In Wednesday's friendly against Mexico, William Yarbrough (pictured) made his second appearance for the USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Pulling on the national team jersey is meaningful to any player, but for United States goalkeeper William Yarbrough, Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Mexico in a friendly was a particularly unique occasion.
The son of American parents, Yarbrough competed against the country of his birth for the first time, entering the game as a half-time substitute for Nick Rimando.
It was an experience the 26-year-old won’t soon forget.
“It was a special game,” Yarbrough told CONCACAF.com. “Mexico deserves the exact same respect as any other team and just getting the win was amazing.”
After spending part of his youth career with Pachuca, Yarbrough had loan spells with Tampico Madero and Titanes de Tulancingo from 2010-2012. He joined Leon in 2012, working his way up the ladder to become a regular and a member of two Liga MX champion sides (2013 Apertura, 2014 Clausura).
During the midweek international, Yarbrough went up against one of his Leon teammates, midfielder Luis Montes.
“You have to change your mentality,” he remarked about facing a player he knows very well. “It works for you and for him. You know what he plays like, what his strengths and weaknesses are, and he knows yours. You have to be extra focused and forget about him being a teammate.”
The encounter was Yarbrough’s second with the U.S. under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He is grateful for the opportunity to play for and learn from the German legend.
“I am blessed and I am honored to receive two call-ups,” Yarbrough expressed. “I’m thankful to coach Klinsmann for the call-ups and want to take advantage of every chance he gives me.”
As for his family, the 6-foot-2 custodian was delighted that some of them were on hand at the Alamodome.
“It had been a while since I had seen them, so I was glad they were able to come and see us win,” Yarbrough finished.