USMNT: Tyler Adams on MMA's peak winter form

For the first time since the start of World Cup 2022 qualifying, the trio of young European-based stars in the U.S. midfield entered training camp in peak form.

In the fall, Yunus Musah rarely played for Valencia after an ankle injury in preseason set him back. Weston McKennie struggled to win over the confidence of new Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri while Tyler Adams saw first-year RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch, his mentor at the New York Red Bulls, get fired less than four months into the Bundesliga season.

Now, all three players are starting and playing well. Musah scored on Saturday against Atletico Madrid. McKennie scored in back-to-back games earlier this month in Italy, and Adams has played in 215 minutes in Leipzig's last three games, all wins.

"Right now, Weston is scoring goals for fun," said Adams during Tuesday's media call, "so I'm going to hold him to it and put a little bit of extra pressure on him that he needs to score some goals now. So every time we get a set piece and there's a good delivery, I'm thinking that he's going to score. And as far as Yunus, obviously, he's had a great performance and a big game for his club and to see him playing regularly now at Valencia is super important as well."

Adams, who turns 23 on Feb. 14, says confidence is important for a young team like the USA, which started a front six in its 2-0 win over Mexico in November with players ages 23, 22, 21, 21, 19 and 18.

“I think form coming into competitions like this is always super important," he said, "because you come in with this confidence and a little bit of swagger and you help dictate games at the end of the day."

Adams, McKennie and Musah have started only three games together in World Cup 2022 qualifying -- Musah missed the September window and McKennie was unavailable for the second games in October and November -- and the USA has won all three games, its last three home games.

“I think when the three of us are out on the field," Adams said, "we feel like we have a strong chemistry and we're able to dominate games and that's important."

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Zack Steffen, who started the last three games in the U.S. goal, is not with the national team in Columbus, Ohio, because of back tightness, the same injury that kept him of the Octagonal opener against El Salvador. Matt Turner, who started the first five qualifiers, including the 0-0 tie in Salvador, is expected to start against El Salvador on Thursday night in Columbus.

The USA also has World Cup 2022 qualifiers against Canada on Saturday and Honduras three days after that.
6 comments about "USMNT: Tyler Adams on MMA's peak winter form".
  1. Santiago 1314, January 26, 2022 at 6:45 a.m.

    Not too Worried about Steffen being Out;  Looks like Ggg knew this all along, hence the 4th GK... Turner is the Better "Pure" Shot Stopper anyway( especially on Astroturf)...and, I really don't want us trying to "Play-Out-of-the-Back" in Freezing Conditions, where your Abilities can be Degraded up to 40%... We ain't too Good at it when we are 100%...  
    I find it Hard to Believe that a 17year Old is better than Horvath or Guzman.??? Maybe it was a "Head Fake" to hide Steffen not Coming IN...But at this Stage Ggg get Horvath IN and should send Slonina to Work Out with his Real Team; the u20s(Olympic Team).

  2. Wooden Ships replied, January 26, 2022 at 8:17 a.m.

    I see Horvath with the best command of the PA. Maybe Ethan is to forward in his command and it's unsettling (flashbacks). I agree with your assessment to get him here. Our Nats need Horvaths experience. 

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, January 26, 2022 at 2:29 p.m.

    Wood; I really thought he was The Best from our 3 Last Summer.... This moved to Nottingham Forest has Turned into a Real Disaster for him... I hope he Catches on Somewhere else

  4. John Sabala replied, January 26, 2022 at 3:08 p.m.

    I think almost anyone with half a brain would have said to bring in Horvath.  The dude can flat out play and showed that coming off the bench to save the USMNT with the PK save and the rest of the match despite not playing much for his club.  Now I am not so secure with our GKs for this window.  Totally agree that young man should be with the U20s right now. Again GB not showing his intelligence with player pool management.

  5. John Sabala, January 26, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.

    The thing that is not good is when we play Canada. I would have rather played them first or last so you could field the MMA trio for that match.  Instead it is in the middle of the 7 days so you risk using them too much in back to back games.  Clubs will not like that at all with their players being used so much in these short windows.  The weather does not help the extra minutes players may have to play on the pitch.  Muscle injuries are more prone to happen in these very cold envrionments.  Not only must we win all three matches, we must make sure to leave with injury free players.

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, January 26, 2022 at 11:19 p.m.

    I am beginning to think that "The Fix" is IN... Neither Team can be expected to Play a Decent game, on a Frozen Astroturf Field in February, IN Canada... I think what we will see, is both Teams will but out the "Cannon Foder" and we will have a "Germany vs Austria 1982; Disgrace of Gijon" ... Both teams will be Happy with a Tie, Rest Players for the Last Window Game... Even the Canadian Players don't want to play in that Crap.!!!! 

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