DeAndre Yedlin is only 24 years of age, but the Newcastle United full-back is now a veteran in the USA squad
Newcastle United right-back DeAndre Yedlin admits the USA national side are yet to get over the fact they will not be at the World Cup in Russia next year.
The US failed to quality for next summer’s tournament after losing to Trinidad and Tobago in October, ensured they finished only fifth in the ‘Hexagonal’ North America group.
And Yedlin is one of only two players from the squad who lost in October who have been called up for a friendly against Portugal in Leiria on Tuesday by interim coach Dave Sarachan.
“It’s one of those things where we are obviously devastated,” Yedlin told Soccer America about the USA’s failure to qualify for Russia 2018.
“So the quicker we can put the reality that we’re not going to the World Cup behind us, the quicker we can prepare for the next one.”
Despite being just 24 years of age, Newcastle defender Yedlin is now one of the most senior men in a squad which contains two 19-year-olds, an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old.
And 48-cap international Yedlin stresses he is now starting to feel like a leader in the US squad and will aim to help the youngsters adapt to their new surroundings.
“I’m coming into this camp as a ‘veteran guy’, so it’s a bit of a different role to step up to be a leader,” Newcastle right-back Yedlin added.
“They’re going to be nervous. They’re going to have butterflies. But they have to realise they are here for a reason. They’ve been called up for a reason.
“They belong here. They are good players. If they can realise that, they will be fine.”