By NICHOLAS MURRAY – firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, March 12, 2016
After featuring prominently for the New York Red Bulls II in 2015, Tyler Adams is now one of the top up-and-comers in Major League Soccer after signing as a Homegrown Player this offseason.
In the latest edition of MLSSoccer.com’s series The Prospect, Adams talks about his ascent to the Red Bulls as he prepares for his second season as a professional.
“It’s a lot more mental here,” Adams said. “The speed of play, that kind of thing, the technicality and that kind of stuff will come. They tell me all the time, work on your spacing, work on the little things that will let you have more time on the ball.”
At just 17 years old, Adams is the youngest player on the Red Bulls’ squad. Working alongside veterans like Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty has given Adams the space to learn, and take in the lessons those players have absorbed from playing both domestically and for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
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“Sacha one day pulled me aside and said, ‘actually, the farther away you go from the ball sometimes, the more space you’re going to find’” Adams said. “Simple things like that helped me a lot. They’re really positive with me, and that really helps a lot as well for younger players.”
A member of the U.S. U17 National Team that competed last year in Chile at the FIFA U17 World Cup, Adams grew up with soccer as his main sport. One of his biggest early influences was his mother, who not only played herself when she was young, but also became one of Adams’ first coaches.
“Growing up in intramurals we’d play for the town of Poughkeepsie, and she was my coach when I was younger, so that made it a lot more fun, obviously.” Adams said.
Adams was the first signing in Red Bulls II history ahead of the club’s inaugural season a year ago, one of a handful of players with ties to the Academy to play for the team. As the club looks to integrate each level of the club, Adams’ experience is one that many more players will go through in the future.
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After learning the ropes as a professional last year under NYRB II Coach John Wolyniec, Adams is now enjoying getting to work with Red Bulls Coach Jesse Marsch on a daily basis as he continues his progression this year.
“I love the way Jesse coaches, he and his coaching staff help me out so much,” Adams said. “They take me aside, show me videos, show me things I need to work on, and that helps more than anything.
“One of the biggest things with him is it doesn’t matter if you give the ball away, as long as you try to win it back right away. That’s how we play, that’s our philosophy, and I think more than anything that helps me a lot because you don’t have to be scared on the field, you can have confidence, and every player with confidence is going to be a good player.”
After a remarkable first professional season that saw Adams perform well both in the USL and on the international stage, he now has new goals to chase this season, and beyond.“My mom always told me to push myself and those kind of things,” he said. “There’s always a goal you can reach ahead of where you’re at, and that’s what I’ve always been working for.”