Tyler Adams (red jersey) appeared in five matches for the USA in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
HARRISON, New Jersey -- Tyler Adams will miss his high school graduation Saturday.
Don't worry, he has a note from his soccer team.
The United States under-20 star has decided to forgo graduation ceremonies at Roy C. Ketcham School in Wappingers Falls, New York, so he could play for the New York Red Bulls – a 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League qualifier -- against archrival New York City FC in a Major League Soccer match.
“The game is more important for sure,” said Adams.
The midfielder figured he would be well-represented as his step-brother is also graduating.
Still, he found time to attend his prom.
“He still needs to be a kid,” remarked Red Bulls assistant coach Chris Armas, who is directing the team while head coach Jesse Marsch pursues his UEFA Coaching License in Poland. “He’s been fast-tracked to this thing, but this is the life of top football.”
Adams played a major role in the USA’s quarterfinal finish at the recently-completed FIFA Under-20 World Cup and impressed observers in last week’s 1-0 win over NYCFC in the U.S. Open Cup.
“The U.S. Open Cup was a brawl,” he remarked, when asked about the tense encounter.
Though only 18, Adams has become a vital component of the Red Bulls midfield.
“You have a hard time not smiling when you watch him play, the energy and the fearlessness he has and the rapid growth as a soccer player,” Armas expressed. "You watch him recently with the national team and how confident and what a leader he was in that tournament. He comes back to us, more of a leader, more of a man."