Starting in all of his nine appearances at the U-20 level, including the three Group Stage matches and the Round of 16 clash vs. New Zealand at the 2017 U-20 World Cup, Tyler Adams has become a staple in the midfield for Tab Ramos' Under-20 Men's National Team.
Here are five things you should know about the midfielder from Wappingers Falls, N.Y.:
A PROFESSIONAL SOCCER CHAMPION
In March of 2015, Adams became the first professional signing in history for USL club New York Red Bulls II. Adams made his professional debut for Red Bulls II on April 4, 2015. The 4-1 victory over Toronto FC II also happen to be the first victory in club history. At the end of the 2016 USL season, Adams helped Red Bulls II to a 5-1 victory over Swope Park Rangers to take home the 2016 USL Cup. The USL championship was also the first in Red Bulls II history.
SCORING AGAINST CHELSEA IN HIS RED BULLS DEBUT
On July 23, 2015, Adams made his debut with the New York Red Bulls first team. An international friendly, the Red Bulls played against the previous year’s English Premier League champions, Chelsea. In the 69th minute, with the score tied 1-1, Adams placed a beautiful cross into the back of the net, off his head as the Red Bulls went on to win 4-2. The experience was a memorable one for Adams, to say the least.
“Stepping on the field with the likes of (Eden) Hazard, Diego Costa, all these big-time players, that’s a moment that you’ll never forget. Let alone scoring my first professional goal in my debut, in front of my family in Red Bull arena was the ultimate prize for me and I was so happy that I was able to do that. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”
REPRESENTING THE USA AT THE FIFA U-17 AND U-20 WORLD CUP
In 2015, alongside current Men’s National Team player Christian Pulisic and current U-20 World Cup teammates Luca de la Torre and Auston Trusty, Adams played in all three of the USA’s matches at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile. He came in as a sub in the USA’s first game against Nigeria and started the last two games against Croatia and host Chile.
“We went to Chile, in a tough group and didn’t come out with the results that we wanted,” Adams said during the USA’s Under-20 CONCACAF Championship run. “But the experiences that I’ve gained and brought back are going to help me progress through to the next stage.”
So far at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Adams has once again been a consistent presence. Adams has started and gone the full 90 minutes in all three of the USA’s group games as well as the team’s Round of 16 rout of New Zealand.
HIS MENTORS ARE USMNT AND M.L.S. PROS
When asked about who some of his immediate soccer mentors are, Adams is quick to point out current and former Red Bulls players, respectively, Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty. Both players have also provided Adams with the unique experience of representing club and country.
“They (Dax McCarty and Sasha Kljestan) have both encouraged me so much to keep working hard,” Adams said. “They are both National Team players now and they are both M.L.S. veterans that have made their case and proven who they are. They are well respected around the league and they are definitely people that I look up to and mimic my game off of. But at the same time, they are class off the field as well. They are such good people to have in the locker room around you and that’s something that I recognize.”
— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) June 1, 2017
A HOMEGROWN FOR HIS HOMETOWN CLUB AND U.S. SOCCER
Growing up in Wappingers Falls, New York, Adams would beg his mom, Melissa, to take him to Red Bulls games and any chance he could get to see the U.S. National Team in town. Adams’ first connection with Red Bulls came when he was introduced to the organization through the Red Bulls RDS (Regional Development School) program at the age of 10. Two years later, Adams joined the Red Bulls U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-13/14 team and quickly progressed to the Red Bulls U-15/16 Academy team. In September of 2014, Adams joined the U.S. Soccer Residency program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. as the U.S. Under-17 continued to prepare for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and, ultimately, FIFA U-17 World Cup. By signing his Red Bulls senior team contract in November of 2015 and later playing in his first official M.L.S. game with the Red Bulls first team, Adams became the first player in Red Bulls history to graduate the Red Bulls Regional Development School (RDS) program and progress all the way through the Red Bulls’ RDS and Development Academy system to a professional contract and debut.