Tyler Adams scored the first goal of his professional career on Wednesday night. But he didn’t just stop there.
He made it twice as nice by scoring his second goal for the New York Red Bulls, who settled for a 3-3 home tie with D.C. United. It’s the latest marker on what has been an incredible 2017 for the 18-year old phenom.
From starring at the U-20 World Cup for the United States to locking down a spot in the Starting XI in just his second full year in MLS, Adams has shown a growing maturity this year. Sprinkle in graduating high school, starting college classes (he’s studying sports psychology at Southern New Hampshire University) and attending prom, Adams has had a year to be remembered.
But it isn’t just his two goals on Wednesday night that has made fans and opposing teams take notice. Adams was easily the best player on the pitch for the Red Bulls despite being played out of his normal position in central midfield. His goals were one of the main talking points after the match.
“Excited. One was for the lead, one was for the tie, so it was good,” Adams said following the game. “A good feeling. But, ultimately, the three points is the most important thing, and we didn’t happen to come away with those today.”
Adams’ play and development has been nothing short of a revelation this year. It’s all the more promising due to the fact that he’s currently playing out of position for his club.
Adams is being utilized as a right wing back, a significant shift that carries far more defensive responsibilities than he is used to. With the youth national teams and the Red Bulls Academy, Adams is a central midfielder with creative responsibilities similar to being a No. 10, or an attacking midfielder.
In the Red Bulls’ new formation, Adams is called upon to add width, overlap and time runs into space. It requires different skillset for sure.
“I think that’ll do a lot for [Adams’] confidence moving forward,” captain Sacha Kljestan said. “I think he’s obviously very talented. I think that right wingback spot is a great spot for him. I think that’s probably his best position, I think he needs to make it his own and he needs to play there every game. You can see, even at the wingback spot, he’s getting himself in good positions up the field. So, the more he can continue to grow and push himself is going to be a good addition to help our team.”
Wednesday’s brace was big for Adams in terms of his development, showing a growing assurance that the Red Bulls will need as they push for the postseason.
“Amazing, amazing, amazing,” head coach Jesse Marsch said after the match. “Tyler Adams, amazing. Gets better every game, growing every game. What a pleasure to watch him. What a pleasure to coach him. Big-time player, amazing, amazing. Took the team on his shoulders.”
Want to know what else is amazing? Adams, who has already completed six credits of college online at SNHU, holds a 4.0 G.P.A.