HANOVER, N.J. — After Tyler Adams scored his first international goal to help lead the United States men’s national team to a 1-0 win over rival Mexico Tuesday night in Nashville, the young midfielder’s cellphone blew up.
One of the texts he received was from New York Red Bulls coach Chris Armas, who commended him for his effort and congratulated him on his goal.
The 19-year-old responded it was special because it happened on 9/11 and his thoughts were with the families affected and New Yorkers in general.
“He’s incredible,” Armas said. “That’s what he’s thinking about.”
Armas said what fans around the country saw in starts against Brazil and Mexico is what Adams shows on a daily basis, both on the training ground and in matches for the Red Bulls.
“The fearlessness, the quality, the understanding what the game requires and that’s what he’s able to do, sometimes it’s a tackle 70 yards from goal that helps get a play going and then he’s shown he can make final passes,” Armas said. “To see him arrive that way and open up his foot and calmly connect with it, we’re thrilled for him, the look on his face was great.”
When Adams was taking on Brazil at MetLife Stadium last Friday, Red Bulls captain Luis Robles watched from the stands with his son.
“It’s just special to watch what these guys are doing and what he’s doing individually,” Robles said. “As a fan, I’m just excited to see where he goes as a player, but I also know on this team when we’re on the same field and we’re teammates, we hold each other to a very high standard — everyone. It’s not just him, it’s not just me because we want to win something.”
As for that first international goal, Adams made a long run before latching onto an Antonee Robinson cross and firing low first-time for the 71st-minute winner.
“I just felt that a trailing run like that is usually hard for a midfielder to pick up,” Adams said. “If I’m defending a midfielder like that, I don’t want to make that recovery run and try to mark him. I knew if I could get in front of them about 40 yards back that I’d have a good opportunity. The ball came in and luckily it just trickled across. One of the Mexican defenders left their foot out there and I was able to finish it.”
Adams called the goal “the cherry on top.”
“For me, it’s just the day that it came on and having family and friends there as well it was just a special night in general,” Adams said.
Adams is now within one goal of tying his coach’s total with the USMNT. Armas scored his first goal in an international friendly against Iran on Jan. 16, 2000 at the Rose Bowl.
“It was a left-footed half volley,” Armas said, adding, “slightly better than Tyler’s.”