Two Washington Youth Soccer alumni join U.S. Men's National Team in Brazil camp
It was the call they’d waited their whole lives for.
In January, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann picked up his phone and dialed Sounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall to offer them a seat on the plane to Brazil for two weeks of training with the USMNT in advance of a Feb. 1 friendly against South Korea.
It was the first senior team call-up for Yedlin, who grew up in Seattle and played for Washington Youth Soccer clubs Northwest Nationals and Crossfire Premier before joining the Seattle Sounders FC academy in 2010-11. For Hall — a Gig Harbor native who played for FC United (now Washington Premier FC) — it marked his second time on the USMNT roster; the goalkeeper also joined the team for friendlies against Belgium and Germany last year, but saw no game action.
Both players are products of Washington Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program (now Elite Player Development) program.
The duo were among 26 players named to the USMNT roster for the training session, meant to familiarize the team, coaches and staff with the facilities, training grounds and other features they will face when returning to Brazil later this year for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Yedlin, an MLS All-Star at right back for Sounders FC in just his rookie season in 2013, was one of 10 defenders invited to the camp, including Sounders teammate Brad Evans, who has manned the same position (right back) for the United States for much of the last year. Hall was one of four goalkeepers on the USMNT roster.
At just 20 years old, and with no prior Senior National Team experience, Yedlin is considered a longshot to make the USMNT’s final roster for Brazil, which will be announced in late spring, sometime after the team’s final pre-World Cup friendly on Mar. 5. That won’t keep him from working as hard as he can to make an impression on Klinsmann and the U.S. staff.
"I want to be in the World Cup," Yedlin said. "It would be really good to have that chance so young, but if I can't come to Brazil, I'll continue to work to be in the next one."
Keep up with all the latest U.S. Men’s National Team news at http://www.ussoccer.com/.