To many, Tuesday night’s friendly against Mexico may seem meaningless. But whenever the United States and Mexico get together on the pitch, things can get pretty fun. And for New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams, Tuesday was just that.
By the basic numbers, things were pretty even. Mexico kept more of the ball, but not by that much (53% possession). They took three fewer shots (10) than the U.S. as well, with each side placing only three on target. Then in the 71st minute, already up a man, the United States found the back of the net.
19-year-old Tyler Adams scores the USMNT's only goal in their friendly win over Mexico. pic.twitter.com/kC75XE89Sa
— ESPN (@espn) September 12, 2018
Scoring your first international goal is already excellent. But scoring it as a 19-year-old against Mexico? That makes it all the more special. Caretaker manager Dave Sarachan wasn’t surprised in the slightest, however.
“This kid’s a beast,” Sarachan said via ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle. “I mean, when you look at data and analytics and at the volume of work he does in 90 minutes … you guys on the outside see a good part of it, but the data backs it up. He’s just a winner, this kid.”
And he believes he just keeps getting better.
“…We know he can run and cover ground and win tackles and compete. But at the next level, can you have a presence with the ball in picking your spots? It just keeps getting better.”
Since failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Sarachan has fielded youthful and relatively inexperienced in various friendlies. For many of the U.S. players last night, it was their first match with Mexico at the senior level. And it’s one they won’t soon forget.
Especially Tyler Adams.