendez played all 90 minutes and registered an assist in Jong Ajax’s 3-3 draw with  NEC Nijmegen.

Americans Abroad: Chandler, Gooch score; Reyna, Vassilev debut

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The bar for the best weekend for Americans abroad in 2020 has been set.

After months with the under-19 side, 18-year-old Giovanni Reyna made his debut with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. In England, Indiana Vassilev, 18, did exactly the same for Aston Villa, becoming the second youngest American to play in the Premier League.

Established Americans abroad like Timothy Chandler scored Eintracht Frankfurt’s match winner, while Lynden Gooch struck from distance for Sunderland in England’s League One.

Here is a list of several other USMNT affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) abroad this weekend.

Premier League

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea — The USMNT star continues to recover from an abductor injury.

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle — Yedlin is also recovering from an injury, and did not dress for Newcastle on Saturday.

Indiana Vassilev, Aston Villa – The 18-year-old came off the bench and played 23 minutes in his Premier League debut for Aston Villa. Villa drew 1-1 with Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

EFL Championship

Duane Holmes, Derby County — Holmes played 90 minutes in Derby’s 1-0 win over Hull City on Saturday.

Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic — Robinson started and played 90 minutes in Wigan’s 2-1 loss to Swansea City on Saturday.

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — The 24-year-old dressed but didn’t feature in Reading’s 2-0 loss to Millwall.

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tigers’ defender started and played for Hull.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The 34-year-old defender played 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 victory ver Leeds United on Saturday.

Tim Ream, Fulham — Ream started and played 90 minutes in Fulham’s 1-0 win over Middlesbrough.

Ligue 1

Timothy Weah, Lille — Weah and Lille were inactive this weekend.

Theoson Jordan-Siebatcheu, Rennes — Jordon-Siebatcheu and Rennes were inactive this weekend. 

Eredivisie

Haji Wright, VVV-Venlo — Wright came off the bench and played five minutes in Venlo’s 1-1 draw with PSV.

Sergino Dest, Ajax — Dest dressed but didn’t feature for Ajax over the weekend. It’s been an on-and-off cycle for the fullback in Holland’s top-flight.

Desevio Payne, FC Emmen — The U-23 MNT fullback is injured and didn’t feature for FC Emmen.

Bundesliga

Timmy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt — The fullback played 90 minutes and scored Frankfurt’s match-winning goal on Saturday against Hoffenheim. 

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig — Adams started and played 86 minutes in Leipzig’s 3-1 win over Union Berlin. The midfielder completed 84 percent of his passes.

Weston McKennie, Schalke — McKennie is still having some setbacks from his shoulder injury. The midfielder didn’t dress for Schalke due to fitness issues over the weekend.

Zack Steffen, Fortuna Dusseldorf — Steffen is inactive with an injury.

Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf Morales started and played 71 minutes in Fortuna’s 1-0 loss to Werder Bremen.

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen  The 19-year-old started and played 86 minutes on Saturday. It’s refreshing to see Sargent back on the field, getting regular playing time after the injury.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Mönchengladbach Johnson was on Mönchengladbach’s bench but didn’t play.

Honorable Mentions

Lynden Gooch, Sunderland — Gooch has been superlative for Sunderland lately, and on Saturday, he was rewarded with this match-deciding goal:

Ian Harkes, Dundee United — Harkes continues to grind it out in Scotland. On Sunday, he registered an assist in Dundee United’s 2-2 draw with Hibernian.