Chris Armas, Red Bulls believe Tyler Adams should be No. 1 on 22 Under 22

HANOVER, N.J. — Chris Armas knows there’s a lot of quality young players in Major League Soccer. But for the New York Red Bulls coach, the choice to top the 22 Under 22 list is crystal clear. 

It’s Tyler Adams and then everyone else. 

“If I’m picking a team, I’m taking him No. 1. He’s my No. 1 guy there,” Armas said after training Wednesday. “I’m probably not alone in that. When you watch him on the [US men's] national team, if that’s the highest level for him right now, what he does and his presence and what it means, his quality, his will to win, to make guys around him better. Whatever the team needs in a moment, and of course all the soccer qualities.”

Not surprisingly, Armas wasn’t the only one at the Red Bulls to lobby for the young midfielder to top the annual list, which began its countdown on Wednesday. The top 10 is set to be revealed on Thursday at 2 pm ET on ExtraTime Live driven by Continental.

“Without a doubt,” midfielder Sean Davis said when asked if Adams should be No. 1. “Maybe I’m biased, but he’s a beast and we all know that. We’re lucky to see him play week in and week out. His mentality, his growth has been unbelievable. He’s a great representation for the club and he makes us all proud. I’d be disappointed if he’s anything but No. 1 on that list.”

Clearly there’s stiff competition from Vancouver Whitecaps star and soon-to-be Bayern Munich player Alphonso Davies and LAFC forward Diego Rossi.

If Adams isn’t No. 1, teammate Alex Muyl believes it aligns with a common theme of lack of respect in Red Bulls camp. 

“Obviously we’ve seen what he can do. We see what he can do on our team and the national team and he’s someone who has a very bright future ahead of him,” Muyl said. “It’s again [part of this] theme of we don’t care what people say and I bet he doesn’t care about that list at all. He’s got way bigger ambitions. In my opinion, yeah he should be at the top, but opinions don’t really matter at the end of the day. He’s just going to go out and play hard no matter where he’s on the list.”

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