A member of the United States men’s national team is staying in Major League Soccer.
The San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing of Jackson Yueill to a multi-year contract extension. The new deal will keep the 23-year-old box-to-box midfielder at the club “well beyond the 2022 World Cup.” Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“Three and a half years into his professional career, he’s earned the trust and respect of his teammates and coaching staff and has commanded the captain’s armband at a very young age,” general manager Jesse Fioranelli told the club’s official website. “He has also gained the confidence necessary to be a key player, even in pressure situations, for both San Jose and the U.S. National Team.”
Yueill was selected by the San Jose Earthquakes in the first round of the 2017 SuperDraft after spending 2015 and 2016 at UCLA. In four years with the club, the Minnesota native has made 81 appearances, breaking through last season with three goals and five assists. MLSSoccer.com lists him as “one of the best passers in MLS, capable of playing line-splitting balls for onrushing attackers.” Despite his relatively young age, he was recently named the team captain following the departure of Magnus Eriksson.
Yueill has earned seven caps for the senior national team since making his debut in a June 2019 friendly against Jamaica. Prior to the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games, he was considered a likely inclusion for the U-23 Olympic qualifying roster. Senior national team manager Gregg Berhalter cited him as a “mainstay for the U.S. national team.” He praised the midfielder’s intensity following a match against Cuba, claiming Yueill “didn’t let up for 90 minutes.”
Some may be disappointed by a young American player not pursuing opportunities in Europe, opting to stay in a more familiar environment. However, if Yueill’s goal is to be a member of the World Cup squad, the best course of action might be continuing to secure playing time in a league respected by Berhalter. Following the 2022 tournament in Qatar, he will be in his mid-20s, which is still a reasonable age to move to a bigger league.