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February 12, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Yedlin after his int’l debut: ‘The expectations now are a little bit higher … and I enjoy that.’

Here is a transcript of our interview with Sounders FC’s DeAndre Yedlin after his time with the U.S. men’s national team, which led to his international debut against South Korea:

*     *     *

(What’s it like to be back in Seattle?) “It’s great. Definitely nice to get out of the humidity and warm weather and back to my known climate. It’s great, great to be back with the guys and see them again.”

(What was it like making your international debut?) “It was pretty amazing. It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of — playing with the national team — so to finally get that experience, now it’s just pushing for more caps and hopefully a World Cup.”

(Does anything feel different after getting that first cap?) “Not really. Maybe it’s a little bit off my shoulders… or not off my shoulders… it’s not there was pressure to get my first cap… but it’s almost kind of like a relief. The expectations now are a little bit higher, I think — and I enjoy that. I enjoy a challenge, so I’m excited for what’s to come this season.”

(What kind of impression do you think you left with the coaches?) “I thought I left a pretty good impression, but I don’t know. People think different ways. I’m hoping I left a good impression.”

(What do you think that experience will do for you in Seattle?) “Definitely gave me confidence. I know that. Hopefully I’ll be a little more confident and not more relaxed on the ball but more confident on the ball. They play a little bit of a different style than we do here, but when you’re playing with guys like Brad (Evans) and Landon (Donovan) and (Graham) Zusi and veterans like that, you just learn little tricks of the trade that you can use and take back to your club team.”

(Was there someone in particular you got close to or latched onto?) “Not really. Everybody was pretty helpful. There wasn’t one guy. I mostly hung out with Luis Gil. He’s around my age and we were roommates. I haven’t been super close with him before, but we definitely got close, so it was good.”

(As the first Sounders’ homegrown signing, does it feel good to see a couple follow behind you?) “Oh, definitely. Yeah. I want to see as many homegrowns on this team as possible. I think it really shows the talent that we have here in Seattle, and the talent that is coming is great. So yeah, it’s great to see them.”

(What it surprising to see all the turnover this offseason?) “I wouldn’t say surprising. It’s not really up to me what changes we make on the roster, but the new guys have been great, and very positive, and they’re good players, so I’m excited to see what they can bring to the team.”

(Are you going to be their tour guide around Seattle?) “Oh yeah. Yeah, of course. I love doing that. I love this city, so it’s always fun to show people around and show them the cool things that are in Seattle.”

(What did you learn about Brad Evans in camp?) “I kind of already knew this before, but Brad will work for you whenever. He’s a great competitor. He’s a great guy to be competing with. I think especially if we’re on the same side … it could be a great duo, because he’s played that right back position and since I like to get forward so much, he can give me a little cover and help me out a little bit. And he’s also great attacking-wise. Brad is one of those incredibly special players who can play anywhere on the field and be good at it and been consistent about it.”

(I know you talked about in camp, but how did you two handle being in the same position group with the national team?) “Like I said before, Brad is a great competitor. He helped me. Obviously he wants that spot, he’s hungry for that spot, and so am I. But Brad helped me as much as any other guy on the team helped me. It’s not like he’s trying to bring me down or anything. He’s a great guy.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats

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