Tyler Adams played a small but significant part in the build-up to the USA U-20 Men's National Team's match-winner against Senegal in the 2017 U-20 World Cup.
New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) May 25, 2017
A subtle move that turned a pass into a cul-de-sac into a through-ball: it's the sort of thing Thierry Henry used to do for the New York Red Bulls.
No one is suggesting Adams is Thierry Henry, but he advances his own reputation with almost every game he plays, particularly at the U-20 international level, where he is a standout in the USA player pool and increasingly looks to be part of the top tier of talent at the current World Cup. The promise of his contribution to Josh Sargent's game-winning goal is the intelligence and vision required to even attempt it. Physical and technical ability are generally the standout qualities of players at the U-20 level; intelligence on and off the ball is supposed to be a quality developed with experience. In common with every player at the U-20 World Cup, Adams will only get smarter as he gets older and more seasoned as a pro, but he's showing uncommon intelligence for even the elite players in his age-group.
US Soccer picked out center-back Cameron Carter-Vickers as the USA's Man of the Match against Senegal, but a lot of observers had high praise for Adams' performance.
Watching back Tyler Adams' performance and I am inexplicably out of breath and experiencing severe joint and muscle fatigue.— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) May 25, 2017
Adams started and played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Senegal. The result puts the USA top of its group with one game to play. And the four points the US has picked up over two matches could well be sufficient to see the team through to the knockout rounds, regardless of results in the last round of group stage games.
The young Americans would, however, prefer not to have to rely on a lucky-losers spot in the round of 16, or any help from other teams' results. They are top of their group and clearly want to hold on to that position. Adams told USSoccer.com the USA U-20s' next match - against Saudi Arabia on May 28 - is regarded as a must-win game.