Tyler Adams: “I’m a confident player. It’s on to the next one for me. Right after that play, I am not thinking about it anymore.” (Keith Furman/FrontRowSoccer Photo)
By Michael Lewis
When the subject of Tyler Adams’s error that led to Chivas’s lone goal in its 1-0 win over the Red Bulls in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals came up Saturday, teammate Bradley Wright-Phillips had a stern reply:
“We will hate him. We will hate him,” he said. “We don’t want him to play ever again.”
Of course, the Red Bulls striker was only kidding.
The 19-year-old holding midfielder had full backing of his teammates and coach.
“He’s going to be great for the second leg,” BWP told reporters at the Red Bulls Training Facility in Hanover, N.J. “There are no concerns at all.”
The second leg of the series is set for Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. Tuesday night.
In the first leg, Adams’ pass at midfielder was intercepted by Rodolfo Pizarro, who fed Isaac Brizuela for the 26th-minute score at Estadio Akron in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“He’s a football player,” Wright-Phillips said. “We all make mistakes. What he’s trying to do is the right thing. He’s a player who can play with the ball. He’s good on the ball and he tried to play and it didn’t work and they punished us. It is what it is. I could have scored a goal at the end of the game. We wouldn’t be talking about this. Tyler as we know is a top player and it won’t faze him.”
To the Wappingers Falls, N.Y. resident, what transpired was like a water off a duck’s back. That is in the past.
It is easy to forget that Adams is still a teenager. Yet, he is wise beyond his years.
Adams said head coach Jesse Marsch did not talk to him about the incident.
“I’m a confident player,” he said. “It’s on to the next one for me. Right after that play, I am not thinking about it anymore. I’m trying to chase the game, get a goal and try to do my best. Luckily, there’s a second leg and we’re excited to be back home. I think for me, there’s no worries about that. I’ve put that behind me. I go forward and we’re going to take care of business on Tuesday.”
During his press conference Wednesday, Marsch defended his defensive midfielder and backed him.
He did so again to reporters Saturday.
“Listen, I mean, it’s not just about him,” he said. “Young players make mistakes and that’s normal. We don’t want any of our players to play not to make mistakes. We always have to go after the game, so it’s was a momentary slip. We probably still could have recovered in little ways to take care of it. But they wind up punishing us.”