USA’s Yedlin progresses, ready to take next step

The USA's DeAndre Yedlin (white jersey) in 2014 FIFA World Cup, round of 16 action against Belgium. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Kansas – DeAndre Yedlin has a big future with the United States.

The right-sided player, who turned 22-years-old on July 9 -- the day before the Americans defeated Haiti, 1-0, in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup -- is very much in head coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s current plans as well.

“We see what role he can play with our national team, a very positive one, a role where he can surprise or damage a lot of opponents because of his speed, because of the way he’s going to work things out,” the German said. “He still needs to learn a lot and we talked about that. That’s just normal. He’s open to listening. He’s open to take that learning curve.”

Yedlin made his international nearly 18 months ago in a friendly against Korea Republic and played an important role in the FIFA World Cup last summer. He is now getting his first taste of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, earning the start in a 2-1 win over Honduras in both teams’ opening Group A game.

“It’s good. It was a battle. Nobody thought it would be a pretty game. It’s always tough against CONCACAF teams,” Yedlin said. “I think it’s teams people underestimate that can hurt you. Honduras showed they’re a great team, but we fought and luckily came out on top.”

While Yedlin has established himself on the international stage, Klinsmann said a key part of Yedlin’s development as a player will be sorting out a regular spot with his club team. The former Seattle Sounders standout made his debut for Tottenham Hotspur in a loss to Aston Villa on April 11, but he struggled to get regular first-team minutes in his first year with the English Premier League side.

“This is the biggest challenge for him is getting on the field for his club,” Klinsmann remarked. “This is something we can’t solve and that is purely up to his club.”

Yedlin believes there is no better preparation for the upcoming preseason with Tottenham than competing in the Gold Cup.

“It’s huge,” Yedlin said. “It’s big for my confidence and it will be great to be in a flow heading back to Tottenham or wherever I may be heading back to.”

NOTES: Yedlin has one career Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League goal, scoring for the Seattle Sounders in a 3-1 quarterfinal win over Mexico’s Tigres on March 12, 2013.