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April 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

A stop and chat with DeAndre Yedlin after his return from U.S. U-20 camp

Photo credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times

Photo credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times

Sounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin was back in training with the team Monday. The 19-year-old had spent last week with the U.S. U-20 national team for a camp in California to build up to this summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Yedlin spoke with reporters after a light day of work Monday (his flight arrived Sunday night) and here is the transcript:

*     *     *

(How was the experience?) “It was good. It’s definitely good to be back in the rotation and see all the guys that you missed from the last camps, and see former teammates. It was just good to get back in the lineup and represent your country. It’s a good feeling.”

(When was the last time you were called in?) “I think it was December (2011). It was right after my freshman season of college.”

(Did it feel different? Did you feel you were a more important part of group?) “Yeah, definitely. I got thrown it right with what would be called the first team, I guess, so it was definitely a good feeling. I felt a lot more confident going into it. I was a lot more prepared in general.”

(Any nerves still?) “Definitely a little bit. I think anybody going into a camp like that would have some nerves. But they’re good nerves. If you’re not nervous at all, there’s something wrong.”

(What is the feeling like putting on a USA jersey?) “It’s pretty incredible actually. It’s a feeling that not many people get to feel. It’s definitely special and an honor; it’s amazing to go out and be able to represent your country.”

(Does it feel different having been out of the picture and having to work your way back in?) “Yeah, definitely. It’s hard work to get back into it, especially after you don’t have a very good camp and the coach is kind of skeptical of you. So to get back into it was great for me. Hopefully I can carry that into the World Cup.”

(Did you feel you didn’t have a good camp before?) “I mean I thought it was OK, but I wasn’t as sharp as I could’ve been. I wasn’t as prepared and wasn’t as fit as I could’ve been. Definitely coming into this camp, I was a lot more prepared and felt a lot more ready.”

(Did you get any takeaways from the staff going forward?) “Not really. (Coach Tab Ramos) basically said that that pool right there plus a couple other players who play overseas would be the pool that they select for the World Cup. So I mean just to even make it that far is amazing. Hoping for the best, cross my fingers and see if I can get to Turkey.”
(How has your short time as professional prepared you?) “It’s prepared me a ton. Playing with these players, a lot of these players have had this experience before having been to a youth World Cup or a World Cup, so they’ve talked to me about it — what the experience is like. It’s definitely helped me.”

(Did you get a timeline for things leading into the World Cup like the tournament they’re going to have beforehand?) “They leave for that (pre-World Cup tournament) I think May 25th, so I think the roster comes out for that a week before maybe. But obviously some of the players that will be in the World Cup won’t be at that, because they can’t get released playing for first teams and stuff like that. So we’ll see.”

(How did Sounders U-18 academy forward Jordan Morris do in camp?) “He did very well. I was proud of him. That’s a story right there — he’s coming from the first year in the academy, has a breakout season, does well at a U-20 camp. He did very well.”
(Did you get matched up against Morris at times?) “Yeah. He’s a tough kid to play against. He’s huge. He’s fast. Once he gets in front of you, it’s impossible to get back around him. He’s definitely a key player, and I think he could be a key player for that team.”

(Did you get any pointers from U.S. U-20 assistant coach Kasey Keller?) “He actually was telling me a lot of stuff. The main thing was just to make sure I know I’m a defender first and do my defensive responsibilities, and then I can get forward after that.”

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