Tyler Adams

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Bundesliga wrap: BVB on top heading into Der Klassiker, USMNT’s Adams shines again

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With Borussia Dortmund’s trip to Bayern Munich looming next weekend and both teams level on points entering Saturday’s matches as favorites, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see big wins.

But both squads entered halftime and even second half stoppage on level terms with their opponents, and only one found a match winner.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]


Freiburg 1-1 Bayern Munich

It wasn’t Bayern, who did answer a third minute concession through Robert Lewandowski’s 22nd minute marker. But the league’s leading goal scorer couldn’t strike again, and Freiburg held on for a point at the Black Forest Stadium.

Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Wolfsburg

Raise your hand if you have multiple stoppage-time, match-winning free kicks in the past six months. We only see one hand, and it belongs to Paco Alcacer. He added an insurance goal to raise his season tally to 16 as BVB went atop the Bundesliga table by two points ahead of next week’s Der Klassiker

RB Leipzig 5-0 Hertha Berlin

A moment of silence for the 1 2 3 4 Hertha players who would’ve needed a miracle to handle this Tyler Adams pass to Youssef Poulsen.

The goal was the Dane’s 15th of the Bundesliga season, completing a hat trick, and also served as Adams’ second assist. The American midfielder is yet to lose with RBL, posting seven wins and three draws. That includes a 7-0 mark when he goes all 90 minutes.

Elsewhere

Hoffenheim 4-1 Bayer Leverkusen — Friday
Werder Bremen 3-1 Mainz
Nurnberg 3-0 Augsburg
Fortuna Dusseldorf 3-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
Hannover 96 v. Schalke — 9:30 a.m. ET
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Stuttgart — Noon ET

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 27 19 6 2 66 30 36 12-2-0 7-4-2 63
 Bayern Munich 27 19 4 4 69 28 41 9-3-1 10-1-3 61
 RB Leipzig 27 15 7 5 49 20 29 8-5-1 7-2-4 52
 Mönchengladbach 27 14 5 8 46 34 12 9-1-3 5-4-5 47
 Eintracht Frankfurt 26 13 7 6 51 30 21 7-3-3 6-4-3 46
 Werder Bremen 27 11 9 7 49 39 10 6-5-3 5-4-4 42
 Bayer Leverkusen 27 13 3 11 48 44 4 7-1-5 6-2-6 42
 VfL Wolfsburg 27 12 6 9 44 41 3 5-4-4 7-2-5 42
 1899 Hoffenheim 27 10 11 6 54 39 15 6-5-3 4-6-3 41
 Hertha BSC Berlin 27 9 8 10 40 44 -4 5-5-3 4-3-7 35
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 27 10 4 13 36 51 -15 7-0-7 3-4-6 34
 SC Freiburg 27 7 11 9 38 43 -5 5-6-3 2-5-6 32
 FSV Mainz 05 27 8 6 13 28 48 -20 5-4-4 3-2-9 30
 FC Augsburg 27 6 7 14 37 50 -13 4-4-5 2-3-9 25
 FC Schalke 04 26 6 5 15 27 44 -17 4-1-8 2-4-7 23
 VfB Stuttgart 26 5 5 16 26 56 -30 4-3-6 1-2-10 20
 1. FC Nürnberg 27 3 7 17 22 52 -30 3-5-6 0-2-11 16
 Hannover 96 26 3 5 18 24 61 -37 3-1-9 0-4-9 14

How will the USMNT line up v. Chile?

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Gregg Berhalter has little choice but to shake up his USMNT side following Thursday’s 1-0 defeat of Ecuador in an international friendly.

[ MORE: USMNT-Chile preview ]

Weston McKennie is injured and Tyler Adams has headed back to RB Leipzig to kickstart the changes for the manager, who is 3-0 without conceding a goal in his short tenure as USMNT boss.

It’s a safe bet to say we’ll see Nick Lima in Adams’ role, the Quakes defender getting that treatment in January and doing well with it.

As for McKennie, it’s difficult to imagine this won’t be a spot for LA Galaxy man Sebastian Lletget to spread his wings against a tough and tested La Roja midfield.

Will Sean Johnson get another cap against Chile? The New York City FC goalkeeper kept a clean sheet against Ecuador, but this could be a day for Club Brugge’s Ethan Horvath (especially with Jesse Gonzalez starting for FC Dallas at the weekend before returning to camp).

We see this going one of two ways: a small batch of changes but plenty of Berhalter’s mainstays starting, or nearly every starter short of John Brooks and Christian Pulisic changing places with someone on the bench.

Will Jordan Morris and Paul Arriola reprise their wing roles around Gyasi Zardes, or is it a chance for DeAndre Yedlin and Corey Baird to work with LAFC’s Christian Ramirez? Is Wil Trapp still Berhalter’s preferred guy at holding mid, or will Michael Bradley get a start against Vidal and Aranguiz (presuming that they start)?

We expect

Minimal changes

Horvath

Lima — Long — Brooks — Ream

Roldan — Trapp

Pulisic

Arriola — Zardes — Morris

Lots of changes

Horvath

Lima — Brooks — Miazga — Lovitz

Lletget — Bradley

Pulisic

Yedlin — Ramirez — Baird

Educated guess

Horvath

Lima — Miazga — Brooks — Ream

Lletget — Bradley

Pulisic

Yedlin — Morris — Arriola

Rising USMNT star Tyler Adams leaves camp to return to Leipzig

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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.

[ MORE: Gyasi Zardes goal pushes USMNT to victory over Ecuador ]

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.

[ MORE: Player ratings from USMNT’s 1-0 victory over Ecuador ]

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.

USMNT Player Ratings from win over Ecuador

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Gregg Berhalter’s United States men’s national team extended its clean sheet run to 180 minutes under the new coach with a 1-0 defeat of Ecuador in Orlando on Thursday.

[ RECAP: USMNT 1-0 Ecuador ]

The longtime Columbus Crew coach handed notable chances to several MLS mainstays who stood out in January camp, but also re-introduced Christian Pulisic to the fold.

The results were mixed, but the win was deserved as the U.S. did not allow much danger to reach Sean Johnson’s cage.

LINEUPS

Sean Johnson — 6.5 — Had to catch, what, one ball? Still, nice for him to get a clean sheet.

Tim Ream — 7 — A couple of dicey moments, sure, but the man with the captain’s band stood out at left back not just for his assist but his aggression in pressing high up the left flank.

John Brooks — 6.5 — Not much to do, but effective when needed with a win-saving stop. Here’s hope the thigh injury isn’t a notable one. Intelligent and accurate in his passing out of the back.

Aaron Long — 6 — His passing was a bit off early, and that will need to be better at the back of Berhalter’s defense, but overall he was composed and well-drilled.

Tyler Adams — 7.5 — Given he was playing an unusual position with immense responsibility (right), Adams deserves a lot of credit for keeping his motor high over 90 minutes. He only attempted two dribbles, staying in his shoes and venturing wide and forward on occasion. A very promising sign for an ambitious move by Berhalter. That’s a lot of green over there, and green is good —>

Wil Trapp (Off 59′) — 5.5 — He’s not supposed to be the guy who stands out in a game, and should be known for doing the little things, but he’s still not standing out from the pack as someone who should keep Michael Bradley or Tyler Adams from the center of the park.

Weston McKennie (Off 68′) — 5 — Potentially scary injury aside, he will have much better days for the U.S. than this and certainly didn’t show chemistry with Trapp. Second guessing is easy, but flipping McKennie and Adams might’ve been the play.

Paul Arriola (Off 77′) — 6 — An energetic, productive night on the wing takes a hit due to his inability to finish the match’s best scoring chance (even if the save was legit).

Christian Pulisic (Off 62′) — 7 — Not at his sharpest, but still quite lively in producing many American attacks. Had an memorable moment working over Antonio Valencia near the end line.

Jordan Morris (Off 68′) — 6 — Still learning how to be a winger, but a decent and industrious effort for the Seattle Sounders man.

Gyasi Zardes — 7 — It was the goal that did the trick for him over 90 minutes, and it was good to see the Columbus Crew man score a USMNT for the first time since 2016.

Subs

Michael Bradley (On 59′) — 6.5 — Quick decisions and possession-aiding passes with precious few mistakes (See Opta chalkboard from MLSSocccer.com at right).

Sebastian Lletget (On 62′) — 6 — Has to be a bit more careful in his own half, but we’d like to see him get a start against Chile.

Cristian Roldan (On 66′) — 5 — Sloppy with the ball in a short stint.

DeAndre Yedlin (On 66′) — 6 — Busy and ready to produce chances from the right side.

Jonathan Lewis (On 77′) — N/A —

Adams explains Man City-like role in Berhalter’s USMNT

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You might hate Gregg Berhalter’s decision to play his emerging central midfielder Tyler Adams at right back and it might look sloppy at times during Thursday’s USMNT friendly against Ecuador in Florida, but give it some time.

For now, the RB Leipzig 20-year-old has been handed one of the most important positions in Berhalter’s United States men’s national team set-up, where he’ll play right back ahead of a Premier League mainstay in DeAndre Yedlin (who Berhalter prefers as a wing).

[ MORE: Hazard, Real, and the back-up plan ]

There are reasons to like the move, which allows Adams to serve as another fireball in the center of the pitch when the Yanks go to a back three while in possession, and also reasons to want to put in on a rocket to the moon. Adams playing right back when the U.S. does not have the ball, for example, means he’s not at his best position when the Americans are trying to get the darn thing back.

Berhalter’s hoping to have the USMNT murder teams with possession. Adams, for one, thinks it can work. From a Q&A on USSoccer.com:

“The analogy you can make with it as how Manchester City plays. They have a left back that moves into central midfield in attack. Obviously, it’s on the opposite side here, but you often find yourself tucked into the middle of the field being able to help with the transition plays and attacking in different roles. The most important thing that Gregg emphasized was that the No. 8 can take up that position, the winger can take up that position and I can take up that position at different times. The chemistry and rotation between those players will be very important.”

There’s a lot to digest there, and a lot of these players have only had a couple of days plus some video conferences with the system, so be sure to have patience when watching the Yanks and Ecuador this evening.

And it very much might not be the right system for the team against opponents of Ecuador’s caliber and higher; We’ll see, but Berhalter is going to try his preferred system and style of play before opting for other ideas, and that’s the way it’s supposed to go early in a managerial tenure which won’t see meaningful matches until the summer (After all, it’s a lot easier to switch back into comfortable systems than to start with comfort and move onto a system deployed by one of the best managers in the world).