A week in Turkey can bring about many experiences that will sit with a visitor for a lifetime or more.
DeAndre Yedlin can attest to that after playing with the U.S. U-20 National Team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup there last week. However, his return to Seattle came sooner than he hoped as the U.S. went just 0-2-1 in the Group Stage, missing out on the Round of 16 after finishing fourth in a group that included Spain, France and Ghana.
He came back with a shoulder wrapped in ice after a mild shoulder separation has him questionable for Wednesday night’s match against DC United, but his experience in the U-20 World Cup have him primed to get back to action as soon as he can.
“It was very good. Obviously we didn’t go as far as we would have liked to, but just to see the level where those players are at and see where I need to get to one day play in Europe was good,” said Yedlin, who will celebrate his 20th birthday next week. “It was a great experience and one that I’ll never forget.”
Yedlin quickly climbed his way into the U.S. squad with his standout play with Sounders FC in the first half of his rookie season. He impressed in training camps with Tab Ramos and the U-20s and was a key component to their plans for the World Cup.
However, the U.S. ran into a buzzsaw in Spain in their opening match. While the 4-1 result was not what the U.S. was hoping for, the positive that Yedlin was able to take away from the game was going against Barcelona’s Gerard Deulofeu.
“All those players are very technical. That makes it a handful, but it’s good for me because I have to learn how to play against players like that,” Yedlin said.
In total, the Seattle right back played 234 minutes in the World Cup and added another appearance in a tune-up friendly against Portugal. His play drew the praise of Ramos and also Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid.
“I thought he acquitted himself very well. His ability to get forward got shown. He was able to display his speed,” Schmid said. “There are still mistakes sometimes that happen, but I thought DeAndre played well.”
Yedlin returned to Seattle over the weekend and trained with Sounders FC on Monday. His availability for Wednesday’s match against DC United will be assessed on Tuesday. He has played in 12 of 14 regular season matches for Seattle.