By Michael Lewis
Red Bulls standout midfielder Tyler Adams won’t be playing for the United States in the concacaf Under-20 Championship next month, but forwards Tim Weah and Josh Sargent very well may be suiting up.
Weah and Sargent have been named to the 35-man provisional roster by head coach Tab Ramos for the tournament in Bradenton, Fla. Nov. 1-21.
Adams plays for the Red Bulls, who will be competing in at least the Eastern Conference semifinals of the MLS Cup playoffs in November. The Red bulls will play away Nov. 4 and host a game at Red Bull Arena Nov. 11.
The 19-year-old Wappingers Falls, N.Y. native already has earned seven caps for the full team, having scored his first international goal in the 2-0 win over Mexico Sept. 11.
“Tyler Adams won’t even be on the 35-man list,” Ramos told FrontRowSoccer.com Monday afternoon. “He’s not being considered for the U-20s. He’s past this.”
Of course, if the U.S. qualifies for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland May 23-June 15, he could be wearing a U.S. uniform for the American side.
“Maybe if we got to the World Cup next year, if we qualify and go and depending on where Tyler is in his playing,” Ramos said.
Adams reportedly is heading for RB Leipzig, the Red Bulls’ sister organization in the Bundesliga after the season ends in December.
“He is a young player,” Ramos added. “We don’t know by that time with his new club, if he leaves, if he is going to be playing or not playing. So we’ll reconsider next year obviously, but at this point, it doesn’t make sense.”
Adams had to turn down a selection for the full national team’s October friendlies due to back spasms. He has missed the last two Red Bulls games because of that ailment. The club wasn’t to make sure he is ready for the playoffs.
Weah, a Paris St-German player who grew up in Rosedale, N.Y. in Queens and played for B.W. Gottschee in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League, and Sargent, who is with Werder Bremen (Germany).
Forward Jonathan Amon, who performs for Nordsjælland in Norway, also is on the 35-man provisional squad.
“So they can be potentially selected for qualifying for the U-20s,” Ramos said.
Adams and Sargent played prominent roles in the U.S. reaching the quarterfinals of the 2017 U-20 World Cup. Sargent and Weah also made impact in the 2017 U-17 World Cup.
Ramos said it was tricky picking a roster for the competition because he has to manuever between the MLS playoffs and a major UEFA U-19 tournament.
“This is more challenging than any other one because it just so happens to fall in the middle of MLS playoffs and in the middle of the European leagues and even for our players who play U-19 overseas, in the middle of their UEFA Champions League games for U-19,” he said. “The tournament couldn’t be at a worse time.”
The 35-man provisional rosters are expected to be announced soon.
The U.S. group-stage schedule at the tournament
Thursday, Nov. 1 – USA vs. Puerto Rico – 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Nov. 3 – USA vs. U.S. Virgin Islands – 7:45 p.m. ET
Monday, Nov. 5 – USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago – 7:45 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Nov. 7 – USA vs. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 7:45 p.m. ET
Friday, Nov. 9 – USA vs. Suriname – 5:30 p.m. ET
2018 concacaf U-20 championship groups
Group A: USA, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S. Virgin Islands
Group B: Mexico, Jamaica, Aruba, Nicaragua, Grenada, Saint Martin
Group C: Honduras, Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic, Belize, Sint Maarten
Group D: Panama, Canada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique
Group E: Costa Rica, Haiti, Bermuda, St. Lucia, Barbados
Group F: El Salvador, Guatemala, Curacao, Guyana, Cayman Islands