sport news Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie are the heartbeat of US soccer and core of ... trends now
Make no mistake about it, Leeds are America's Premier League team. And the nickname 'Leeds United States of America' grew stronger on Monday night, when Weston McKennie completed his loan move from Juventus.
There, he was greeted by Tyler Adams - the United States captain, teammate and his friend from his teenage years. Adams crept up on McKennie while he was giving his first interview as a Leeds player and then took on the journalistic duties himself.
'He had nothing to do with my decision!' McKennie joked about Adams, moments after putting pen to paper to officially become a Leeds player.
He continued: 'You know how it is when we play. We like bumpin' atmospheres. But obviously knowing there's a big American support network here - Jesse's here, you, Brendan (Aaronson) - having played with on the national team, it was an easy decision.'
Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams have reunited at Premier League team Leeds
They have been friends since 14 - here, they are pictured together at an Under 17 USA camp in Florida as teenagers, which Adams posted on social media after McKennie joined Leeds
Adams surprised McKennie as he gave his first Leeds interview after joining from Juventus
It's an interview littered with laughs and cheeky smirks between the two as Adams asked the questions and the jokes carried over to social media, where Adams posted a throwback picture from a United States Under 17 training camp in Florida.
They first met when they were 14 and that snap is one of the first of them together. McKennie was actually shorter than Adams at the time, but now stands at six feet and is three inches taller.
'That photo came up and I just lost it,' Adams said of the image back in 2018. 'Wes hadn't hit his growth spurt yet, not even close to it.'
Their story is remarkable - they even both made their USA debuts together in November 2017 against Portugal. It ended as a 1-1 tie and McKennie scored for the US.
But the pair are in England to work and McKennie must start at top speed. Leeds are 15th in the Premier League standings, only a point above the relegation zone and play at Nottingham Forest - another team fighting to stay in the league - next in a must-win game on Sunday.
'The 8 role is the position I like to play, running box-to-box, try to create plays and get back defensively,' McKennie told Adams. 'I like to have the freedom to attack and defend.'
Both McKennie and Adams impressed in midfield for the United States at the World Cuo
Adams is the USA captain, while McKennie has established himself as a key man in the team
USA reached the last-16 of the World Cup in Qatar before they were beaten 3-1 by Holland
Speaking to ESPN in 2018 without the gaze of Adams to distract him, McKennie opened up in more depth as to how the duo compliment each other.
'I think we're both eager to press,' McKennie said. 'We both like pressing and we both have a good set of lungs - we can definitely run for a while. I think that's one of the things we talk about when we do talk about going into games and game plans.
'We know we like to press, we know what kind of style we like to play. We're normally good together on the field. Whenever one guy goes up, the other has the other guy's back. I think we