American Exports: Leon's dual-eligible goalkeeper William Yarbrough soft-pedals national team talk
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – León goalkeeper William Yarbrough is keeping his feet firmly on the ground following his man-of-the-match performance in the Liga MX final second leg against Club América on Sunday.
Fresh from winning the Liga MX title as the team’s regular ‘keeper, the Mexican with Texan parents has already been fielding questions about which national team he would prefer to play for.
Not that it is something that is overly concerning the 24-year-old dual passport holder, who told ESPN’s Fútbol Picante on Tuesday that there hasn’t been any approach from either the United States or Mexico.
“I don’t know which national team I would choose, I honestly can’t answer that,” said Yarbrough. “It would be a mistake for me to be thinking about a national team when I’ve only played 32 games in the first division.
“I still have a lot to learn, a lot of work to do and the prize – because I see it as a prize – of choosing a national team is earned due to your day-to-day work,” he added. “My head at the moment is focused on giving the best I have every day [at León], working with humility and primarily to do well for my team, because that is how those prizes will come.”
Pushed on which team he supported during World Cup qualification, Yarbrough stated he wanted both teams to be in Brazil 2014.
Yarbrough earned a starting spot for coach Gustavos Matosas’ squad at the beginning of 2013 and has maintained it despite the vastly experienced Christian Martínez's presence at the club.
Yarbrough is a goalkeeper characterized by his energy, constant communication and spectacular saves, although he was criticized during León’s playoff run for a couple of mistakes coming off his line.
“In the goalkeeping position, they are always going to judge you on your last performance and it’s true I made a couple of mistakes, but they didn’t affect me at all,” said Yarbrough. “Football is like life, when you make a mistake you have to keep your head up.”
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.