Tyler Adams

Bundesliga
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Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund wins late, Leipzig drops points

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Borussia Dortmund put a little added pressure on leaders Bayern Munich with a big win at Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

That’s the lead story, along with a Leipzig draw, as the Bundesliga provided Saturday action ahead of Bayern’s Sunday match with Augsburg.

USMNT players Josh Sargent and Weston McKennie both scored early in draws for their clubs.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Achraf Hakimi’s 71st-minute goal, off another Jadon Sancho assist, moved BVB to within a point of the leaders and dropped Gladbach’s hopes of a Bundesliga title.

Erling Haaland assisted Thorgan Hazard‘s opener before in-form Lars Stindl leveled for the hosts.

USMNT teen Giovanni Reyna was trusted with 12 minutes off the bench, making seven touches and a tackle while winning one of two duels.

Wolfsburg 0-0 RB Leipzig

There were no goals here, as Leipzig only gained a point on leaders Bayern Munich ahead of the Bavarians’ Sunday tussle with Augsburg.

John Brooks played his role in the draw, making three clearances to go with an interception and two blocked shots. He won four of six duels, completed six of 11 long balls, and passed at 81 percent according to SofaScore.

Fellow USMNT player Tyler Adams was an unused sub in his return from injury for the visitors.

Elsewhere
Paderborn 1-2 Koln — Friday
Schalke 1-1 Hoffenheim
Freiburg 3-1 Union Berlin
Hertha Berlin 2-2 Werder Bremen
Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayern Munich v. Augsburg — 10:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Mainz v. Fortuna Dusseldorf — 1 p.m. ET Sunday

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 24 16 4 4 71 26 45 8-2-2 8-2-2 52
 Borussia Dortmund 25 15 6 4 68 33 35 9-3-0 6-3-4 51
 RB Leipzig 25 14 8 3 62 26 36 7-4-1 7-4-2 50
 Bayer Leverkusen 25 14 5 6 45 30 15 7-4-2 7-1-4 47
 Mönchengladbach 24 14 4 6 47 29 18 8-2-2 6-2-4 46
 FC Schalke 04 25 9 10 6 33 36 -3 5-6-2 4-4-4 37
 VfL Wolfsburg 25 9 9 7 34 30 4 4-6-3 5-3-4 36
 SC Freiburg 25 10 6 9 34 35 -1 6-2-4 4-4-5 36
 1899 Hoffenheim 25 10 5 10 35 43 -8 5-1-7 5-4-3 35
 1. FC Köln 24 10 2 12 38 43 -5 6-1-5 4-1-7 32
 1. FC Union Berlin 25 9 3 13 32 41 -9 6-1-5 3-2-8 30
 Eintracht Frankfurt 24 8 4 12 38 41 -3 6-3-3 2-1-9 28
 Hertha BSC Berlin 25 7 7 11 32 48 -16 3-3-7 4-4-4 28
 FC Augsburg 24 7 6 11 36 50 -14 5-3-4 2-3-7 27
 FSV Mainz 05 24 8 1 15 33 52 -19 4-1-7 4-0-8 25
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 24 5 6 13 26 49 -23 3-3-6 2-3-7 21
 Werder Bremen 24 4 6 14 27 55 -28 1-2-8 3-4-6 18
 SC Paderborn 25 4 4 17 30 54 -24 2-1-10 2-3-7 16

Leipzig announces Adams extension: ‘He suits our philosophy perfectly’

Tyler Adams contract extension
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USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams continues to impress RB Leipzig, and has signed a new deal with the Bundesliga outfit through the 2024/25 season.

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The Champions League outfit announced the deal before Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen left them three points off leaders Bayern Munich.

Adams turned 21 on Valentine’s Day and already has an impressive career which includes

  • 10 USMNT caps and a goal
  • Two assists in 17 first team appearances for Leipzig
  • Three goals and 10 assists in 74 appearances for New York Red Bulls

What we’re saying is he’s a key piece for club and country. Here’s Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche, via the club’s web site:

“Tyler is a very demanding and intelligent player, who has already shown how versatile he is and what a fantastic mentality he brings to the team. We’re delighted that we could secure his services until 2025, even more so because we know that he’s not at the end of his development yet and certainly has the potential to become a key player for us. He suits us and our philosopy perfectly and we’re looking forward to continuing a successful journey with him.”

Adductor injuries and a recent muscle tear have confined Adams to five senior appearances this year, and he’s got a new coach in Julian Nagelsmann. The new deal shows a lot of faith and high regard from the club and coach, and is extremely encouraging given what can happen to players under new bosses.

USMNT injuries are piling up at a bad time

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It looked like a major piece of the U.S. National Team future was finally back, healthy and ready to go.

And then he wasn’t.

Timothy Weah returned from a six-month absence but lasted just 10 minutes before succumbing to another hamstring injury this past weekend, deepening what is already a troubling situation for the USMNT.

Several key players have missed valuable club time of late, causing worry for fans who want to see their players in good form through the club season before the start of 2022 World Cup qualifying later this summer.

Weah is far from the only young and talented American who has been absent from club matches of late. Christian Pulisic, who had finally begun to hit his stride at Chelsea, has been out since early November with a groin problem and suffered a setback two weeks ago. Tyler Adams was felled by a calf injury after only recently returning from his frustrating groin injury. Michael Bradley is down four months after ankle surgery that suspiciously cropped up two months after the MLS Cup final. Paul Arriola just went down with a serious knee injury, believed to be a torn ACL, the same injury that just saw Eric Lichaj end his season early. Duane Holmes is out “several weeks” with ankle injury, the same problem that has Matt Miazga is out for a “significant amount of time.” Paxton Pomykal went under the knife for the third time in three years this past October and still hasn’t recovered, and his FC Dallas teammate Brandon Servania has also missed time this preseason. Fortuna Dusseldorf sent Zack Steffen back to Manchester last week for further testing on a troublesome knee.

What’s worse is these are not older players who you’d expect to be struggling with injuries, nor are they players like John Brooks who have been previously established as injury prone. These are young players or those contributing well at the club level who have ended up all on the shelf at the same time. Guys Pulisic, Weah, Adams Steffen, and Pomykal who are the cornerstone of the next USMNT generation. Guys like Lichaj and Holmes who are pushing for a spot on the roster with excellent form at the club level. Guys like Bradley who, while 32 years old, has been an iron horse throughout their careers. Guys like Miazga, and Arriola who have been regular contributors for some time now and could use a boost at the club level to push them to the next tier of importance on the international stage.

The USMNT reconvenes in March for friendlies against the Netherlands and Wales, and while the Olympics (if they qualify) aren’t until the summer and CONCACAF doesn’t begin 2022 World Cup qualifying until early September, club form going into those competitions are incredibly important, especially for young players still developing and those looking to break into the squad. It would follow that many of the aforementioned youngsters would be in the mix for the Olympic squad. These injuries only serve to get in the way.

Bayern Munich, Leipzig wasteful in scoreless draw

Bayern Munich v. RB Leipzig recap and video highlights
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Chances were wasted at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig staged a 0-0 draw on Sunday, as the table-leading hosts maintained their one-point lead on the second-place visitors.

American midfielder Tyler Adams went 90 minutes for Leipzig, making two interceptions and three tackles. He completed just 53 percent of his passes, also blocking a shot and registering a key pass (Stats).

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Bayern was the better team in the first 45 minutes, and Leipzig would’ve been content to get to the team room with zeroes on the scoreboard.

The second half changed that, with Leipzig missing two gilt-edged chances. The most surprising was when a lively Christopher Nkunku cut a pass across the 18 to a wide-open Timo Werner.

The Bundesliga’s second-leading scorer thumped it wide.

Hungarian international Péter Gulácsi was also influential in the second half, making an incredible save off a 1-2 between Leon Goretzka and Robert Lewandowski.

He was credited with two saves on the day.

Bayern will feel it should’ve claimed all the points on the day, though RBL center back Dayot Upamecano joined Gulacsi in making life difficult for the serial champions.

Elsewhere, Koln’s visit to Borussia Monchengladbach was postponed, leaving ‘Gladbach three points behind Leipzig and four back of Bayern.

Bayern doesn’t play fellow title chasers Borussia Dortmund or Gladbach until April.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 21 13 4 4 58 23 35 7-2-2 6-2-2 43
 RB Leipzig 21 12 6 3 53 25 28 6-3-1 6-3-2 42
 Borussia Dortmund 21 11 6 4 59 32 27 7-3-0 4-3-4 39
 Mönchengladbach 20 12 3 5 38 23 15 8-1-1 4-2-4 39
 Bayer Leverkusen 21 11 4 6 35 27 8 5-4-2 6-0-4 37
 FC Schalke 04 21 9 8 4 32 27 5 5-5-1 4-3-3 35
 1899 Hoffenheim 21 10 3 8 31 32 -1 5-1-5 5-2-3 33
 SC Freiburg 21 9 5 7 30 30 0 5-2-3 4-3-4 32
 Eintracht Frankfurt 21 8 4 9 37 31 6 6-3-2 2-1-7 28
 VfL Wolfsburg 21 7 7 7 25 26 -1 3-5-3 4-2-4 28
 1. FC Union Berlin 21 8 2 11 25 32 -7 6-0-4 2-2-7 26
 FC Augsburg 21 7 5 9 33 44 -11 5-2-3 2-3-6 26
 1. FC Köln 20 7 2 11 27 38 -11 5-1-4 2-1-7 23
 Hertha BSC Berlin 21 6 5 10 25 37 -12 3-2-6 3-3-4 23
 FSV Mainz 05 21 7 0 14 31 48 -17 3-0-7 4-0-7 21
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 21 4 5 12 20 42 -22 3-2-5 1-3-7 17
 Werder Bremen 21 4 5 12 25 48 -23 1-2-7 3-3-5 17
 SC Paderborn 21 4 4 13 26 45 -19 2-1-8 2-3-5 16

The USMNT player pool in Europe is as promising as ever

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It would be a challenge to put together a Best XI from Americans performing in Europe this Saturday.

That’s for two reasons, not one of them because there aren’t 11 players worthy of the honor.

One is goalkeepers: Zack Steffen is hurt and Ethan Horvath backing up Simon Mignolet.

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The other is pretty great: There are many more than 11 players thriving in Europe even with Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Zack Steffen, and Timothy Weah not available for selection.

It’s a weekly thing now. Gregg Berhalter trains a strong and mostly-MLS squad for January friendlies, The Americans Abroad round-ups on our site have shown plenty of progress for those eligible for the USMNT.

There was a time when Haji Wright coming off the bench for VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands had a shot at being the highlight of the weekend.

Now it’s a footnote. The 21-year-old is a regular for the relegation-threatened side after a transfer from Schalke. If anything, the discussion is about two in-a-row off the bench after a run of 10-straight league starts.

Consider this list of players, now that Aston Villa’s Indiana Vassilev and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna made league debuts in the same weekend.

First team players in top tier leagues

Zack Steffen (Man City, on loan to Dusseldorf)
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
John Brooks (Wolfsburg)
Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Weston McKennie (Schalke)
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Tyler Boyd (Besiktas)
Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa)
Haji Wright (VVV Venlo)
Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
Tim Weah (Lille)

Dig deeper and there’s more: Matt Miazga (Reading), Tim Ream (Fulham), Geoff Cameron (QPR), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), and Duane Holmes (Derby County) have been regulars in the English Championship. Same for Julian Green (Greuther Furth) in 2.Bundesliga and in-form Lynden Gooch at League One’s Sunderland. Niko Hamalainen (Kilmarnock) is a regular starter in the Scottish Premiership.

Then there are heralded U-20 and U-17 prospects Chris Gloster (Jong PSV), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich II), Richie Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven), Alex Mendez (Ajax), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Ulysses Lainez (Wolfsburg II). Some have taken first team bows while others have made the bench or ar eon the verge.

And we’re just talking Europe here, as the U.S. still has a bevy of reliable international players playing domestically like Jordan Morris, Miles Robinson, and Jozy Altidore amongst others. That’s leaving alone the caliber of Homegrown players being produced by Major League Soccer academies, Paxton Pomykal and Djordje Mihailovic among them (Reyna and Richards, too).

In terms of potential, American soccer is at a golden age. This makes Brian McBride’s new role as USMNT general manager even more important, as he teams up with Gregg Berhalter to put the best possible American team together for qualifying.

One thing’s for sure, the player pool is deep and no longer an excuse. Game on.