DOHA, Qatar – Tyler Adams has been named the United States captain for the World Cup ahead of their first game against Wales on Monday.
Adams, who has won the US nine times in 32 matches, wore the belt in seven of the 12 matches he played in World Cup qualifying.
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“It’s a huge honor for me, obviously, to be named captain of this team,” Adams said. “It’s a very small group, but I’m very grateful to my colleagues because anyone across our leadership council can wear that armband and represent us with pride and represent us in a way that correct.”
Throughout the tenure of coach Gregg Berhalter, responsibility has been rotated between many players in the team’s leadership, Christian Pulisic, Walker Zimmerman and Weston McKennie have all been involved since the start of the World Cup.
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“There was something there in the last three and a half years, we’ve been working with the leadership council and we’ve been very open and we’ve asked them, ‘Hey, what do you guys want to do? for the World Cup?’ And they thought it would be good to have a director called the World Cup,” said Berhalter.
“We are proud to announce that Tyler is the manager of the World Cup. We think he has great leadership skills, he leads with his actions and his words.”
Adams, 23, will become the youngest American captain at a World Cup since Harry Keough (22 years, seven months, 17 days) in 1950 and Berhalter’s side will be the second team to last in the tournament behind Ghana.
“Tyler is a guy who is mature beyond his years, and you can tell from the moment you start talking to him,” Berhalter said. “I can go on and on about Tyler’s energy, but I think the other thing about him is his humility and he’s a guy that his teammates know exactly what they’re going to get from him.
“They know he’s going to come out on the field and compete. They know he’s going to be thinking about the game. They know it’s going to be part of the score. He’s not a competitor, either. he’s a tactician as well. I think that helps the team because he calms people down and he’s a guy that people get behind.”
The Leeds United midfielder played for the US at the U17 World Cup in 2017 before making his senior international debut against Portugal later that year.
A day after striker Weston McKennie and defender Sergino Dest said they were fit and ready to play, Berhalter was not ready to announce whether they were fit for 90 minutes.
“They’ve made great progress,” Berhalter said. “We see them able to participate in the game. How long? We have to see.
“That’s part of having the other five. They can come into the game or start them and take them out when we feel like they’re close to that, but both of them are in a position to help this team. . tomorrow.”
Brenden Aaronson, Adams’ teammate at Leeds, is the main candidate to play in midfield if McKennie is dropped, while it is unclear who will replace Dest at the back with DeAndre Yedlin, Joe Scally and Shaq Moore all options.
FIFA announced Sunday that the US-Wales match will be refereed by Qatari officials headed by Abdulrahman Al Jassim.
Al Jassim scored three matches at the Gold Cup in 2019, including the Americans’ 1-0 win against Panama. He also scored in the US’s 6-0 win against New Zealand in the 2017 U-20 World Cup Round of 16, in which Adams, Josh Sargent and Luca de la Torre all appeared.