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O'Neill, Gil, Yedlin discuss experience in first USMNT camp

US Men's National team

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Of the 26 players called into U.S. Men’s National Team camp this month, arguably the most surprising call-ups were Luis Gil, DeAndre Yedlin, and Shane O’Neill.

The three members of the 2013 U.S. Under-20 team spent the full season last year with their Major League Soccer clubs and on the back of strong performances for club and country, earned a selection into the senior team camp.

Gil, Yedlin, and O’Neill spoke to U.S. Soccer about their goals at the USMNT camp and how they’ve adjusted to playing against some of the USA’s best players.

Watch the video and comment below (video is after the jump):

58 comments
    • TomG

      Very different players, actually. Tab was more like a Ronaldinho type of guy. He was constantly running at defenders and trying to make the spectacular play. His ball skills were amazing. Gil is more well rounded than Tab at that age, he moves the ball quickly and is more conscientious. He probably has a better shot, too. Different eras, different roles, different personnel also.

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      • Tk

        Yup TG…very different styles. Tab was also fiery and a bit over the top at that age. Very high on himself and a bit dickish. Gil seems the polar opposite of Tab on and off the field.

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  • JayAre

    Every level plays the same style, therefore we have a shorter transition period. I’m so disappointed we didn’t think of this earlier!! Thanks Jurgen

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    • KingGoogleyEye

      bryan: really? The only one that didn’t surprise me was Yedlin. The USMNT desperately needs someone with his (potential) abilities. As for Gil and O’Neill, I would have expected them in the Gold Cup camps, but at 20-yrs old and a crowded midfield roster, I’m surprised to see them in this current camp.

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      • bryan

        absolutely. all three start for good teams and this is January camp. this is the perfect camp for them given they are fully integrated into the starting lineups for their teams. there is literally no downside to bringing them.

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      • RB

        Agreed. But anyway, if anything, Klute is a more surprising call-up than any of these three.

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      • M

        Disagree….there was talk about Klute for a while at the end of the season, because the fullbacks are one of our weakest spots on the field. Definitely not surprised that he gets a look….he could hypothetically (long shot) be a late addition to this WC, but moreso looking at possibly being a big part of next cycle if he continues to progress as he has.

        For me, O’Neill was the biggest surprise out of the 4, but still not a huge surprise. Having all of Harrington/Myers/Sinovic (all 26 or 27 IIRC), in addition to Klute was the biggest surprise of all. Don’t think they have that much upside for the USMNT (in MLS they do), especially considering age & cycles – maybe a Gold Cup or two, and very long shot at a WC, Not having Farrell, Rowe, and Agudelo (understand the last one – originally on roster, but not now bc of contract stuff) was a big surprise to me too.

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      • RB

        I believe this is correct wrt last call-up for each:

        Gil: 2013
        Yedlin: 2013
        O’Neill: 2012
        Klute: 2007

        I also believe that by his own admission, Chris Klute was employed as some sort of airport driver just a couple of years ago.

        For these reasons he seems like a bigger utorise than the other 3.

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      • Gary Page

        I see this as preparing them for the 2018 WC experience. JK thinks and plans long term and as I often write here, his moves need to be seen in this light.

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      • Andrew

        I’m not surprised by the O’Neill callup. Robbie Keane was talking him up for Ireland, and I’m sure Klinsmann would prefer if O’Neill chooses the US.

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    • beto

      Anyone who watches their MLS clubs and their performances at the U20 WC wasnt too surprised. I guess i was a little considering it is a WC year and these guys are prospects for the next cycle & next olympic team but Jürgen loves competetion and urshering in the new generation asap

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  • Dos

    The 6 mm question is what do these specific promising young US players actually think of Michael Bradley coming back to MLS . . . if you could ever be a fly on the wall and really hear what they think . . . .

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    • Mark

      They think if they got offered 6 million a year to stay, they would. Aside from that, Europe.

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    • Dos

      Ha totally missing the nuance of the question – yes most humans await a 6 mm payday, but the question predicates earning your way to it, and in a best case scenario dictating where it happens. MB came home for money. The closer MLS comes to the big 4 major sports in the US, the closer the predicament of the player pool will come as well – where to chase the paycheck? Money begets not just bigger salary, but the underlying will to chase it or take it wherever you can get it. A third rate franchise in a middling league with a low technical standard is where MB took his.

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      • Mark

        Didn’t miss it at all. Until MLS pays their young players significantly more money, the allure of Europe will remain too hard to ignore. As things stand, not only is the level of play theoretically higher, it pays better.

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      • GW

        Mark,

        Would Clint and Mikey have been as good and as famous as they are had they not played in Europe?

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      • broadsthooligans

        I know it’s tired and beat to death, but Landon did it. You don’t know that they wouldn’t.

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      • brent

        OK Dos, yes the MLS has a low technical standard(you should of seen it 20 years ago), there is no doubt about that but what we do have is athleticism and were fast learners. Our league is one of the most athletic in the world, period and its growing very fast. It counts for something even if it is very little. Imagine if the players in the MLS/America were as athletic as the Mexicans. USA would be perpetually stuck in Pre-1990. Thank God we are like Greek Gods compared to them. And the pendulum swings in our favor.

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  • dude1

    O’Neill and Gil are definitely next cycle prospects, but Yedlin had to get a look, given that fullback is a position occupied by two midfielders, and the depth of players with positional familiarity and Yedlin’s upside are limited. His play for Seattle has been impressive, he’s a shoe in for camp cupcake.

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      • Tony in Quakeland

        Yedlin was named to the 2011 All Freshman Team by College Soccer news as a defender. (He was also singled out by Jeff Agoos as the young player who gets him the most excited partly because he is a right back who wants to be a right back and learn the position.)

        He probably converted at some point in his youth career, but that is not the same as a professional in mid-career being converted for spot national team duty.

        As for how well he is learning, check out the MLS .com article on the best young players from earlier in the season. A scout is quoted as saying he let’s Seattle change the way they play by manning his side so well the right mid can tuck inside. Yedlin is goo, he got stronger as the year went on and he has a chance to be seriously good.

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      • Gary Page

        While I agree that Yedlin is the future RB for the US, remember people that he wasn’t the top American picked for that position when the best MLS XI was selected. Can’t remember who it was ahead of him, but Yedlin was like 3rd team, so people need to calm down and stop saying he should go to Brazil as some are wont to do.

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      • Bean

        I’d like to see Kofie Sarkodie called in for a camp soon. He has done well as a RB in MLS.

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    • Eurosnob

      Are you kidding me? He is not anywhere near the WC level yet – he’d get embarassed by the opposition. Do you realize the quality of the players that our full backs will be facing? Who are you planning to field him against? Ronaldo? Reus? Draxler? Schurrle? Even Ghana will give him trouble because of their physicality.

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      • KingGoogleyEye

        Eurosnob: listing the world’s greatest as reason against selecting a given US player for World Cup duty is and has always been a feeble-minded argument.

        (Here’s hoping you forgot to add sarcasm punctuation.)

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      • Eurosnob

        No sarcasm. Defense is not a place to experiment at the WC with – every mistake is likely to be punished by the opposition of this quality. I did not simply list the world’s greatest players (no mention of Messi, Neymar, Suarez, for example) – I simply listed the players that (barring an injury or disqualification) our full backs (Yedlin’s position) WILL face in Brazil. If Deshorn Brown had a field day against Yedlin not that long ago, Ronaldo and Reus might threaten Just Fontaine’s record.

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      • KingGoogleyEye

        Yes yes, I realized that you didn’t “simply list [any of] the world’s greatest players.” You listed the greatest threats that the US will face; that specificity doesn’t do anything to correct the flawed premise of your argument.

        The opposition in the World Cup must always be assumed to be high enough caliber that one always plans to brings the best players possible. Asking—or listing—who we will face is irrelevant; we bring the best players we have. Period.

        If Yedlin is deemed to be the very best right back we have and yet still not adequate to control the opposing forwards on our schedule, then we still bring Yedlin. We don’t say, “Yedlin is our best but we should bring someone else.” That’s nonsense. You base your roster off of who you have, not who you will face.

        If this were the US Open Cup and we were talking about the first round against USL teams, then fine: base rosters on who you will face—but then it’s only to see how *weak* you can safely go (thus, still not the rubric you’re using).

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      • Eurosnob

        If Yedlin is our the best right back at the moment, we are in trouble. Fortunately for the USMNT, he is not. In four years, he could improve enough to merit a selection, but he is not ready now.

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  • Del Griffin

    “It was great to get hugged by Kyle Beckerman, btw, do you know how to get patchouli stench out of my clothes?”

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  • usaalltheway

    Positive energy all around. Seems good.

    Now, is this Yedlin kid the real deal? Will we be seeing more of him in the future for the USMNT?

    About how Gil? Seems like he is the real deal and we will see more of him.

    Thoughts?

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    • Bean

      Yedlin has incredible pace, and seems pretty intelligent, so there’s potential.

      Gil has vision, and is good on ball. I like what I’ve seen of Gil.

      Players coming up out of the academies seem to be better technically than what I was used to seeing.

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      • usaalltheway

        So, you think both are the real deal then?

        I hope so because since Dolo has been out that RB spot needs a new resident. I think Cameron is the man of the job but JK hasn’t shown interest. Myabe Yedlin can fill that spot in the coming years, just not this World Cup.

        You think either have any chance of going to Brazil?

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      • Bean

        I think with young players like Yedlin, and Sarkodie, The RB position is in decent hands for USMNT.

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      • TomG

        Unlikely. They’d really have to have huge years. You never know, though. Injuries or bad form could always open a hole for them to jump in.

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      • Eurosnob

        Agree on Gil. Agree on Yedlin’s pace. Disagree on Yedlin’s soccer IQ.

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      • Mark

        Then you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, or just don’t pay attention. From Porter to Sigi to Ramos, every single one has remarked that he has a high soccer IQ.

        But he’s black and fast, so that can’t be, right?

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      • bryan

        entitled to your opinion, but…

        “are technically gifted and have a high soccer IQ” – Porter/Akron (also referring to Trapp and Serna)

        “tactical (positioning, soccer IQ, etc.)” – category for MLS’ Top 24 Under 24. Yedlin ranked #3.

        “His speed, his ability to go forward, which is what we like, his ability to get back on defense quickly and to play the game with urgency, which is the way we like to play. He was one of those pieces that we didn’t have to speak to too much as far as trying to fit him into our roster.” – Ramos on Yedlin, essentially saying high soccer IQ.

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    • B

      I’m an RSL supporter, so I’ve been watching Gil for a few years now. The kid has a ton of potential, and he has some qualities that aren’t common in the USMNT player pool. He has the ability to play in a playmaker role, he’s comfortable on the ball, he’s not afraid to take people on, and his passing has gotten very sharp in the last year or so. He’s also really developed a nose for goal, and he’s become pretty skilled at ghosting in behind backlines. The biggest thing is that he can be inconsistent, but that’s to be expected of a 20 year old. If he can stay in a good club spot where he’s getting consistent minutes, he could be the backbone of the USMNT in the future.

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      • usaalltheway

        Thanks man!

        That is great information. I will have to make more of an effort to watch Real Salt Lake this season.

        Still not happy you beat my Timbers but for the sake of the USMNT I can overlook it. 😉

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      • Oog

        I think that Gil has been a horrible passer over the last year. I can’t find his pass stats right now, but it seems like I remember them being quite a bit lower than what I would expect from his position. I think he still has a lot of growing to do, and in the right system I think he will excel.

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      • TomG

        RSL is the most technical system in MLS. He played mostly out wide last season. You’re generally not going to accumulate great passing stats out wide. Your job out there is to take more risks.

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  • The Other Jeff

    Yedlin talked about going to Hannover to train with Dolo during the break. Anyone know if that actually happened?

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    • Mark

      I think I read somewhere that that was the plan originally, then the USMNT call up came so that got put on hold.

      Like

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