Update: Adams undergoes surgery, U-20 World Cup moved, Vazquez rumors, & more
March 29, 2023
THE INTERNATIONAL BREAK is over for the United States and things are getting ready to get back into full swing for clubs to resume play. But to kickoff your Wednesday, we have injury news, transfer news, and some other important stuff to rundown.
Let’s get right into it.
Adams undergoes surgery
Tyler Adams, 23, missed the last international break with a hamstring injury but specifics are know more clearly known. The U.S. national team World Cup captain has undergone surgery on his hamstring and is set to miss an extended period.
This is bad news on multiple levels. For one, Adams has grown in importance for Leeds United throughout the season and was set to be critical in their relegation battle. Now the club will have to find someone else to patrol the defensive midfield position.
With Tyler Adams recovering from surgery, the Roca-McKennie midfield axis is going to be crucial for Leeds.— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) March 29, 2023
We looked at how Roca and McKennie compare, how they could dovetail and how much Adams’ defensive industry might be missed.
w/ @MarkCarey93 https://t.co/2zg1uv4d8D
As for the U.S. national team, it remains unclear but it seems unlikely he is going to play much of a role, if any, in either of the two tournaments this summer.
What has been a weakness for the U.S. team in recent years has been finding a backup for Tyler Adams. Now the team is going to be forced to dig deep. Yes, Kellyn Acosta will continue to be in the mix and he has historically played well against Mexico. But Anthony Hudson or whoever is coaching the team will have important work to do. Adams is one of the team’s most important players who really glues the midfield.
U.S. U-20 World Cup moved
On Wednesday, FIFA made the correct call in pulling the World Cup out of Indonesia. The decision was easy after Bali’s governor said he would bar Israel from participating at the venue in Bali. Israel had qualified last year thanks to its U-19 team’s stunning effort in the European Championships (which included a win over France).
But Indonesia was operating on two strikes. In 2015, Indonesia was suspended by FIFA for all international competitions for a year due to government meddling in football operations. Then last October, 130 people were killed in tragic stampede after a soccer match in East Java.
When Bali’s governor made his statements, FIFA cancelled the draw that was scheduled to be in Bali this Friday with representatives from each of the qualified teams due to be present – including Israel.
FIFA has pulled the U-20 World Cup from Indonesia. The intention is to find a new host asap while keeping the same dates - starting on May 20.— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) March 29, 2023
Now, FIFA decided to pull the plug on Indonesia’s hosting rights. FIFA said that they want the tournament to be held in another country on the same dates.
Following today’s meeting between FIFA President Gianni Infantino and President of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) Erick Thohir, FIFA has decided, due to the current circumstances, to remove Indonesia as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023,” the FIFA statement said.
“A new host will be announced as soon as possible, with the dates of the tournament currently remaining unchanged. Potential sanctions against the PSSI may also be decided at a later stage.”
Now on 53 days-notice, FIFA will have to find another host country. Certainly, there are countries that can do it if some of the restrictions and rules are eased – such as all venues cannot host an event 14 days before the tournament. It’s easy to label venues, but each team needs a practice location, hotels, the right to play a friendly in the hosting nation before.
So, where will this go? Europe remains a tough place since many of their leagues push until the end of May given that winter World Cup in Qatar forced a November and December break.
FIFA removes Indonesia as host of FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023™— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) March 29, 2023
There is a report Argentina is offering to host. But that country’s economy is in brutal shape at around 100% inflation. Is that a smart decision? Argentina is also looking for a way to participate since their U-20 team failed to qualify.
Peru is getting ready to host the U-17 World Cup in November and are meeting FIFA standards. Could they accelerate their preparations to also host the U-20 tournament?
Australia and New Zealand will cohost the 2023 Women’s World Cup this summer. So they are currently meeting FIFA’s standards for a major event. They would only need to be bumped up a few months to host this?
Oficial: la FIFA retira a Indonesia como país anfitrión del Mundial Sub-20.— Pablo Giralt (@giraltpablo) March 29, 2023
???????? Argentina, que no clasificó, es una posibilidad. pic.twitter.com/5ancTq9e7R
Then you also have the United States and Canada (which hosted the tournament in 2007). It would be fun for the U.S. team to host the tournament and the country could probably do so with relatively modest rule relaxation. But does the U.S. want to do this? It would be a great sign of strength.
Either way, this is a mess.
U.S. U-20 team concludes camp
Speaking of the U-20 World Cup.
On Tuesday, the United States U-20 team concluded its March camp in Marbella with a 0-0 draw with Serbia. This was preceded by two losses to France and England. Apparently the U.S. team had most of the chances but didn’t find a winning goal.
What was interesting in this game is that Mikey Varas elected to play with three central defenders in Brandon Craig, Josh Wynder, and Markus Fekranus. That is a new look for this team and Varus was looking to utilize his fullbacks in wingback roles to get into the attack.
This team was still missing a lot of good players and Varus was rotating his squad every game. Even against Serbia, top players like Kevin Parades and Quinn Sullivan did not start.
This team could be good but Varas has spent a lot of time in talent evaluation as opposed to building up reps with his main core. That will leave him with a lot of work to do in the camp leading up to the tournament.
Vazquez rumors heating up
According to Sky Sports, FC Cincinnati forward Brandon Vazquez, 24, being scouted by Borussia Monchengladbach. In their report, they say M’Gladbach’s sporting director Roland Virkus recently traveled to the United States to watch Vazquez play.
That likely included him being on hand in Nashville to watch Vazquez score the winner in Cincinnati’s 1-0 away win over Nashville SC. In January, he scored in his U.S. national team debut in a 2-1 loss to Serbia.
Sky sports reporting interest from Borussia Monchengladbach in FC Cincinnati's Brandon Vazquez.— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) March 28, 2023
- Says club's sporting director Roland Virkus was in the USA to watch Vazquez.
- Vazquez will probably be in action next month for the #USMNT against Mexico. https://t.co/67vPc1fwgV
Often times, reports using the terms “on the radar” or "interest" can be misleading when talking about potential transfers. Those statements could mean virtually anything. But a Bundesliga sporting director, not just a scout, taking a transatlantic flight to watch a player definitely means something.
It likely means that Vazquez could earn an real offer if he continues to produce between now and the summer. He should be in the mix for the U.S. national team in April when it hosts Mexico (and if not, he could be in the mix for Mexico). It will be worth keeping a close on him and see if he can get back into his 2021 form where he scored 18 goals and added eight assists to get Cincinnati into the playoffs.
Vazquez is a good player who mixes strength and skill. The key is for him to show last season was his normal level.