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July 15, 2013 at 4:35 PM

A stop and chat with All-Star DeAndre Yedlin: ‘It’s kind of an amazing feeling.’

yedlin asgSounders FC’s DeAndre Yedlin was named to the MLS All-Star Team on Monday as part of the league’s 20-man gameday roster. He spoke with reporters after the announcement, and here is a transcript:

*     *     *

(On being named to the All-Star Team…) “It’s a pretty big honor and I’m excited.”

(When did you hear?) “Just checked on Twitter, and then Sigi had a talk with me. He just told me congratulations. It’s kind of an amazing feeling, to be honest.”

(So not expected?) “Not expected. I mean I knew I was a nominee or whatever, but being in my first year here and being thought that highly of, it’s great. It’s good for me.”

(As a young player, how are you handling all the success and accolades you’ve received this season?) “You just got to keep a level head. I know myself that there’s still a lot to work on to improve my game. I’ve just got to keep pushing at it every day in training, keep improving myself and obviously take this, use it for my confidence, but keep my highs low and my lows high.”

(How much do you know about AS Roma?) “Not much other than playing them in FIFA. That’s pretty much it.”

(You going to play against them more?) “Yeah, I guess I will be. It’s a pretty interesting way to analyze a team. Whatever works.”

(What game system will you use?) “(laughs) I’m using an X-box.”

(Is it different being on a team that doesn’t dominate every game like you had at Akron and maybe the U-23s?) “Yeah, it’s very different, but the thing that I learned pretty fast here is when you have a bad streak here, you’ve got to stay positive and keep pushing through it. In college the season is only three months, so one or two losses could kill your season. But here every team goes through it, so we’re going to have to just keep pushing along. We have a good home streak coming up — three games — and it’s a good way to get us back on board.”

(What happened on that goal in San Jose?) “I wasn’t really sure what happened on the other side of the field, but I just know Lenhart was dribbling in and I kind of got caught between him and Martinez. I thought I delayed Lenhart pretty well. He shot it – whiffed it. I didn’t think I was going to be able to get to Martinez if I ran straight to him, so I tried to drop back a little bit to cut off the angle to block his left-footed shot. But he’s a good player and he cut back on me and slotted a nice shot in the side netting. That’s just something that I’ve got to learn — close guys down a little bit tighter. But it’s all a learning experience and I know now. So, just take it and absorb it and use it when I play next.”

(You going to make sure Macklemore gets a No. 2 Sounders jersey?) “Yeah, I hope so. That would be amazing. That would be great.”

(Thinking about a new hairstyle for All-Star weekend?) “I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe.”

(Does it feel like it’s been a whirlwind when you look at where you were six months ago?) “Yeah, definitely. I never really expected any of this. Of course I wanted it, but I never really expected it. So to come in and be able to make the strides that I’ve made, and obviously eventually achieving a spot on the All-Star Team, it’s amazing and it’s humbling. But like I said before, there are still things to work on and I’m just going to continue to do that.”

(What were your expectations are getting signed? Starter? Playing in the U-20 World Cup?) “No, not at all. Coming in I expected to just come in here and absorb as much as I could from the talent and experience that they have on this team. And with U-20s, it wasn’t really expected either because I wasn’t really in any of the camps. But obviously coming in here and playing (improved) my chances with them, and eventually got on the team and played in the World Cup. It’s been a crazy ride, but it’s not a bad ride to have.”

(Has the first half of the season changed your outlook for your career? Do you think bigger?) “Yeah, but it’s another part of keeping a level head. This is my team right now and I’m just going to focus on this team. …Keep focusing on the team and what I can do to help the team win more games.”

(How much are you in contact with other academy kids and homegrown prospects?) “A lot. I try to communicate with them as much as possible. I know when I was on the academy I communicated with Steve, and that was a big help for me to not only get his advice and his help, but just to know that there was a guy that cared about me who was in a position I eventually wanted to be in. I try to make as much contact with them as much as possible, especially with Jordan Morris, Kovar and the guys who I’ve had a pretty tight connection with in past years.”

(You drive an old Subaru. You looking to upgrade soon?) “I’m going to drive that car until the wheels fall off. Save enough money as I can right now and be smart. Parents taught me well. Maybe in a year or so I’ll have a new car.”

(What year is that thing?) “It’s a 2002 actually, but it’s been driven a lot. It has 250,000-some miles on it. Just driving it until it dies.”

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