U.S. Soccer today announced that Tyler Adams is withdrawing from the upcoming United States Men’s National Team camp for friendlies against Colombia and Peru due to back spasms. The 19-year-old midfielder did not play for the New York Red Bulls in Sunday’s match against Atlanta United. Philadelphia Union winger Fafa Picault was added to the roster as a replacement. The 27-year-old made his national team debut in 2016, earning his lone cap in a 3-1 in over Puerto Rico. He’s scored 15 goals in two MLS seasons, after moving stateside from FC St. Pauli.
The announcement also confirms the report that Christian Pulisic will miss the Kickoff Series matches due to a torn calf muscle. He was held out of Borussia Dortmund’s last two matches, and will reportedly be out for the next 2-3 weeks. The 20-year-old attacker has been largely absent from USMNT rosters over the past year, and this is the 2nd straight camp that he has missed due to injury.
The injury news is somewhat of a blow, despite the matches being ultimately meaningless. Adams and Pulisic are two of the most exciting talents in the player pool (with the former being recently named the second best player in MLS under the age of 22, and the latter is the reigning U.S. Male Player of the Year). Fans were likely looking forward to seeing them play together against some quality South American opponents. U.S. Soccer needs to rebuild as the 2022 World Cup cycle is in its early stages, and would be best served by having its best players gaining experience with each other. The injuries put that off for at least a month.
The USMNT faces off against Colombia on Thursday, October 11th at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida and Peru on Tuesday, October 16th at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut.