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Tyler Adams On U.S.-England World Cup trash talk and whether the Premier League is tougher than the Bundesliga

On Episode 4 of the Men in Blazers “Tyler Adams: Road to the Cup, Powered by Volkswagen” podcast, the USMNT and Leeds United star speaks candidly with Rog on Jesse Marsch's coaching style (and lack of playing style), U.S.-England World Cup banter in the Leeds locker room, and whether it's tougher to play in the Bundesliga or the Premier League. Tyler also answers a fan question about playing in a World Cup in the middle of the season, so be sure to ask Tyler your own question by calling 646-450-9472 and leaving one for him on our voicemail.

Here are some of the highlights from Rog’s truly insightful interview with Wappingers Falls’ greatest ever export.

On Jesse Marsch’s coaching style:

ROG: "You once explained what Jesse was like as a manager and you said, 'He's very hard on me. He wants me to continue to improve, to have that hunger, and that's why I'm so keen to work with him again. He pushes my limit.' Can you describe from the inside what kind of a coach Jesse Marsch is, and has he changed over time since you first encountered him as a young teen at New York Red Bulls?"

TYLER: "He's definitely changed over time. He's always kept his morals and what he believes in. But he's been able to adapt to certain things, whether it's tactically, whether it's as a person, whether it's how he builds his relationships. It's a completely different road in Austria and Germany, when you have to do everything in a completely different language, and sometimes you feel like you have to (veer) away from yourself and who you really are. I can already tell in England he's in his element again. He always wants to unlock someone's full potential, and he never wants to see someone that's satisfied, so whenever you feel like you did something good, he will tell you that you probably could have done it better. That's exactly what I want, and again that's one of the reasons that I like working with him, because I can score three goals — although it's never happened — I can score three goals in a game and he'd say, 'You should have scored six, because you had three more chances.' These are the types of people that push you to be better, and that's who you need to surround yourself with."

ROG: "I spoke to Jesse Marsch recently, and he talked about how he's had the Leeds players spend a lot of time in the weight room so they can be a different physical proposition this campaign."

TYLER: "He loves the weight room, and it's only ideal that the team goes into the weight room because there were a lot of injuries last season, and they obviously want to minimize that. But yeah, we've had a lot of double sessions (in the weight room), which is unfortunate, because I hate the weight room."

ROG: "We've seen Jesse get some touches in during training, even (nutmegging) people during a rondo. And when I interviewed Jesse, he described himself as poor, too slow, too technically inefficient. Is that how you'd describe his play in training?"

TYLER: "Yeah, that's exactly how I would describe it. (Laughter.) I would have killed him if I had to play against him, even in his prime. You could take 16-year-old me, you could take 23-year-old me, whichever one you want, and I would've killed him, so you don't see him 'megging me in training, you know what I'm saying?"

On England vs. U.S. banter ahead of the World Cup:

ROG: "During an open preseason training in Brisbane, Australia, an English fan wanted to bet you that England were, ‘Gonna smash the U.S. in the World Cup!' Are you getting a lot of that with that Group B clash looming November 25? Are you getting a lot of bants action about the (England vs. USA) game from your fellow teammates?"

TYLER: "I'm getting a lot of it, actually, and not only that but from Wales too. You know, Dan James in the locker room, we're making a couple side bets. He thinks that Wales will win, I think that the U.S. will win. I think that the U.S. is going to play against England and win, and other guys think that England's going to win. I gotta have confidence in my team, you know what I'm saying? I have confidence in myself, and in our team. We're not backing down from anything, but we'll save it for November."

On why he chose No. 12 as his uniform number:

ROG: "You chose number 12 as your shirt number (on Leeds). Can you take us through the thought process?"

TYLER: "My favorite numbers are 4 and 14, and neither of one of those were available. The numbers that were available were just whatever, so I sent the list of numbers that were available to my mom. And my mom immediately responded with 12. It was her number back in the day, and for volleyball as well when she was growing up. It's her favorite number, so I'm repping my mom's favorite number (for Leeds)."

ROG: "Oh god, may every young American soon be wearing Melissa's volleyball number on fields across this nation!"

On playing with Brenden Aaronson, and his “goal” against Wolves:

ROG: "You and Brenden (Aaronson) have been mates for a long, long bloody time. Here you are, in another world, in an incredible place. When you were about to take the field in that cauldron Elland Road together for the first time for the opener against Wolves, what did the two of you say to each other in the locker room?"

TYLER: "It was actually on the way out, we're walking through the tunnel. I tapped him on the shoulder and I was like, 'Just enjoy it. Just enjoy it.' We both know what we're capable of, and it's so nice and calming to know that we have each other on the field. I have teammates that would back me through anything, especially on this team. But to know that I have him having my back no matter what is also a good feeling, and he knows that I have his back, so the chemistry on the field that we have together is obviously second to none. We've played a lot of games with each other now, especially with the national team. We just have a calming presence for each other. A natural chemistry with each other, and that's a really good feeling."

ROG: "We've got to talk about it. The winning goal against Wolves. Brenden's goal, we are calling it Brenden's goal, right?"

TYLER: "I need to keep Brenden humble, so it's an own goal for now. I look after him like he's my little brother, you know? I need to keep him intact right now. No, I'm kidding, Brenden's the most humble guy. Right after he scored, we're walking back to halfway, half-field, and he's like, 'I didn't even touch the ball. I didn't touch the ball.' And I'm like, 'What are you talking about, you didn't touch the ball?' "

ROG: "Would he put his hand over his mouth, something like that, and go, 'Crap, they all think it was me. I didn't even touch it, what have I done now?' "

TYLER: "Yeah, I think he just blacked out in the moment, because I think he knew he was going to score. And then I watched the replay after the game, and I'm like, dude, how do you forget touching the ball? The way that the ball was going, there's no way that it didn't touch him. It had to have touched him, or else it would have ran through. The guy pushed it, but the way that he pushed it, he pushed it on to Brenden and into the goal. So for me, the trajectory of it is Brenden's goal. He scored, it's Brenden's goal. It's Brenden's goal."

On the difference in intensity between Bundesliga and Premier League matches:

ROG: "Are Premier League matches different from Bundesliga matches?"

TYLER: "Oh, 100 percent. The intensity (of the Wolves match) was a completely different level. It felt more like a Champions League game. In Champions League games, for 90-plus minutes you've got to be locked in and just completely aware of everything, whether you have to run more, press more, win more duels, (play) more physical. You feel it. And then in this game, it was the first game of the season, everyone's still trying to gain their fitness, gain their sharpness, but wow. It was physically demanding."

A fan asks Tyler about playing in a midseason World Cup:

(Editor’s note: If you want to ask Tyler a question of your own, just call 646-450-9472 and leave it via voicemail.)

NOLAN: "Hi my name's Nolan, I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and I'm a Tottenham fan. This World Cup, being in the middle of November, being in the middle of the season, but just having that big break where you've got to go and play games in the middle of the season, how's that going to change your mindset? And how are you going to prepare for that midseason?"

ROG: "Tyler, this World Cup in Qatar has broken up the season into two (halves), in really a pretty unprecedented, and frankly, pretty crazy, way. How has that changed the way that you're building into it?"

TYLER: "Since I haven't played in a World Cup, it almost feels better to me. Instead of being at the end of your season, where you have to think, 'Damn, I need to play more games now, I'm tired after such a long mentally and physically demanding season,' now you should be almost at your sharpest. So you're going to be flying just fitness-wise and sharpness-wise, going into the World Cup. Not having preparation games going into the World Cup will obviously be a bummer. But you'll have your sharpness, your fitness levels will be high, and the excitement obviously to go (to a World Cup) midseason. Instead of taking a normal vacation, you're going to Qatar. And you're able to represent your country at a World Cup."