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New York Red Bulls Tyler Adams has joined USA U-20 World Cup training camp

A few days earlier than expected, but this seems like a sensible move.

Matthew Stith

Tyler Adams had said he expected to join the USA Men's U-20 National Team's preparations for the U-20 World Cup around May 14. He's been allowed to leave a little ahead of schedule: the New York Red Bulls have announced the player has left the club to join the USA training camp for the U-20 World Cup.

The first team's next game is on May 14, at home against LA Galaxy. Adams has long been expected to be part of the USA squad for the U-20 World Cup, which kicks off in South Korea on May 20. Given the travel and acclimatization requirements for the US roster, plus the usual necessity for some pre-tournament training, Adam's participation in RBNY's game against LA had long looked questionable. And once the decision was made that he wasn't going to play against LA, then it would seem to make a lot of sense to let the player join his national team squad.

The USA's final roster for the U-20 World Cup has yet to be announced, so there is still a chance Adams doesn't make the cut and is back with RBNY earlier than expected. And it would be unusual but not inconceivable to see him hurry back to RBNY for the LA game. But if he's not in training this week, it means the team is making its plans for the Galaxy without him, and asking him to shuttle back and forth between the USA U-20s and RBNY is inviting him to under-perform for both teams.

Fair to assume Adams has left RBNY until the USA's U-20 World Cup campaign is over. Anything else would be a surprise.

The USA's group stage runs from May 22 to May 28: ruling Adams out of participation in RBNY's next three MLS games (May 14 against LA Galaxy; May 19 against Toronto FC; May 27 against New England Revolution). If the U-20 MNT makes the knockout rounds of the World Cup, it will play its Round of 16 game on May 31 or June 1 - effectively ruling Adams out of playing for RBNY against Montreal Impact on June 3 (unless the Red Bulls are so ravaged by injury that a tournament-fatigued player just arrived back from Korea is better than nothing).

If the U-20 MNT advances beyond the Round of 16, it will make little difference to RBNY: after June 3, its next league game in on June 18 - a week after the final games of the U-20 World Cup.

So Adams has likely played his last game for RBNY until mid-June, at the earliest. He has established himself as a starter for the first team in the last couple of months. His place in midfield is expected to be taken by the man whose starting spot he took: Sean Davis.

Assuming the Red Bulls are being even-handed in their treatment of the U-20 World Cup hopefuls on their books, it can be assumed Adams' departure means Douglas Martinez - already named to the Honduras squad for the tournament in Korea, and requested by his national team coach to arrive in camp before May 10 - has also left the club.

Martinez made a goal-scoring debut for NYRB II on May 6 - and that can be assumed to be his last appearance for the II Team until Honduras' U-20 World Cup campaign is over.