Home Sport gear Who is the United States soccer captain for the World Cup? Tyler Adams is one of the youngest to wear an armband in USMNT history

Who is the United States soccer captain for the World Cup? Tyler Adams is one of the youngest to wear an armband in USMNT history


The United States Men’s National Team has opted to play the long game to decide who will lead the troops at the 2022 World Cup.

Gregg Berhalter’s side waited until the day before their opening match to appoint a captain, a rare move in the world of international football.

The wait was worth it, though; after a team vote, industrious midfielder Tyler Adams received the armband for Qatar 2022.

It’s the latest culmination of what has been a meteoric rise for the New York native, who went from MLS teenage phenom to Premier League sword-wrecker in the space of seven years. Now the 23-year-old is adding another feather to his cap, becoming one of the youngest players to lead the Star and Stripes onto the pitch at the World Cup.

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Here’s everything you need to know about Adams, the player who supplanted Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie to win this year’s tournament skipper.

Who is the American football captain for the World Cup?

After weeks of deliberation (and a player-led vote), the results are in: the player who should wear the armband during the USMNT World Cup is Tyler Adams.

For many, Adams is the perfect embodiment of what the American football pyramid can be. Born and raised in upstate New York, Adams cut his teeth at hometown MLS club New York Red Bulls, starring in their youth teams before joining the first team at age 16.

Adams started his club career with a bang, scoring a goal against European soccer superpowers (and reigning Premier League champions) Chelsea as a teenager.

It was a fairly linear progression for Adams, who made over 80 white and red appearances. He has developed a close relationship with Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch, a relationship that will pay dividends as he moves up the football pyramid.

Adams swapped the L train for lederhosen in 2019, reuniting with Marsch at Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. He started tearing things up, mopping things up as the team’s No.6. He even scored some big goals, including this late winner to seal Leipzig’s place in the Champions League semi-finals:

Marsch eventually took his talents to the Premier League with Leeds. Adams followed, joining the Whites for a fee of £20m ($24m) in the summer. He has since become something of a cult figure in Elland Road, even earning his own vocals after a series of strong performances in the middle of the park.

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How old is US Captain Tyler Adams?

just 23 yearsAdams is among the youngest captains at this year’s World Cup.

He has long made history, breaking into the first team at 16 and making nearly 120 appearances for the Red Bulls and USL Championship feeder club Red Bulls II.

He made his first appearance for the USMNT in November 2017 at the age of 18, playing all 90 minutes against Portugal.

Where does American Tyler Adams play?

Adams currently occupies the midfield at Leeds Unitedsharing the field with fellow American Brenden Aaronson.

He wasn’t cheap: Leeds reportedly paid £20m ($24m) for his services. But given his versatility in the middle of the field – Adams ranks in the 76th percentile of the top five midfielders in the European league in progressive passing while showing an elite penchant for tackles and blocks (90th percentile in two categories) – this could turn out to be money well spent.

He has been part of Marsch’s first team since his arrival, taking part in 13 of Leeds’ 14 Premier League games.

Tyler Adams USA goals, caps

Ever since his breakthrough at Red Bull Arena as a youngster, Adams has been tipped for international greatness. He’s lived up to the hype so far, earning his first senior cap in 2017. Adams has picked up 31 more caps since then, playing a pivotal role in America’s CONCACAF Nations League triumph of 2020.

Adams even found the back of the net on one occasion, calmly hitting the Mexico defense in 2018.

Adams paints a posed figure in the center of the park, a stark contrast to the more combative play of fellow midfielder McKennie.

However, his positional versatility made things difficult in his Stars and Stripes debut. Tactically flexible enough to fill in at right-back and right-winger, Adams regularly lined up with DeAndre Yedlin and Shaq Moore on the flanks. The emergence of Sergiño Dest in recent years, however, has allowed Adams to fill his No. 6/natural No. 8 position, a welcome sight for Berhalter and his team as they prepare for a (potentially) long race under the sparkling Qatar sun.

Former USMNT World Cup Captains

Berhalter’s announcement cements Adams’ place in USMNT history. He becomes one of the few Americans to wear the armband during the World Cup, joining national team legends Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Claudio Reyna, among others.

Here is the complete list of American men who will wear the armband for the Stars and Stripes:

world Cup American captain Age
Qatar 2022 Tyler Adams 23
Brazil 2014 Clint Dempsey 31
South Africa 2010 Carlos Bocanegra 31
Germany 2006 Claudio Reina 32
South Korea/Japan 2002 Claudio Reina 28
France 1998 Thomas Doley 37
United States 1994 Tony Meola 25
Italy 1990 Mike Windischman 24
Brazil 1950 Walter Bahr/Ed McIlvenny 23/25
Italy 1934 Unknown n / A
Uruguay 1930 Tom Florie 33