American midfielder Tyler Adams says receiving online racial abuse is commonplace

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — American midfielder Tyler Adams said receiving online racial abuse has become commonplace for players.

Teammates Chris Richards and Folarin Balogun said they were targeted for racial abuse, and the U.S. Soccer Federation issued a statement after Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Panama in the Copa America saying that it was “deeply disturbed.”

“For me personally, I don’t really know where to even begin on the topic,” Adams said during a news conference Saturday. “It’s normal at this point — it’s normal. I don’t think anyone could play a bad game, let alone a good game, and not have something on social media afterwards. So for me personally, I don’t even use social media — not for that specific reason, but just for the fact that it’s just toxic everywhere, no matter where you look.”

Adams, who is Black, was the U.S. captain at the 2022 World Cup.

“It’s disappointing when players on our team obviously have faced that, Canadian players, whoever it is, it’s just so unnecessary and unneeded in the space of football because football brings so many positive moments for everybody,” Adams said. “Everybody loves the game for so many different reasons. And the fact that we’ve allowed this to creep into to the game, it’s just horrible.”

The U.S. plays Uruguay on Monday in its first-round finale. Uruguay leads Group C with six points, followed by the U.S. and Panama with three each and Bolivia with none.

Goalkeeper Matt Turner participated in a portion of training on Saturday and is day to day, the team said. He injured his left leg during the first half Thursday and was replaced by Ethan Horvath at the start of the second half. The team has not revealed more details of the injury or any medical tests.

The U.S. must beat 15-time Copa champion Uruguay to advance if Panama beats Bolivia in a game that will be played at the same time in Orlando, Florida. The U.S. could advance with a tie against Uruguay if Panama and Bolivia also play to a draw and the Americans have a better goal difference than Panama. The Americans would advance with a tie if Bolivia beats Panama.

The U.S. also could advance to the quarterfinals as one of the top two teams in the group even with a loss to Uruguay if Bolivia beats Panama and the Americans have a better goal differential than Panama and Bolivia. The U.S. is plus-one, Panama minus-one and Bolivia minus-seven.

“If we’re looking at it realistically, there’s a chance that this is our last game in the tournament, so there’s no reason to hold anything back,” left back Antonee Robinson said. “If we take care of business on the day and we don’t manage to go through then, yeah, that’s unfortunate and what will be, will be, then we have to look back to the fact that we let ourselves down in the previous game. But I’d like to think that if we win, that we will be going through.”

The U.S. will be without winger Tim Weah, who received a red card in the 18th minute against Panama for punching Roderick Miller on the back of the head.

Defender Sergiño Dest got in a needless dispute with a referee last November, getting a pair of yellow cards for dissent in a 30-second span at Trinidad and Tobago.

“I wasn’t there when Sergiño got the red card — I think it was talked about that we need to control our emotions in these big games,” Adams said. “We can’t let situations get the best of us: a decision, fans, hostile environments, all these types of things that can play against you. But we know from within what we have to do. We can’t be naive. We can’t give people opportunity to make decisions when it goes back to VAR, anything like that that can affect the bigger picture and our goal. So, again, obviously, the last one with Timothy, obviously, we talked to him, we talked about it as a team. We just can’t set ourselves up for failure in those situations.”


AP soccer:

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