Tyler Adams has revealed how observing USA teammate Christian Pulisic make his professional breakthrough in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund reinforced his own decision to join RB Leipzig.
Adams was playing for New York Red Bulls II when Pulisic burst onto the Bundesliga scene as an unknown 17-year-old in January 2016, paving the way for a new generation of talented Americans in Germany.
"I think to make the next step in my career, and really test your boundaries is something that I was really excited to do," Adams told ESPN's Raphael Honigstein, having officially joined Leipzig in January. "Personally for me of course I always had ambitions of playing in Europe no matter how else somebody did, but with Christian it’s been tremendous to watch his growth and how well he’s done at Dortmund, a massive club. You know, you look back, for me, at waking up and being like, 'Wow! Christian’s playing against Bayern today and all these great teams'."
Adams is still to experience the career highlight that is a head-to-head meeting with record champions Bayern Munich, but he has made quite the impression since linking up with his former New York coach Jesse Marsch in Saxony. So much so that he remains unbeaten in his first eight Bundesliga outings - of which six have been starts - and even chimed in with an assist in the Matchday 22 win at VfB Stuttgart. A near-flawless transition if ever there was one.
"Fortunately enough for me, I come from a system in New York that is very similar to here," the 20-year old explained. "I’ve been able to see and develop everything at a quicker pace. The coaching staff are tremendous - every day they’ll pull you aside. Every day after training, they’ll show you videos from training or from games on what you need to do to get better. I think the transition from New York to here was the easiest."
Watch: Tyler Adams on adapting to life at Leipzig
Adams says that, by nature, he is "one of those guys who always wants to be the best version of himself". It's a philosophy underlined by his forager-like efforts in a league he views as significantly more competitive and faster than the MLS, where he played 52 times for the New York Red Bulls between April 2016 and October 2018.
"Watching some of those players you’ve watched on TV for so long like Axel Witsel, [Mario] Götze, it was amazing to be on the bench and just watch just how fast-paced the game was, end to end, opportunities being created for goals," Adams recalled of his first real experience of the Bundesliga, as an unused Leipzig substitute, in the Matchday 18 defeat to Dortmund.
"The difference here is that throughout the whole table it’s very consistent. You go away to Stuttgart, Hannover or Nuremberg, or any of these teams that might sit in the bottom half of the table - but they’re not bottom-half-of-the-table teams. You could find yourself mid-table or even higher than that - the consistency throughout the table is very, very good. Being here is a dream."
That Adams is able to share his Bundesliga journey with close friends and USA international teammates Pulisic, McKennie and Sargent only adds to his enjoyment.
"I talk to Weston, Christian and Josh every day," he said. "There’s this app, Houseparty. It’s like FaceTime with multiple people on it. We’re always on that. When one of them joins the house, we all join the House - but I don't think it's PG-rated (laughs)."