U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter named Tyler Adams captain ahead of their inaugural World Cup match against Wales on Monday, labeling the midfielder ‘mature beyond his years'.
“We're proud to announce Tyler's the captain for the World Cup,” Berhalter said Sunday. “He leads by his actions and his words, so we're proud to have him as a captain.”
The head coach revealed the team formed a part in the decision, after he initiated a player vote starting at the September camp and including around 35 individual total.
“Tyler's the guy that's just mature beyond his years and you notice it from from the minute you start talking to him,” Berhalter continued. “And, you know, I can go on and on about his, you know, the strengths of Tyler but I think the other thing about him is is humility, and he's a guy that the teammates know exactly what they're gonna get from them,” Berhalter added.
“They know that he's gonna go out on the field and compete, they know that he's gonna be thinking about the game. They know that he's gonna be into the details of the game, you know, not just a competitor. He's also a strategist. And I think that helps the group because you know, he calms people down. And he's the guy that people get behind.”
Adams played a huge role in the USMNT in the years leading up to the World Cup, featuring in the Concacaf qualifying cycle that propelled the American side to Qatar. He’s managed one goal in 32 caps for the United States, since debuting on November 14, 2017 in a friendly against Portugal.
He now stands as one of the youngest players to be awarded the captain’s armband in a World Cup at 23 years old, trumping his predecessors Clint Dempsey (31), Carlos Bocanegra (31), Claudio Reyna (28 and 32), Tony Meola (25) and Mike Windischmann (24).
“It's a huge honor for me, obviously, to be named captain of this team,” Adams said.
“Obviously a very young team but a lot of credit to my teammates because anyone throughout our leadership council can wear that armband and represent us with pride and represent us in the right way. ... We've established that we all lead in different ways so that anyone can represent us on any given day and represent us well."
The USMNT kick off their World Cup campaign on Monday against Wales, before taking on Group B opponents England and Iran.