It was less than four years ago that DeAndre Yedlin
was called into the U.S. national team for the first time.
Yedlin was only 20 years old and remembers the feeling of being a new
player on the national team. He dwelled on his mistakes.
"If I make one more mistake," he said to himself, "I'm not going to be in the team. It's normal."
Now at the age of 24, the Newcastle United defender finds himself in a role of telling players -- four younger
than he was in 2014 -- that it's all right to mess up.
"I'm coming into this camp as a 'veteran guy,'" he said, "so it's a bit of a different role to step up to be a leader."
Yedlin is in a different role because the USA failed to qualify from the 2018 World Cup, and he was only one of two starters from the team that lost to Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 10 who is in camp
for Tuesday's game against Portugal in Leiria.
"It's one of those things where we are obviously devastated," he said, "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."
The "newish" team, as Yedlin called the team interim coach Dave Sarachan
called in for the friendly, includes four
uncapped teenagers: Cameron Carter-Vickers
, 19, Weston McKennie
, 19, Tyler Adams
, 18, and Josh Sargent
"They're going to be nervous," Yedlin said.
"They're going to have butterflies. But they have to realize they are here for a reason. They've been called up for a reason. They belong here. They are good players. If they can realize that, they
will be fine." U.S. Roster:
Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; 0/0), Bill Hamid (D.C. United;
3/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 1/0) DEFENDERS (7):
John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 32/3), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United/ENG; 0/0), Eric Lichaj (Nott. Forest/ENG; 13/1), Matt
Miazga (Vitesse/Netherlands; 3/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 26/1), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna/MEX; 14/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United (48/0) MIDFIELDERS (7):
Kellyn Acosta (FC
Dallas; 16/1), Tyler Adams (NY Red Bulls; 0/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 65/2), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG; 2/0), Weston McKennie (Schalke 04/GER; 0/0), Kelyn Rowe (New England
Revolution; 3/1), Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town/ENG; 22/2). FORWARDS (4):
Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 26/3), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City; 3/2), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union;
2/0), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; 0/0). Note:
In parentheses are caps and goals.