— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) April 22, 2013
Sounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin tweeted this morning that he’s off to join the U.S. U-20s for a training camp (and from the look of it, above, he just barely made the flight).
We’d known for a few weeks that the 19-year-old Seattle native had been invited, and in camp he’ll have the chance to earn a spot on the U.S. squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup from June 21 to July 13 in Turkey.
Reporters had chatted with Yedlin about the camp invite a few weeks ago, and he said making that World Cup team has been a goal for a long time.
“I think every player dreams of playing in a World Cup, whether it be the U-20s, U-17s, the full team,” he said. “It’s definitely been a goal of mine. If that opportunity happens for me, then it’ll be exciting.”
Yedlin said he hadn’t been involved with the U-20s since a camp call-up after his freshman year at Akron. He wasn’t able to watch much of the CONCACAF U-20s championships — when the U.S. clinched a World Cup berth without him — but he knows plenty of players on the squad, including ex-Zips teammate Will Trapp.
A strong start to the MLS season with the Sounders, Yedlin hoped, would lead to national team opportunities. And several of the U-20 players, in fact, have been making contributions for their clubs (e.g. Jose Villareal, Shane O’Neill, Luis Gil, Jack McBean).
“You didn’t see this 10 years ago,” Yedlin said. “American soccer is definitely making progress and the youth players are definitely contributing a lot more than people thought they would. So it’s definitely good for American soccer, and I think we’ll definitely start to get noticed more on an international scale.”
The U.S. are grouped with Spain, France and Ghana — an incredibly difficult draw — and the first game is June 21.
UPDATE 8:58 a.m. — It appears Jordan Morris, a standout forward on the Sounders’ U-18 academy team, has also been called into the U.S. U-20 camp, according to a tweet from academy coach Sean Henderson.