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NY Red Bulls’ Tyler Adams: Transfer to RB Leipzig ‘easy decision’

Jun 23, 2018; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams (4) controls the ball in front of FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo (7) during the second half at Red Bull Arena. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

HARRISON, N.J. — It was a trip both Tyler Adams and Sean Davis, now former New York Red Bulls teammates, remember well.

But for different reasons.

For Adams, then 16, the trip to RB Leipzig was a life-changing opportunity to train with the U-19 and reserve teams of the now German Bundesliga side.

Davis, who is six years older, also enjoyed the soccer side of the trip. The rest, not so much.

“That was my first time spending a lot of time with him. And he was so annoying,” Davis said laughing. “He was just a teenager bugging me. I felt like his older older brother, almost his dad on this trip. One of the best memories was going to Berlin on one of our off days and I was his tour guide, his personal tour guide. So I think that he’ll always appreciate that moment. It’s something that we still laugh about now.”

In many ways Adams has grown up Red Bull, moving his way up the club’s pyramid from summer camp participant to first team regular. Now, at the old age of 19 with more than 70 first team appearances in all competitions under his belt, Adams feels it’s the right time to take the next step in his career at RB Leipzig, a move that was announced on Sunday

“I knew that watching them and studying and doing some homework that one day, maybe this could be the transition for me or the next step for me,” Adams said at the Red Bulls end-of-season media availability at Red Bull Arena Monday.

Adams believes now is the perfect time to go to Europe and Leipzig is the perfect destination because of the similarities in playing style to the Red Bulls. Then there’s the familiarity of Jesse Marsch, who left New York midway through the season to become a Leipzig assistant coach.

Adams said he will continue to be a mentor — and now, perhaps, be a translator, too.

“I’m excited for it because I know that he was one of the people that had belief in me from my first steps here, so I’m excited to go there and have the opportunity to learn from him again,” Adams said.

With the move rumored since early in the season, Adams said he’s been brushing up on his German for the past five months. That’s one aspect of Adams’ move to the Bundesliga Austrian winger Danny Royer, who said he’s a “huge Tyler Adams fan” is really looking forward to seeing.

“That’s what I actually texted him yesterday, that I can’t wait to hear him speak German in an interview,” Royer said. “He said it’s not good yet, but next time when we meet each other, he’ll try to be fluent.”

Adams said he also tried to do his homework on the league by asking U.S. men’s national teammates Weston McKennie (Schakle 04) and Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund) about their experiences in the Bundesliga.

He likes everything he’s heard, and seen.

“Obviously the transition over there is not easy, but they found a way to make it as seamless as possible. And those are two close friends of mine obviously, Josh Sargent is another one,” Adams said. “They’ve done so well over there and Josh starting to break through and get opportunities but the Bundesliga is probably most well known for giving young guys opportunities, especially at Leipzig, which was why it was such an easy decision for me.”

Although he didn’t compete in the Bundesliga, Bradley Wright-Phillips knows how difficult it is to succeed in Europe. He’s seen the pitfalls for young players, but has no doubts that Adams will do well there. 

“Other than the fact that he can play, and he’s a good player, is that he’s fearless,” Wright-Phillips said. “I’ve seen a lot of good players go into changing rooms and crumble or step onto a pitch and not be themselves. His biggest strength to me is that he’s fearless. He can be playing in the Champions League and he’ll look like he’s been there for years. With that and his appetite for the game, he’s got the world at his feet.”

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