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DeAndre Yedlin is back in USMNT fold after starting new chapter in Turkey

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DeAndre Yedlin remains one of the veteran players among the current U.S. Men’s National Team squad and after starting a new chapter in his club career, the right back is aiming to get back on track at the international level.

Yedlin will be looking to make his first USMNT appearance since November 2019 after being included for this weekend’s friendly at Switzerland and June’s conclusion of the Concacaf Nations League.

The Galatasaray defender is coming off his first five months with the Turkish Super Lig giants, who finished second in the league title race on goal differential. Yedlin’s transfer from Newcastle to Galatasaray figured to have the potential for some difficulty adapting to a new league, but the 27-year-old made a smooth transition to his new home.

“There’s big cultural things, going to a completely different part of the world,” Yedlin said in a conference call Wednesday. “I really enjoyed that aspect of it. I think that was one of the things that kind of drove me to leave England was just to see a different culture and kind of get out of my comfort zone again.

“As far as football wise, I was actually quite surprised by Turkey because you have some very good players, they’re very technical players, very physical.”

Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos

Yedlin made the move to Turkey in January after falling out of favor at Newcastle United, and made a smooth transition for Galatasaray. Yedlin played in 12 matches for the Turkish club, scoring one goal and registering one assist in league play.

Now after a long absence from international action, Yedlin returns to the USMNT fold hoping to stake his claim to the starting right back spot in Gregg Berhalter’s squad, a position he held for a good part of the last World Cup qualifying cycle. Reggie Cannon is the projected starter, with Sergiño Dest also capable of playing there when he’s not the first-choice left back, but Yedlin has the experience and quality to make.

“Sergino kind of came up with a younger generation so I think those guys have their own little group,” Yedlin said when asked about the other fullbacks in the squad. “He’s a great player, he can play right or left and just technically he’s so gifted.

“For me, it’s its really just to come in, do the best that I can do and try to push him to be the best that he can be, and the same for him to push me to be the best that I can be. And then you also have Reggie Cannon, Bryan Reynolds, and Antonee Robinson, all great young players. As defenders it’s great to see us continue to be put on the map.”

Yedlin was once in the shoes of his younger USMNT teammates, making his name in Europe and getting the early chances to impress in one of the world’s biggest leagues. The defender had to fight for Premier League survival and EFL Championship promotion, taking in both the good times and the bad to get to where he is now.

While many more young players continue to come through the ranks in Europe, Yedlin remains a viable option in the current USMNT player pool heading into a busy stretch that includes World Cup Qualifying starting in September. He has yet to establish himself as a starter under Berhalter, but he has arrived in camp in form and feeling confident.

“That’s obviously what we’re in this profession for is to play,” Yedlin said. So any time you’re not playing it can be a bit of a struggle, especially mentally. Just being able to get back playing, getting my form back, getting my confidence back  has been huge. It’s great to be here with these guys. And it’s amazing to see the talent that’s here.

“The ages of some of these players is incredible,” Yedlin said. ” I think we’re entering some sort of golden era for U.S. Soccer. So it’s really exciting to be involved in it and then watching it also. It’s great to see the steps that are being made, and you have to give kudos to Gregg and the staff for really putting this team together because they’ve done a great job.”

The USMNT will not only be looking forward to the upcoming friendly against Switzerland, but also for the Nations League semifinal showdown against Honduras on June 3rd. It will be the first competitive match for the USMNT since November 2019, as the Americans look to reach the tournament final and play either Mexico or Costa Rica.

Yedlin, like many of the current USMNT players, has yet to lift a trophy at the senior international level despite winning a trio of trophies at club level between the Seattle Sounders and Newcastle United. With competitive matches on the horizon, the motivation to win the Nations League remains at the forefront of the players in the squad.

“I think there can be a bit more motivation now you’re fighting for a trophy and you’re playing for a trophy,” Yedlin said. “I think a lot of people say you shouldn’t be more motivated if you are playing for a trophy. A game is a game, but there is more to play for and more to be motivated about when there’s a trophy on the line.”

Comments

  1. I always thought Yedlin was good, with all the physicals
    tools, speed and played hard as nails. He just never got better at decision making imho. Haven’t seen him play since Spurs so glad he’s getting a look and we can see where he’s at.

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  2. career vicissitudes, up and down supposed form, shouldn’t matter as much as talent and your NT track record. he and a few other veterans, it’s like they play bad, they go into the wilderness, they come back. i’m at a loss how the “play bad then pastured” part isn’t held against them more in analyzing whether to go around in more circles. eg Ream and Robinson as well.

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    • in plain english, how many times does he get to be backdoored on the blind side before we wake up and learn seattle vs newcastle vs turkey isn’t the issue. the next place is always supposed to fix it.

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      • you don’t understand backdoored on the blindside? do you actually play soccer?

        there are at least 3 times i can remember where we either lost or tied a game where he went to sleep on the weak side and his man ran behind him for a far post goal. newcastle was supposed to fix it, they benched him and sent him on his way, and people spin his new job in turkey like his “fix.” how many times do you have to need a “fix” that your new team “may provide” before we just say you have a flaw in your game?

    • Current form shouldn’t be the ONLY consideration but……….. there isn’t a manager on the planet for which it isn’t an important consideration. It’s the nature of competition at a very high level. What have you dome for me lately. There have been times with our national team in the past where this hasn’t necessarily been the case because there were few viable options. I’d say Mr. IV- get used to it- as talent, depth, competition increases- there will likely be even more emphasis on current form- not less.

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      • sorry but the “form” game is what gives you omar gonzalez or recycling bad backs. you take a player with a clear recent track record for the NT and you convince yourself based on a club streak they are better. 99% of the time it’s going to be the same exact player coming back. talent doesn’t change. players don’t generally change. i might buy it if he was a teenager still growing and learning. i don’t buy it in their mid 20s. mid 20s you are what you are, give or take an injury. only naive people think that changes because they sign a legal sheet of paper with a new team.

      • “dempsey” is still dempsey no matter how spurs treats him. “pulisic” is still pulisic even if he becomes sancho’s backup. it all gets a bit silly. IMO it’s a “flex” by people who watch too much TV soccer. “don’t you know that he had ___ goals in recent games?” yeah, i also remember him being a bumbling mess that cost us goals last cap he had.

        i am more open to club form for youth players with no cap histories, because we have little else to work from. all we can do is scout. but for players with a NT history you have performance to answer for and if you have flaws in your game that cost the team you should be pastured until they are fixed. regardless of transfers or even a run of club games. when on defense, do you notice players running behind you or not? if still not, i don’t care if some turkish team eagerly signed you up — and fwiw that’s a step down from where he was.

    • IV,you seem to have a different take on Green’s club form and its up and down nature. In his early stints with the USMNT, he did show he could dribble, that he had quick feet and he bundled in a goal in the WC, but was prone to bad decision-making, inability (or disinterest) to help defensively But after that not so much positive. Then in his mid 20s, he improved on his weaknesses; by all accounts, he now looks for teammates and tracks back to help on defense effectively and has become an integral part of a team. Are you suggesting Yedlin should not be given the same chance for redemption as Green?

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      • this is not complicated. green gets me back tied with ghana and ahead of france. yedlin blows my lead on peru. it should then not matter if people esteem EPL over where Green is. and particular if green or weah are to sub for us, i don’t think it matters if they start in club or do well there — it matters what their NT history is. fwiw yedlin’s last goal or assist was 4 years ago. his offsetting offensive contribution is overrated.

        personally i would rather give richards or reynolds a first chance than yedlin a fifth chance. yedlin IMO it’s too obvious what will happen.

        last point — i don’t believe in second chances for the heck of it, or based on form, i believe if they had a bug it has to be fixed to bring them back. otherwise you’re setting yourself up for an “omar.”

      • IV, I remain confused as to why you seem to think it is a grand idea to call in Greene after he addressed some shortcomings in his game, but think that Yedlin should not be offered the same chance after his defensive mistakes have reportedly been addressed.

        Is this just a hobby horse for you as you continue to deride GB call-ups and tactics?

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