Jordan Adebayo-Smith Discusses Differences Between England and United States, Joining Revs II, and Upcoming 2023 MLS Next Pro Season
The 22-year-old is hoping to be the top scorer in the league in 2023
Even at just 22 years old, Jordan Adebayo-Smith brings a wealth of experience to the New England Revolution II roster.
The striker was born in California but started his professional career in England where he grew up. Adebayo-Smith went on various loan stints to lower-league sides while being contracted by Lincoln City Football Club, playing for the likes of Boston United and Sutton United.
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Then in 2021, Adebayo-Smith signed with the Tampa Bay Rowdies where he would begin his professional career in the United States. In his debut season, he tallied four goals and one assist in 25 games played.
With experience in England and the States, Adebayo-Smith told The Blazing Musket that the physicality is ramped up in the U.S.
“I feel as if England’s a lot more technical but here is more technical and physical, it’s like a mixture here but I’ve enjoyed both,” he said. I’m learning, I’m adapting to how it is and hoping that I can improve as a player.
In 2022, the striker stayed in the USL Championship but was loaned to New York Red Bulls II where he recorded seven goals and three assists in 33 total appearances.
Adebayo-Smith praised the entire Red Bulls organization for how they train young players.
“The whole Red Bull organization is a good organization,” the striker said. “They help teach young players. Their system is mainly focused on that system only so as a player, you have to adapt to understand the roles you have in the team.
While having praise for the organization, Adebayo-Smith admitted that it was tough with NYRBII only winning three games in 34 games played last season.
“But in terms of learning a new system, a new way of playing, definitely has helped,” he stated.
Now in New England, Adebayo-Smith is getting used to a new system and a new coach. Preseason has been an opportunity for Adebayo-Smith to get to know Clint Peay and build a relationship with the head coach.
The 22-year-old has enjoyed playing for Peay who has been head coach of Revolution II since its inaugural season in 2020.
“Working with the coaches here are great, especially Clint.” Adebayo-Smith said. “They don’t really tell you you’re wrong. They almost always try to give you a different alternative to your thinking. So that’s really beneficial because you can add that to your game so you’re not just really narrow minded, you got different options that you like to take in games.”
While it took until 2023 for the striker to come to New England, he almost ended up in New England prior to his loan to NYRB II. After the loan, Adebayo-Smith was informed by Tampa Bay of a potential deal to New England.
Adebayo-Smith’s career in New England has had a good start as he scored four goals in preseason. That scoring will be welcomed by a Revs II team that has struggled for scoring on multiple occasions.
As a striker, Adebayo-Smith recognized his job is to score but also added that it is fun to see the ball hit the back of the net.
“Scoring is always fun,” he said. “It’s your job really. I’m just using preseason to learn my teammates tendencies, what generally people like to do in the pitch. What will get me success when I’m playing with everyone on the pitch or just linking up with each other and just learning what everyone likes to do really.
The 22-year-old has also used the time leading up to the regular season to get used to his new home. He attended the home opener for the first team against the Houston Dynamo and has been able to play a few friendlies on the Gillette Stadium turf.
Adebayo-Smith is a big fan of the stadium as well as all the Revolution facilities.
“It’s a beautiful stadium and it’s a very big pitch so you get to show your talent on the pitch, especially the way we like to play. We like to play fast, play with the ball, keep the ball, and just show everyone what we can do really.”
In his first season with Revolution II, Adebayo-Smith has set some high goals for himself. He wants to score 10-15 goals and try to lead MLS NEXT Pro in goals and assists.
“Obviously I always set goals to score 10-15 goals a season but just improving on last year,” the striker said. “Always every year trying to get better and improving my technical ability. Even little things like getting faster in the gym, working in the gym getting stronger. So just little things but in terms of like goals and assists, definitely trying to be top of the league.”
With how well he has performed in preseason, the 22-year-old seems destined for a quality debut season. If he is lighting up MLS NEXT Pro, Adebayo-Smith will likely capture the attention of Bruce Arena and could make his way to MLS in the near future.
But for now, Adebayo-Smith will be waiting for March 26th as Revs II will begin the 2023 season with a matchup against Atlanta United II. Don’t be surprised if the 22-year-old finds the back of the net in that game.