Tyler Adams: “If you can have your guys healthy in tournaments like that, you gain experience.” (USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The cat, as they say, might have been let out of the bag on Wednesday.
During an interview on Premier League Mornings, U.S. men’s national team captain Tyler Adams said the side was going to test itself in a more difficult competition
“We’re going have the opportunity to play in Copa America, which is going to be huge for us,” the former Red Bulls midfielder said on the broadcast prior to Leeds United’ home match against Manchester City.
"We're gonna have the opportunity to play in Copa America."@USMNT captain Tyler Adams is looking forward to watching the #USMNT develop before the 2026 World Cup. #MyPLMorning pic.twitter.com/FnSK1814YM
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 28, 2022
Here is Adams’ full quote:
“Now, leading into this World Cup, we have some big tournaments. We have the Nations League, we’re going to have the opportunity to play in Copa America, which is going to be huge for us, and if you can have your guys healthy in tournaments like that, you gain experience and hopefully some more young guys are coming through the pipeline right now.”
The next Copa America is set for 2024. Ecuador has dropped out as host and Peru and the U.S. reportedly might be in the running as host. The USA welcomed South America for Copa American Centenario in 2016, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the competition.
The 2024 tourney will be held between a pair of Concacaf Gold Cups, which are expected to be held in the United States – in 2023 and 2025.
With the USA, Mexico and Canada co-hosting the 2026 World Cup, the Americans will need to up their game and then some. The squad won’t have to worry about qualifying for the tournament but will need quality competition to prep for it. Let’s face it, playing Concacaf teams in friendlies certainly won’t do the trick.
In the recent World Cup in Qatar, the USMNT finished second in its group behind England and qualified for the knockout round. The team was eliminated by the Netherlands in the Round of 16, 2-0.