It’s probably best to wait a few years, given that the precocious young midfielder is currently in the midst of conquering grand European stages like the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League – already one of his national team’s most important players at just 22 years of age.
But at some point down the line, should he make a triumphant return to MLS, it sounds like Austin FC might want to give Tyler Adams a call and try to make him an offer he can’t refuse. That’s how impressed the New York Red Bulls academy product has been by the US men’s national team's surroundings in the Texas capital, where they’ve set up camp for the first half of their October international window.
“It's amazing. I didn't really know what to expect. Of course I've seen pictures of it and I even have a couple of friends that are playing here as well, but when I got down here and we obviously had our first training? The fields are amazing, the facilities are amazing,” Adams told reporters with a smile after the USMNT trained at ATX’s St. David’s Performance Center on the city’s north side on Monday.
“They have everything you need. And it's great as a national team when you can come here and train out of a place like this in preparation for important games. It gives the group confidence, it shows that American soccer is moving in the right direction. And it makes me really excited one day to come back to MLS and come back to places like this.”
Q2 Stadium has been open for less than four months, a period encompassing just 14 games of its home club’s debut season. Yet the venue will host its second competitive USMNT match (and third national-team visit overall, as the US women christened the place on June 16) when Jamaica hit town for Thursday’s Concacaf World Cup qualifier (7:30 pm ET | ESPN2, Univision, TUDN). Back in July, it hosted the USMNT’s loud, dramatic 1-0 Gold Cup semifinal win over Qatar.
Clearly, the house of Verde has made an impression on U.S. Soccer.
“My first experience here in Austin was fantastic,” said Seattle Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan, a substitute in that eventful Gold Cup clash, on Tuesday. “I remember vividly after Qatar misses their PK, how loud the stadium got, and that really lifted us in that moment. So I expect nothing less from Austin, because they have such a great crowd and great fans.”
Somewhat incredibly, given the state’s long soccer history and many elite players over the decades, this marks the first USMNT World Cup qualifier in Texas history. Austin’s warm embrace of their new team is a huge factor in that, as are the circumstances of this month’s schedule.
Coach Gregg Berhalter cited the warm central Texas weather conditions – Austin’s heat index often flirts with triple digits deep into autumn – as a useful factor in preparing for the equatorial heat of Sunday’s match at Panama. On the same press availability he called on the region’s US fans “to get there early and be loud” when he announced this month’s roster last week, “because we're going to need all the home support we can get.”
His players also seem comfortable in the Live Music Capital of the World, as young as its burgeoning soccer culture may be.
“The guys that were in the Gold Cup, we were able to play here against Qatar and I'll tell you what, it was an amazing atmosphere,” said D.C. United winger Paul Arriola, who started the Qatar match. “It was a great city, I think we all really enjoyed our experience here. … It'll be special for us and it's a huge game for us, a really important one. So I'm really excited to see the energy, I know what the stadium and what the fans can bring, and hopefully we're going to be able to get a good result and leave Texas with something great.”