Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DeAndre Yedlin can be the future of United States defending

It's no secret the state of the United States National Team defense is in limbo. Despite some good showings against Costa Rica and Mexico, there is no set back line for Jurgen Klinsmann's side, and it just seems to be who is available at the time that will start in the back for the National Team and the fact that the old guard of the USMNT defense is starting to look, well, old doesn't help.

Enter DeAndre Yedlin, the rookie defender for the Seattle Sounders. Yedlin burst onto the scene during the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, scoring his first competitive goal as a professional in a 3-1 win over heavily favored Tigres. But followers of United States promising youth will know him for his time spent at the University of Akron and during his time in the Seattle Sounders Youth Squad.

Yedlin brings lots to the table in terms of on field abilities and potential. Only 19 years old it is amazing that Yedlin has solidified his spot in the Sounders starting XI, but it's not surprising. In his final season at the youth level in 2012 he was named to the All-PDL First XI. Yedlin possesses a great top speed, and has shown he an get up the field to attack and be back on defense in time to not have to worry about him playing out of position.

There are still questions surrounding Yedlin, and those are justified by his play. There are times when he pushes up when he should maybe stay back, and times when he tries to do a little too much with the ball at his feet than most would like to see a full back do. But one thing is for certain, the kid has game. Having been recently called up to train with the United States U20 squad at their upcoming camp.

Yedlin is a step in the right direction for the United States and MLS, a homegrown player that is showing his quality now, and his future potential. Yedlin seems set to join an emerging group of young American players that can potentially or have already joined the senior squad. He might not play a flashy attacking position, but Yedlin is a prospect that any fan of United States soccer will want to keep an eye on now, and for years to come.

What do you think? Will Yedlin break into the senior squad and provide a boost to the defense? What other young players should be on the radar?

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