USMNT Captain Tyler Adams Reflects on Team’s Future and American Unity Ahead of Copa America

As the United States gears up for the Copa America, Bournemouth midfielder and USMNT captain Tyler Adams sat down with American soccer legend Tim Howard to discuss his leadership role, the team’s future, and the broader context of playing soccer in a politically divided America.

This conversation took place just after former President Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts in his hush-money trial, a significant moment that loomed large in the background.

Adams’ Arrival and Initial Thoughts

Adams had just returned from vacation when he set up camp in Washington DC, where the tremors of Trump’s conviction were felt strongly.

Despite the political upheaval, Adams remained focused on the task at hand: preparing for Copa America and the countdown to the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted on American soil. “It’s so important,” Adams emphasized, recognizing the pivotal period ahead that could define his legacy and shape the future of soccer in the United States.

The Weight of Responsibility

Howard questioned Adams about the current political climate and whether he felt a responsibility to help bring the country together through soccer.

Adams paused before responding, acknowledging the significant challenge. “I want to sit here and say that it is too big of a task,” he began.

“It’s not always easy to look at the social climate and be prideful about what’s going on right now.” However, Adams also saw a unique opportunity for the national team to serve as a unifying force.

“I do think it’s a bright spot in a lot of people’s days to turn on the TV, see a national team that’s fighting for the crest, and think: ‘This is why we’re American.'”

Building Team Chemistry

Adams shared insights into his relationship with USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter, whom he described as a figure who cares deeply about his players beyond the soccer field. “The conversations I have with him off the pitch, nothing’s about football.

It’s: ‘How is your son? How is your wife?'” This personal connection, Adams believes, is crucial for building a cohesive and motivated team.

On-Court Dynamics and Leadership Style

Reflecting on his leadership style, Adams highlighted the importance of consensus and direct communication. He recalled an example with teammate Gio Reyna, where blunt honesty proved effective.

“When I need to get into Gio, I tell him to f*** off, and he’ll do the same to me.” Adams also noted the importance of understanding his teammates’ backgrounds and motivations, a lesson he learned from observing the previous generation of USMNT players.

Facing Challenges and Future Goals

Adams discussed the team’s mixed results leading up to Copa America, including a draw with Brazil and a defeat by Colombia.

He stressed the need to perform under pressure and aimed to surpass previous benchmarks. “For me, success is getting past the quarter final,” he said.

The team will likely face tough opponents like Colombia or Brazil, but Adams is confident in their ability to rise to the occasion.

Personal and Professional Growth

The conversation also touched on Adams’ personal journey, including his brief stint in the Premier League with Bournemouth, where he faced injuries and setbacks.

“The amazing thing about my mindset, and the way I go about the game is that I don’t take for granted when I am playing,” Adams reflected.

He also discussed his transition from Leeds United and the lessons learned from that experience, particularly regarding the club’s culture and expectations.

Looking Ahead to 2026

As the 2026 World Cup approaches, Adams is determined to help build a solid foundation for soccer in North America.

He mentioned his involvement with the Hudson Valley Hammers, a grassroots club he established to provide opportunities for young players in his community.

“I had parents that drove an hour and a half – each way – to bring me to Red Bulls, seven days a week. But a lot of people in my area aren’t as fortunate,” he explained.


For Tyler Adams, leading the USMNT is both an honor and a challenge, particularly in a time of national division.

His conversation with Tim Howard highlighted the complexities of his role and his aspirations for the future.

As the team prepares for Copa America and the 2026 World Cup, Adams remains committed to showing what he’s capable of and proving why he wears the captain’s armband.

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