Last night, the United States men's national team drew with New Zealand in Washington, D.C. It was a listless, boring match featuring a B/B+ roster, but Jurgen Klinsmann is still going to assess certain players based on their performance (as he should).
One player of interest is Newcastle United's DeAndre Yedlin. Klinsmann's assessment was less than positive:
Klinsmann on Yedlin: "In the last camp and in this camp, he struggled. That's just reality" #USMNT— Seth Vertelney (@svertelney) October 12, 2016
Klinsmann praises Julian Green and Lynden Gooch, but admits that he feels DeAndre Yedlin has struggled in the past two #USMNT camps.— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) October 12, 2016
Many were quick to observe that Klinsmann did the 23-year old Seattle native no favors by playing him at winger instead of the preferred fullback:
Yedlin finally developing into our first-choice right back and we push him up to winger. Awesome.— Rob Usry (@RobUsry) October 11, 2016
Yedlin in midfield and Orozco on the field...I still fail to understand Klinsmann— Evan Ream (@EvanReam) October 12, 2016
Raise your hand if you had Yedlin as part of an atta--oh you know what never mind.— Mike L. Goodman (@TheM_L_G) October 11, 2016
It's important to note that Klinsmann could be attempting to motivate the young player. His comments might not be leading to future exclusion, but instead serve as a gentle reminder that it could happen. Every spot is up for grabs, nobody's job is safe, [third coaching cliche].
The U.S. begins the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying next month, starting with heavy hitters Mexico and Costa Rica. Is there a chance that Yedlin is left off the roster? Are there better fullbacks in the program? He's still one of the best 23 American players (in my opinion), but he could be staying in England (depending on your interpretation of Klinsmann's comments). Time will tell.