Leeds United’s Tyler Adams has been confirmed as the captain of the USMNT for the duration of the Qatar World Cup, as announced yesterday [20th November].
Signed from RB Leipzig during the summer transfer window for a $17m (£15m) fee as per transfermarkt, Adams faced a difficult task not only in adjusting to life in the Premier League but also in replacing the talismanic Kalvin Phillips after his departure to Manchester City in the same window.
Adams has never appeared daunted by such a challenge, however, having impressed within the deep midfield position alongside Marc Roca, and has arguably been one of the Whites’ standout players so far this season. His importance to Marsch’s side is underlined in the fact that he has only missed one Premier League game so far, one which was enforced through injury as opposed to choice.
His role as midfield enforcer, focussed particularly on pressing and making key interceptions, is critical within a side who prefers to attack directly – and quickly – after a turnover in possession.
The American’s technical ability appears to be matched by his leadership skills, as evidenced by the decision to appoint him captain of the USMNT for the World Cup on Sunday in place of Christian Pulisic.
Adams’ first game leading his national side comes today, as they face Rob Page’s Wales team at the Al Rayyan Stadium at 19:00 GMT.
A future Leeds captain in the making?
It speaks volumes of Adams’ qualities on the pitch that very rarely is his predecessor Phillips’ occupation of the same position even mentioned, let alone missed.
Even more importantly, Adams has endeared himself to Whites supporters through his attitude; he possesses a certain single-mindedness, grit, and determination that is difficult not to admire. Not shy of a tackle either, it is easy to see why many fans’ praise of the American is centred around him “just getting what it means to be Leeds”.
Such aspects of his character clearly translate into his international performances as well, hence the decision taken yesterday to appoint him USMNT captain ahead of national team stalwart Pulisic.
With current Leeds captain Liam Cooper’s contract expiring in 2024, some consideration needs to be given as to who is to replace him.
As adept on the pitch as he is off it, respected by his teammates and fans alike, it is hard to dispute that Adams has all the hallmarks of a future Leeds captain in the making.