Tyler Adams named United States’ captain

DOHA, Qatar — Tyler Adams has been named the United States’ World Cup captain ahead of their opener against Wales on Monday.

Adams, who captained the USA nine times in 32 caps, wore the armband in seven of his 12 World Cup qualifying appearances.

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“It’s a great honor for me, obviously, to be named the captain of this team,” Adams said. “A very young team, but a lot of credit to my teammates because anyone on our entire leadership board can wear that armband and represent us with pride and represent us the right way.”

Throughout coach Gregg Berhalter’s tenure, responsibility has rotated between several players in the team’s leadership council, with Christian Pulisic, Walker Zimmerman and Weston McKennie all in the role since the start of World Cup qualifying.

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“There was something where for the last three and a half years, we’ve been working with a leadership council and we’re very open and we’re asking them, ‘Hey, what do you want to do for the World Cup?’ And they thought it would be better to name a captain for the World Cup.” , Berhalter said.

“We are proud to announce that Tyler is the captain of the World Cup. We believe he has great leadership skills, he leads with his actions and words.”

Adams, 23, will be the youngest US captain at a World Cup since Harry Q (22 years, seven months, 17 days) in 1950, and Berhalter’s team will be the second youngest team in the tournament behind Ghana.

“Tyler is a guy who is just mature beyond his years and you notice it from the moment you start talking to him,” Berhalter said. “I can go on and on about Tyler’s strengths, but I think the other thing about him is his humility and he’s a guy that teammates know exactly what they’re going to get from him.

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“They know he’s going to go out on the field and compete. They know he’s going to think about the game. They know he’s going to be into the details of the game. He’s not just a competitor, he’s also a quarterback, and I think that helps the team because it calms people down and he’s a guy that people get behind.”

The Leeds United midfielder previously played for the USA at the U17 World Cup in 2017 before making his national team debut against Portugal later that year.

A day after midfielder Weston McKennie and right-back Sergino Dest declared themselves fit and ready to play, Berhalter was not ready to declare himself fit for 90 minutes.

“They’ve made a lot of progress,” Berhalter said. “We see them that they can take part in the game. For how long; We must see.

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“That’s part of having five alternates. They can either come in or start them and take them out when we feel like they’re getting close to that limit, but both are certainly capable of helping this team. tomorrow.”

Brenden Aaronson, Adams’ team-mate at Leeds, is the main candidate to play in central midfield if McKennie is restricted, while it is less clear who will replace Dest at right-back with DeAndre Yedlin, Joe Scally and Shaq Moore all the choices.

FIFA announced on Sunday that the USA-Wales match will be refereed by Qatari officials, led by Abdulrahman Al Jassim.

Al Jassim refereed three games at the 2019 Gold Cup, including the Americans’ 1-0 win against Panama. He also officiated the USA’s 6-0 win against New Zealand at the 2017 U-20 World Cup in the round of 16, which featured Adams, Josh Sargent and Luca de la Torre.

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