Charlie Adams is vocal at practice.
Flying up and down the training pitch, the Real Monarchs midfielder’s voice can be heard above other players on the roster. Calling out commands, setting up the defense, preparing an attack. Adams seems at home on the field.
That shouldn’t be a surprise, once you get to know his history.
Adams, who will turn 23 in May, has been around soccer his entire life. It’s in his blood.
“My dad used to play professionally for a few years, then semi-professionally,” Adams said. His older brother, his only sibling, also plays. “My brother plays back in England. He played professionally, he played in Portugal, he played in Cyprus, he’s played throughout English leagues, he’s playing now back in England. We used to play together growing up every single day.”
Adams grew up in London, with his father playing the role of coach on the weekends. “He was my coach growing up for my Sunday league team.” Though the younger Adams was alive while his dad was playing, he doesn’t remember much of his father’s career. “The only game I remember him playing, he took a penalty, and I was in the stand opposite the penalty, and he skied it over the bar.”
But from a young age, Adams showed promise on the field.
Though Adams and his father both happened to play professionally for Barnet in London, their careers don’t share much resemblance beyond that. The Monarchs signal caller began his career in London playing for Brentford F.C. when he was 13, and signed his first professional contract with the club at 17 years-old. Adams played with Barnet and Stevenage on loan in 2014, before making his way to Louisville City for his first stint in the USL. Adams returned to Stevenage after one season with Louisville, before signing with the Monarchs in the fall of 2016 and now he is the club’s leader in assists with three through the first four matches.
“My mom worked in HR for a company in London, my dad was playing and then he stopped playing because he needed to help support our family. He joined the metropolitan police.” As it happens, the metropolitan police have their own soccer club. “The Met Police scouted him, they said look, come be a police officer for a few hours a day, and you play football for the rest. And they pay you a living wage, and you miss loads of time off work.”
When he’s not suited up for the Monarchs, you won’t find Adams donning a badge and nightstick in Salt Lake City, he likes to lead a quiet life in Utah. The midfielder says he’s able to “live a simple life, which is kind of cool, pretty slow, I do enjoy that, there’s not many distractions, that’s good for a footballer.” If you do see Adams out and about, you’ll likely find him with Monarchs forward Chandler Hoffman, or Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnák, who he refers to as his closest “lads” in the organization.
But don’t be surprised if you don’t see Adams floating around town, he admits he lives “a pretty boring life.” Perhaps his favorite pastime is studying the game of soccer itself. Press Adams on the issue, and the well-spoken 22 year-old quickly transforms into a historian of the game.
“People think I’m weird. I sit at home, I’ll just watch tactical analysis of Manchester City, and Pep Guardiola, watch his press conferences,” Adams laughs. “I love learning new things, I’m such a beginner in this game, especially mentally, so much of the game is played in the head, and to actually think of what the great managers like Johan Cruyff, Pep Guardiola, José Mourinho, to think how they come up with new philosophies, new ways of playing, it’s just amazing to me.”
For context, Cruyff took over FC Barcelona in 1988, 6 years before Adams was born. He coached his final game with the club in 1996, just weeks after Adams turned 2.
Back to Adams’ father.
Though the Monarchs midfielder is unlikely to carry a police badge like his dad before him, that doesn’t mean he won’t seek out a badge of a different kind. “I need to get my coaching badge, I’ve already got one in England, but I think I might do them out here. I definitely want to coach.”
With Adams’ love of studying the game, don’t be surprised to one day see him on the sideline coaching up the next generation of young professionals.
Just like his father.