Adams, Berhalter understand stage in 1st USMNT game since protests
The United States men’s national team is excited to be back together and cognizant of its stage as it prepares for its first matches since the spring.
Midfielder Tyler Adams and head coach Gregg Berhalter met with the media on Monday as the team assembled for friendlies against Wales and Panama.
This is the first match for the USMNT since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota that inspired waves of protest around the world and the repeal of U.S. Soccer’s controversial national anthem policy.
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Both Adams and Berhalter spoke of the interplay between team and staff in building an understanding. Berhalter had previously spoken of the national team being a “vehicle for change” and ProSoccerTalk asked him about that on Monday.
“We went through a process together with the players,” Berhalter said. “The first thing is we explained to them the steps we’re taking as an organization but the second thing is we just listened. We talked about ways to activate in this camp. ... That’s the important message... of support. Part of is organic and player-driven and we’re here to support all their efforts.”
Adams said the side has a tribute planned for its first match back in the red, white, and blue, as the RB Leipzig star was one of several stars to appear in Weston McKennie’s “Enough is Enough” video in early June.
“We’re kinda waiting until matchday, without giving too much away,” Adams said. “There will be a little something on game day that we do. The international discussions have been great, just educating each other. Those open and difficult discussions have been helpful to the team.”
The 21-year-old also talked about voting in his first presidential election.
“A lot has gone on in the past few weeks, months in general,” Adams said. “It was a bit unique because it was not only my first opportunity to vote but also do it in Europe. For us it’s about progressing and moving forward. Being able to put the crest on again is a huge honor.”
The Yanks play Wales in Swansea on Thursday before traveling to Austria to scrap with Panama.