There was surely some underlying meaning in two particular newcomers being selected for the U.S. national team’s annual January camp: Sporting Kansas City’s Chance Myers and Seattle’s DeAndre Yedlin.
Yedlin is such a talented player in terms of what he offers moving forward that his inclusion in the national team plans has looked for months like a matter of “when” rather than “if.” On the other hand, his defensive positioning and lack of instinct/experience sometimes bites him, so a trip into Brazil as one of the 23 U.S. chosen still seems unlikely.
Myers’ place on the January camp roster says more; he’s been an effective MLS right back for some time, a tough defender at one end and willing participant on the attack. So why is Klinsmann just now taking a harder look at the SKC veteran and former No. 1 overall draft pick?
Simple: the right back position continues to be a vexing spot for the national team. That’s why three are in camp, with two potential answers (Steve Cherundolo and Geoff Cameron) still somewhere in the conversation.
We’ll know more at the camp’s conclusion when Klinsmann concludes whether Yedlin or Myers has done enough to unseat Brad Evans as the right back starter for the time being. (The team faces South Korea to conclude this month-long camp.)
Either way, it does set up something of a strange situation for Evans, a thinking man’s player and a total professional when it comes to helping his teams, both club and country. Evans (pictured above, hugging Eddie Johnson) and Yedlin are Seattle Sounders teammates; Evans mans the midfield (in a revolving role for someone with ample versatility, clearly) while Yedlin starts at right back for Sigi Schmid’s club.
In the current camp, however, Yedlin’s job is all about trying to take Evans’ job. And Evans is OK with that; like I said, a total pro, that one.
Here’s what Evans had to say about it via USSoccer.com:
It’s a balance. DeAndre is my teammate in Seattle, but when we come here, we’re both battling for the same position. That’s the way I look at it. Obviously, all the questions off the field when we’re not at practice are always going to be there. I’m always going to be there as a cornerstone for him to come to when he needs advice on what to do here and there. In that position, if I see something I’m going to let him know. Him being 20-years old, I expect him to say, ‘this is what I would do in this situation,’ and we can bounce information of each other. That just builds good relationships and we can carry that over to Seattle because I’ll probably being playing right in front of him at right mid. There will be interchange there, and I think this will provide a good base moving forward.”