He doesn’t know what club he’ll suit up for in the fall, and isn't totally sure what position he'll play for the U.S. when the Copa America begins June 3, but DeAndre Yedlin is ready for every possibility.
The 22-year-old spent last season on loan from Tottenham to Sunderland, who he helped survive an English Premier League relegation battle after turning into a regular starter late in the season.
Sunderland are now apparently trying to make Yedlin’s deal permanent, with English outlets reporting last week that the club had made Tottenham a transfer offer for the former Seattle Sounders defender. SI.com followed up on those reports on Monday, when Grant Wahl reported that “there’s a very real possibility” that Spurs sell Yedlin, who joined Tottenham in January 2015, to Sunderland.
Yedlin told reporters on Monday from the USMNT’s pre-Copa America Centenario camp in Dallas that he’d be open to returning to the Black Cats.
“Nothing’s come up yet, but, like I said before, I wouldn’t mind going back to Sunderland, whether it be on loan or whatever,” he said. “I think it’s a great club and I had a great experience there, so I’d be open to that. But as of now nothing has come up, so right now I’m just focusing on Copa America and doing the best that we can in this tournament.”
One of the questions facing the USMNT ahead of the tournament is just where Yedlin will line up. Used a right back during his tenure with the Sounders and at Sunderland, Yedlin has played the position for the national team, but has also played on the wing. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann started Yedlin on the wing in the US’s World Cup qualifying loss at Guatemala on March 25, but moved him to right back for the 4-0 home win against los Chapines four days later. Yedlin started at right back in the US’s 3-1 friendly win at Puerto Rico on Sunday.
"Obviously you saw over the last two years – especially since the World Cup in Brazil – we had our issues on both right back and left back positions," Klinsmann said. "Right now we have a very good option coming through the ranks with DeAndre Yedlin, who [Sunday] against Puerto Rico played a good game, breaking through at Sunderland as a right back but still learning the position in a tactical way in terms of the awareness – what happens behind him if he goes forward, and so on.
"DeAndre is, for us, also always an option maybe to bring in as a winger, but right now we hope that he is going into the Copa America as a right back with a lot of confidence."
“I’m looking forward to playing wherever Jurgen decides to put me,” Yedlin said said. “I don’t know where that will be, but wherever it is on the field, I’m looking forward to playing there.”