In what should come as little surprise, Tyler Adams was selected the 2022 BioSteel U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year, the 26th honoree since the award’s establishment in 1984. This is his first win and third nomination, having previously been in contention for 2018 and 2020. The 23-year-old midfielder served as captain of the Men’s National Team at the 2022 World Cup, playing every minute during the run to the Round of 16.
Adams also had a successful year at the club level. He capped off his three-and-a-half-season tenure at RB Leipzig by winning the DFB-Pokal, the club’s first domestic cup title. Last summer, Leeds United brought him to the English Premier League for a reported transfer fee of £20 million. In 2022, New Yorker appeared in 14 matches for the Whites, establishing himself as one of the competition’s top defensive midfielders.
The award was presented by a familiar USMNT legend and two-time winner via a recorded message. “Receiving this type of recognition is certainly special, but for me the team’s success is the most important thing,” Adams said in the official press release. “Having the experience of going to the World Cup, performing well as a group and moving the sport forward in the United States was super important to me this year, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. Tim Howard is an absolute legend in U.S. Soccer history and the Premier League as well. To hear those words from him was very special, and I’m very thankful.”
The voting base for the award includes “National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2022, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, professional league (MLS and USL) head coaches, select media members and former players and administrators.” In addition, supporters of the program contributed toward 15% of the final tally. From this group, Adams received a 71.6% share, while Christian Pulisic garnered 14.7% of the ballots.
Since making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 16, the midfielder met all of the outsized expectations attached to a prospect of his caliber. Adams has performed at a high level on the field for both club and country, rising to his potential as a top-level impact player. While this is his first award, he should be considered likely to join the exclusive class of USMNT greats who have won multiple times, including Howard, Landon Donovan, Christian Pulisic, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Kasey Keller, and Marcelo Balboa.