Though fresh off his international debut, big things are expected of Seattle Sounders right back sensation DeAndre Yedlin when the FIFA Under-20 World Cup kicks off for the United States in Turkey on Friday.
The 19-year-old rookie started the first 12 games of the season for his hometown Sounders before leaving to join head coach Tab Ramos' squad ahead of a full shift debut for the US in a 3-1 friendly win at Portugal late last week.
Yedlin has drawn rave reviews for his early pro play, making his U-20 boss eager to use that MLS seasoning when the team squares off in the Group A starter against Spain in Istanbul (2 pm ET, ESPN2, WatchESPN, Univision Deportes).
"There are a number of things he brings to the table, with the number-one thing being his experience at this point," Ramos said in Tuesday's media conference call. "Having played a bunch of professional games over the past few months, and having trained in a professional environment where he has to earn his position every day, is certainly great for us."
Of course, Ramos has plenty of other reason for integrating the dynamic Yedlin into the lineup at such a late date in World Cup prep. The former US star had no trouble ticking off the youngster's encouraging qualities.
"His speed, his ability to go forward, which is what we like, his ability to get back on defense quickly and to play the game with urgency, which is the way we like to play," said Ramos. "He was one of those pieces that we didn’t have to speak to too much as far as trying to fit him into our roster."