The RB Leipzig and U.S. men's national team star will miss this summer's competition with an injury, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday, and FC Dallas right back Reggie Cannon has been called up in his place.
The setback is a big one for the U.S. men, who are entering the Concacaf champions on the heels of two disappointing losses on home soil to Jamaica and Venezuela. The caveat with those losses was that the U.S. wasn't at full strength, and that the likes of Adams and Christian Pulisic, who didn't play in those matches, would help alleviate some doubts. Adams, though, has been dignosed with "acute on chronic groin issues that will require a minimum of 6-8 weeks recovery period," according to U.S. Soccer. He suffered an adductor injury at the end of RB Leipzig's season, and even though he returned to play in the DFB Pokal final against Bayern Munich and was expected to join camp on Tuesday, he won't be ready to suit up.
Adams's role on the team was set to be a significant one. In manager Gregg Berhalter's system, Adams has been tabbed as the all-important right back to help overload in transitions and in the attack while also covering plenty of ground to make sure the U.S. is covered in the back. His departure leaves the U.S. with just Nick Lima–who starred in that role in January camp–and Cannon as right back cover. The USA was already thin in defense, with right back DeAndre Yedlin and center back John Brooks both previously ruled out for the competition with respective injury woes.
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The loss of Adams, who regularly features as a central midfielder, also removes a potential option in the middle of the park for Berhalter, who will have to prepare his side nevertheless for Tuesday's Gold Cup opener vs. Guyana in Minnesota.
The U.S. will also face World Cup qualifying nemesis Trinidad & Tobago and regular Gold Cup opponent Panama in group play as it seeks to defend its title and match Mexico's all-time record of seven titles. It will just have to try to do so without one of its most important pieces.