Tyler Adams named USA captain at 2022 FIFA World Cup

Tyler Adams

Tyler Adams will captain the US men’s national team into the 2022 FIFA World Cup, head coach Gregg Berhalter announced on the eve of Monday’s Group B opener vs. Wales (2 pm ET | FOX, Telemundo).

The Leeds United midfielder and New York Red Bulls homegrown product will be the USMNT’s youngest captain since Walter Bahr at the 1950 World Cup. He’s already worn the armband nine times during 32 career international appearances.

“We think he has great leadership capabilities,” Berhalter said of the 23-year-old Wappingers Falls, New York native. “He leads by his actions and his words.”

FIFA requires teams to name a singular captain for the tournament; the USMNT were the last of 32 Qatar-qualified squads to complete that task.

During Berhalter’s tenure, the USMNT have relied on a leadership council and rotating armband responsibilities. Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic and Nashville SC center back Walker Zimmerman were other leading candidates to be named captain.

“A lot of credit to my teammates,” Adams said, “because anyone throughout our leadership council can wear that armband and represent us with pride and represent us in the right way."

Adams debuted for the Red Bulls in 2016 before moving to Europe in the winter of 2019, then to German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. He joined Leeds this summer, reuniting with ex-MLS manager Jesse Marsch in the Premier league.

The USMNT, at their first World Cup since Brazil 2014, must navigate past Wales, England and Iran in the group stage to reach the knockout rounds. Their captains, respectively, are LAFC forward Gareth Bale, Tottenham striker Harry Kane and AEK Athens defender Ehsan Hajsafi.

Some past USMNT captains at World Cups include now-Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna (2002, ‘06), now-Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra (2010) and ex-Seattle Sounders and New England Revolution forward Clint Dempsey (2014).

Berhalter’s decision was aided by a player-led vote stretching back to September’s tune-up camp. Adams will be the youngest captain at the World Cup.