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July 1, 2013 at 3:19 PM

DeAndre Yedlin: The U-20 World Cup ‘was a great experience & one that I’ll never forget.’

yedlin shoulderSounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin practiced for the first time Monday since returning from the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The 19-year-old Seattle native started all three games for the U.S., which was eliminated after going 0-2-1 against Spain, France and Ghana.

Yedlin separated his shoulder in the Ghana game — notice the ice pack in the picture — and felt a little sore after practice, coach Sigi Schmid said.

In a live chat Monday, Schmid said Yedlin’s status for Wednesday’s game versus D.C. United is “probable, we have to see how he feels tomorrow. … He’ll be OK for the weekend, but it takes a little bit of time. We’re glad it wasn’t a severe shoulder injury.”

And here is a transcript of Yedlin’s interview with reporters:

*     *     *

(Did Eddie Johnson consult you before changing his hair?) “(laughs) … No, he didn’t. I was actually pretty surprised. I was looking at my phone in Turkey on Instagram and just saw it. It’s pretty surprising, but I like it. It’s a good change.”

(How was the experience in Turkey for the U.S. U-20 World Cup?) “It was very good. Obviously we didn’t go as far as we would’ve liked to, but just to see the level that those players are at and see where I need to get to to hopefully one day play in Europe is great. It’s good to get it firsthand. It was a great experience and one that I’ll never forget.”

(What was it like playing the next generation of world-class stars and did it seem much different than playing here?) “Those players obviously are in a very different environment than this. Their training is very technical. All those players are very technical. They were definitely a handful, especially (Gerard) Deulofeu from Spain, because he’s fast — probably the fastest player I’ve ever played against — and he’s very technical. It just makes it a handful, but it’s good for me, because I have to learn how to play against players like that. It was good.”

(What was it like putting on the U.S. jersey in the tournament like that?) “It was pretty amazing. It didn’t really hit me until we were out in the huddle in the first game, and you have all the Turkish people there that want us to beat Spain, so they’re chanting: ‘U-S-A! U-S-A!’ It was a pretty amazing humbling experience.”

(How did the shoulder injury happen and how are you?) “The first play I kind of got clipped from behind and I fell. I kind of fell on it. Then, I didn’t really know what happened to it. It felt a little irritated, but the next play I tried to jump and I extended it a little bit too far, and I guess it’s a separation. But it’s feeling pretty good. We’ll see about Wednesday. Just take it day by day and see how it feels.”

(You mentioned wanting to play in Europe, did you think about being on the stage in front of those teams?) “You try not to think about that too much, because that can get to your head a little bit. You’re just trying to play every game, take it game by game, and hopefully perform well enough that teams over there will notice you.”

(Do you have an idea in your head when you’d like to be playing in Europe?) “No. I mean obviously there are different circumstances, but whenever the opportunity and whenever I feel that I’m ready and the coaches feel that I’m ready, then I think it’d be a good time to jump.”

(Was James Riley, who comes to town this week, someone you watched as a fan in those early seasons?) “Yeah, of course. James Riley, he’s a great player, lot of stamina, which is part of my game, too. I kind of model my game after that, because you can work hard every time. If you don’t have anything else, hard work will get you places. So he’s a great player and he’s fun to watch.”

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